Although Dallas native Bob McCracken never became famous, he did work with several notable groups through the years. McCracken started out playing with local artists -- Jack Teagarden was an early associate -- including Eddie Whitley, the Southern Trumpeters and Doc Ross' Jazz Bandits. In New York McCracken played with Johnny Johnston and Willard Robison's Levee Loungers from 1926-28. McCracken moved back to Dallas and played locally with such groups as those led by Ligon Smith, Joe Gill and Doc Ross. Stints with the orchestras of Joe Venuti and Frankie Trumbauer preceded his 1939 move to Chicago. McCracken worked with Bud Freeman from 1939-40, Jimmy McPartland, Wingy Manone and Benny Goodman in 1941, the sweet bands of Russ Morgan and Wayne King, plus other lesser-known ensembles. From 1952-53 McCracken toured with the Louis Armstrong All-Stars as a fill-in for Barney Bigard. After leaving the road, McCracken settled in Los Angeles where he worked with many of the who's who of trad jazz, including Kid Ory's Creole Jazz Band (on and off from 1953-59), Ben Pollack, Pete Daily, Jack Teagarden and Wild Bill Davison. McCracken never led his own record date, but he is on several Kid Ory albums.
Share this page