Best-known for his drumming and marching/tap dancing talents, Frank Parker began his career in show business at the age of 5. Born sometime during 1919 in New Orleans, Parker performed as a member of Kid Clayton's band before relocating to Los Angeles, CA, and hooking up with Teddy Buckner (at the Beverly Caverns) and the Johnny Otis Band. Upon returning back home to New Orleans in 1949, Parker played alongside such notables as Fats Domino, Joe Phillips, Roy "Good Rocking" Brown, and Paul Gayten. Nearly ten years later, Parker went on the road with Ray Charles, which was followed up by a spot with the Louis Jordan Band. In 1959, he worked with Lou Rawls (among others) back in Los Angeles. By 1970, Parker was working once more on Bourbon Street with Thomas Jefferson, George Finola, Papa French, Santo Pecora, and Wallace Davenport. During his later years, he performed with Laverne Smith at Marriot and Fairmont hotels, toured with One Mo' Time in 1979 (a stage hit about black vaudeville in the early days of jazz), and a year later, played drums for Percy Humphrey and the Preservation Hall Band, before ultimately retiring in 1990 after suffering a stroke. Just a few months after The Louisiana Jazz Federation presented him with a lifetime achievement award, Parker died on January 23, 2001.
Share this page