b. USA. Formed in 1927 in the Midwest of America, Jack Crawford pronounced himself ‘The Clown Prince Of Jazz’ while fronting his entertaining dance band. The line-up featured Bob Huff, Ted Willis, Jerry Miller, Joe Snyder, Carroll Willis, Harry Sosnick, Joe Butcher, Early Center, Manny Stein and Paul McKnight, backing Crawford’s singing and comic storytelling. He also played all the saxophone parts in the group, including the rare C-melody model. By the 30s his band was a popular attraction throughout the central states of America, supported by radio play and recording contracts with Gennett and Victor Records. The Fredericks Brothers agency found him increasingly prestigious bookings coast to coast in the early 40s, but the advent of World War II found Crawford revising his plans. Robbed of many of his musicians owing to the war effort, he contracted the band to a quartet and performed as a cocktail lounge group.
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