A technically proficient pianist, Knocky Parker spent most of his career playing pre-swing jazz in settings ranging from inspired to a bit corny. Parker picked up much of his early experience playing piano in Western swing bands based in his native Texas, including the Wanderers (recording with them in 1935) and the Light Crust Doughboys (1937-1939). After military service, Parker worked with the Zutty Singleton-Albert Nicholas Trio, earned a Ph.D., and became a college professor, teaching English at Kentucky Wesleyan College and later at the University of South Florida. In addition to his "day job," Parker performed and recorded fairly regularly throughout his career, working with Doc Evans, Omer Simeon, Tony Parenti, and many others, including as a piano soloist. As a leader Parker recorded for Texstar (1949), Paradox, GHB, and London, and he also led many sessions for Audiophile (including a pioneering project from 1960 in which he recorded every Scott Joplin rag), Jazzology, and Euphonic.
Knocky Parker Biography
by Scott Yanow