YouTube Du Jour: Davell Crawford

The recent passing of New Orleans R&B legend James “Sugar Boy” Crawford, author of the iconic Mardi Gras tune “Jock-A-Mo” (later renamed “Iko Iko”), has weighed heavily on the hearts of New Orleans’ music fans these last few days. Following a racially motivated assault at the hands of a Louisiana State Trooper in the early ’60s, the then young rock-and-roller retreated from the public eye. Aside from a handful of rare performances through the years, Sugar Boy had since reserved his stirring incantations for the service of the Lord. As this 2011 video from Trinity Episcopal Church suggests, Crawford’s voice aged gracefully alongside him, its sweetness ever preserved:

Yesterday, Sugar Boy’s grandson, pianist Davell Crawford, celebrated his 37th birthday. In July, Davell recorded a four-song set for Wolfgang’s Vault’s Live from the Vault series. With today’s YouTube Du Jour, we honor the memory of James “Sugar Boy” Crawford, (October 12, 1934-September 15, 2012). Here’s Davell delivering a fiery version of his grandfather’s calling card followed by the entirety of his Wolfgang’s Vault performance: