Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame presents Washington Rucker

He’ played with some of the greats, it’s a pleasure to have him here…

Tulsa Jazz

Washington Rucker web lg

Legendary Drummer Washington Rucker Featured at Jazz Hall with guest vocalist Cynthia Simmons

Many years ago, Washington Rucker’s European tour with Stevie Wonder took him to Paris, where he found himself being interviewed by a local writer.

“The first thing this guy asked me was, `Where are you from?’” Rucker recalls.

“I said, `Tulsa, Oklahoma.’ He said, `Well, you’re too young to have played with Ernie Fields, so you must’ve played with Jimmy “Cry Cry” Hawkins’.”

It was a moment that brought home, among other things, the fact that these two musicians and bandleaders were known beyond the confines of Tulsa, and even the United States. And, in fact,Rucker had played drums with bluesman Hawkins, during a time music historians point to as the period when the Tulsa version of rock ‘n’ roll was being invented.

“I first played with Jimmy in 1952,’53,” he remembers. “I was in tenth grade; it was my…

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