Bobby Crafford was playing drums with a small-time band out of Cotton Plant, Arkansas, when he heard that Sonny Burgess and the Pacers were looking for a drummer. Crafford gave them a call and was hired. That was back in 1957. Since then Crafford has recorded and toured with Sonny Burgess and the Pacers, playing alongside acts such as Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash.
After the death of Sonny Burgess in 2017, the band changed their name to The Legendary Pacers, and they continue as a working band even though the band members are in their seventies and eighties. When discussing the band’s legacy, Crafford states that he wants them to be remembered as "one of the first of rock and roll."
Still frame from Pryor Center video interview with Bobby Crafford at Bubba's Blues Corner; Helena, Arkansas, 2017
© Pryor Center for Arkansas Oral and Visual History, University of Arkansas