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Norman Thomas Quintet


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"Eccentric Drumming"
with Freddie Crump


In this 1929 Vitaphone short the "Norman Thomas Quintet" comprised of Earl Shanks vocals, Norman Thomas piano, Freddie Crump drums, and dancers Alphonso Kennedy and Stanley Brown perform "Sleep Baby, Sleep", "Listen to the Mockingbird", and "Melody in F".

This film is of particular interest for its rare inclusion of eccentric percussionist Freddie Crump.

Performing regularly at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Los Angles as part of the stage show during the late 1920's the "Norman Thomas Quintet" was an early influence on famous West Coast percussionist Lionel Hampton. As Marshal Royal recalls in his book "Jazz Survivor", "There were two sons, very handsome boys who were both dancers. But the important person in the group was the flashiest drummer I had ever seen, and as a matter of fact, his name was (Freddie) "Rastus" Crump. He was all exhibition and could do marvelous things with his drum sticks. He'd throw them around and hold them under his nose or under his arms as part of the prologue. For his finale he'd grab the curtains as they were pulling them up and down, hanging onto the bottom as they went thirty feet, forty feet up in the air."

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