Born James David Walker, St. Louis, Missouri, he experienced the divorce of his parents when he was still very young and Jimmy adopted his stepfather's name, McCracklin.
Jimmy McCracklin (August 13, 1921 – December 20, 2012) was an American pianist, vocalist, and songwriter. His style contained West Coast blues, Jump blues, and R&B. Over a career that spanned seven decades, he said he had written almost a thousand songs and had recorded hundreds of them. McCracklin recorded over 30 albums, and earned four gold records. Tom Mazzolini of the San Francisco Blues Festival said of him, "He was probably the most important musician to come out of the Bay Area in the post-World War II years."