This is unfortunate, for it was Crawford who, more that any other individual, shaped the playing styles of his contemporaries and, consciously or unconsciously, many of those who have followed in subsequent generations.
As there are several hundred items all told available it is necessary to be selective as to what to include, if for no other reason than that it usually takes upwards of an hour to restore just one side of a 78 record.
It is perhaps unfortunate that most of Crawfords recordings that were still available in the late LP days were of largely public domain traditional music, that may have sold steadily, but lacks the flair and joy of of his earlier material.
Thus it is that for some people he has acquired the reputation for somewhat ponderous and unexciting performances.
It is somewhat difficult in these days when celebrity almost equates to notoriety to imagine that a theatre organist over seventy years ago could achieve world-wide celebrity status such that he would not only successfully tour overseas, but his endorsement of such varied products as hats, tobacco products and shaving products (and whose records for many years gave credit to Wurlitzer organs) would be sought to give cachet to those goods.
Jesse Crawford was the first theatre organist to achieve major celebrity status, although his daily life would probably have provided lean pickings for gossip-hungry pictorial magazines had they existed then in the form they do now.
Although he produced his best work before he left New York for California in the early 1950s, much of this material is little-heard as it mainly exists on well-worn 78 r.p.m.
records, of which few have been reissued in CD or even LP format.
Master/matrix numbers have thus been used, rather than record catalogue numbers, which are an unreliable guide in that respect, and moreover differ widely between the USA, UK and Australia, whereas the Master numbers remain the same.
Even Master numbers can prove inconclusive, as there are at least two pairs of Crawford recordings (The 78 r.p.m. One may wonder, for instance, how Crawford linked songs in his medley intermission performances.
We can gain insight into more extended performances through the fortunate survival of a tantalisingly small number of recordings of broadcasts.
Film and interview material add yet more depth to the picture.