Commemorating Sadie Crawford, Tooting’s jazz pioneer


Sadie with her husband Adolph Crawford

Born Louisa Marshall in 1885, the youngest of seven children, Sadie Crawford spent her early life in a tiny house on Fountain Road. Scrubbing floors at the age of eleven, she escaped domestic service through music, dance and the London stage. She played all over the world with some of the greatest stars of the jazz age and spent the last thirty years of her life in America.

One of the first women to play with the likes of Louis Armstrong, she featured in a recent BBC Radio 4 programme called ‘The Lost Women of British Jazz’.

The Tooting Summerstown182 project is commemorating her.

Saturday 24 March. 2pm. Sadie Crawford – jazz plaque unveiling
‘Sadie’s Swinging Tooting’ Guided Walk

Tour  of local historical hot-spots, celebrating the world of jazz pioneer Sadie Crawford.

Starts at Edward VII statue outside Tooting Broadway tube station.

It takes in key locations in her early life and will stop at her childhood home. The Walk will include many other historical hot-spots with a particular focus on entertainment; the local personalities, cinemas, dance-halls and meeting places that were springing up in this area around one hundred years ago.

£5 charge towards funds for plaque.

Tuesday 16 June 2pm. Sadie Crawford Plaque Unveiling Event

143 Fountain Road, Tooting, SW17

Members of her family will be present, plus special guests and musical accompaniment. Everyone is welcome!

About seancreighton1947

Since moving to Norbury in July 2011 I have been active on local economy, housing and environment issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly. I am a member of the Love Norbury Residents Associations Planning & Transport Committees, and Chair of Nobury Community Land Trust. I write for Croydon Citizen at I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and edit the North East Popular Politics database. History Project.. I give history talks and lead history walks. I retired in 2012 having worked in the community/voluntary sector and on heritage projects. My history interests include labour movement, mutuality, Black British, slavery & abolition, Edwardian roller skating and the social and political use of music and song. I have a particular interest in the histories of Battersea and Wandsworth, Croydon and Lambeth. I have a publishing imprint History & Social Action Publications.
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