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Encyclopedia > Louis Jordan
Louis Jordan swinging on sax, Paramount Theatre, NYC, 1946 (Photo: William P. Gottlieb)
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Louis Jordan swinging on sax, Paramount Theatre, NYC, 1946
(Photo: William P. Gottlieb)

Louis Jordan (July 8, 1908February 4, 1975) was a pioneering African-American blues, jazz and rhythm & blues musician and songwriter who enjoyed his greatest popularity from the late 1930s to the early 1950s. Known as "The King of the Jukebox", Jordan was highly popular with both black and white audiences in the later years of the swing era. Image File history File links Louis-jordan. ... Image File history File links Louis-jordan. ... William P. Gottlieb (born January 28, 1917) was an American photographer and newspaper columnist who is best known for his classic photographs of leading performers of the Golden Age of American jazz in the 1930s and 1940s. ... July 8 is the 189th day of the year (190th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 176 days remaining. ... 1908 (MCMVIII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... February 4 is the 35th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1975 calendar). ... An African American is a United States citizen who is socially perceived as being at least part black, especially one with ancestors imported to America during slavery. ... The blues is a vocal and instrumental form of music based on a pentatonic scale and a characteristic twelve-bar chord progression. ... Jazz is an original American musical art form originating around the start of the 20th century in New Orleans, rooted in Western music technique and theory, and is marked by the profound cultural contributions of African Americans. ... Rhythm and blues (or R & B) is a musical marketing term introduced in the United States in the late 1940s by Billboard magazine. ... For other uses, see Jukebox (disambiguation) A jukebox is a partially automated music-playing device, usually a coin-operated machine, that can play specially selected songs from self-contained media. ... Musically, swing can be either: (written with small s), refers to swung notes, the rhythmic feeling evoked by swinging music, esp. ...

Contents


Overview

Jordan was one of the first black recording artists whose popularity crossed over into the mainstream white audience and who scored hits on both the "race" charts and the mainstream white pop charts. He is now acknowledged as one of the most successful African-American musicians of the 20th century, ranking fifth in the list of the all-time most successful black recording artists.


Jordan scored at least four million-selling hits during his career, regularly topping the "race" charts, as well as scoring simultaneous Top Ten hits on the white pop charts on several occasions. Many of the songs he wrote or co-wrote have become 20th century popular music classics.


With his dynamic Tympany Five bands (which also pioneered the use of electric guitar and electric organ) Jordan largely mapped out the main parameters of the classic R&B, urban blues and early rock'n'roll genres with a series of hugely influential 78 rpm discs for the Decca label that presaged virtually all of the dominant black music styles of the 1950s and 1960s and which exerted a huge influence on many leading performers in these genres. Left: Rosa Hurricane, a heavy metal-style solid body guitar. ... The organ is a type of keyboard musical instrument, distinctive because the sound is not produced by a percussion action, as on a piano or celesta, or by means of vibrating strings, as on the harpsichord. ... Rhythm and blues (or R & B) is a musical marketing term introduced in the United States in the late 1940s by Billboard magazine. ... The blues is a vocal and instrumental form of music based on a pentatonic scale and a characteristic twelve-bar chord progression. ... Rock and roll (also spelled rock n roll, especially in its first decade), also called rock, is a form of popular music, usually featuring vocals (often with vocal harmony), electric guitars and a strong back beat; other instruments, such as the saxophone, are common in some styles. ... Manufacturers put records inside protective and decorative cardboard jackets and an inner paper sleeve to protect the grooves from dust and scratches. ... It has been suggested that Decca Music Group be merged into this article or section. ...


Early life and musical career

Louis Jordan was born in Brinkley, Arkansas, where his father was a local music teacher and bandleader. Jordan started out on clarinet, and also played piano professionally early in his career, but alto saxophone became his main instrument. However, he became even better known as a songwriter, entertainer and vocalist. Brinkley is a city located in Monroe County, Arkansas. ... Official language(s) English Capital Little Rock Largest city Little Rock Area  Ranked 29th  - Total 53,179 sq. ... Two soprano clarinets: a Bb clarinet (left) and an A clarinet (right, with no mouthpiece). ... A baby grand piano, with the lid up. ... Saxophones of different sizes play in different registers. ... In music a singer or vocalist is a type of musician who sings, i. ...


In 1932, Jordan began performing with Clarence Williams. In late 1936 he was invited to join the influential band of Chick Webb, based at New York's Savoy Ballroom, and he worked with Webb until 1938. This was the same period when the young Ella Fitzgerald was coming to the fore as the Webb band's lead singer; she and Jordan would later duet on several records, by which time both artists were major stars. See also: 1931 in music, other events of 1932, 1933 in music and the list of years in music. Events January 14 - Maurice Ravels Piano Concerto is premiered in Paris October 19 - Frankie Laine and Ruthie Smith set the all-time dance marathon record of 3,501 hours (145... Clarence Williams ( November 8, 1893 - November 6, 1965) was a Jazz pianist, composer, promoter, vocalist, and publisher. ... William Henry Webb, usually known as Chick Webb (February 10, 1905 - June 16, 1939) was a jazz and swing music drummer and band leader. ... The Savoy Ballroom located in Harlem, Manhattan, New York City, was a public place for music and dance shows from 1926 to 1958. ... Ella Jane Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996), also known as Lady Ella (the First Lady of Song), was an American singer, considered one of the most influential jazz vocalists of the 20th Century, alongside Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan. ...


Jordan left the Webb band in 1938, by which time Webb was already seriously ill with tuberculosis of the spine. Webb died after a spinal operation on 16 June 1939, aged only 30; following his death, Ella Fitzgerald took over the band. Tuberculosis (commonly shortened to TB) is an infection caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which most commonly affects the lungs (pulmonary TB) but can also affect the central nervous system (meningitis), lymphatic system, circulatory system (Miliary tuberculosis), genitourinary system, bones and joints. ...


Early solo career

Jordan's first band, drawn mainly from members of the Jesse Stone band, was originally a nine-piece, but he soon scaled it down to a sextet after landing a residency at the Elks Rendezvous club at 464 Lenox Avenue in Harlem. The original lineup of the sextet was Jordan (saxes, vocals), Courtney Williams (trumpet), Lem Johnson (tenor sax), Clarence Johnson (piano), Charlie Drayton (bass) and Walter Martin (drums). Jesse Stone (born Charles Calhoun 16 November 1901, died 1 April 1999) was a American rhythm and blues musician whose influence spanned a wide range of genres. ... Harlem is a neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City, long known as a major African-American cultural and business center. ...


The new band's first recording date for Decca Records (on 20 December 1938) produced three sides on which they backed an obscure vocalist called Rodney Sturgess, and two novelty sides of their own, "Honey in the Bee Ball" and "Barnacle Bill The Sailor". Though these were credited to The Elks Rendezvous Band, Jordan subsequently changed the name to the Tympany Five due to the fact that Martin often used tympany drums in performance. (The word tympany is also an old-fashioned colloquial term meaning "swollen, inflated, puffed-up", etymologically related to timpani, or "kettle drum", but historically separate.) It has been suggested that Decca Music Group be merged into this article or section. ... See also: 1937 in music, other events of 1938, 1939 in music and the list of years in music. // Events January 16 - Benny Goodman refuses to play Carnegie Hall because black members of his orchestra are banned. ... Etymology is the study of the origins of words. ... A timpanist in the United States Air Forces in Europe Band. ...


The various lineups of the Tympany Five (which often featured two or three extra players) included Bill Jennings and Carl Hogan on guitar, renowned pianist-arrangers Wild Bill Davis and Bill Doggett, "Shadow" Wilson and Chris Columbus on drums and Dallas Bartley on bass. Jordan played alto, tenor and baritone saxophone and sang the lead vocal on most numbers. The band's sound was similar to that of Fats Waller and his Rhythm with a touch of the Caribbean sound commonly called "the Spanish tinge". This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Wild Bill Davis was the stage name of American jazz musician William Davis (b. ... Bill Doggett (February 16, 1916 _ November 13, 1996) was an American jazz and rhythm and blues pianist and organist. ... For other kinds of drums, see drum (disambiguation). ... -1... Saxophones of different sizes play in different registers. ... Album cover of Fats Wallers Aint Misbehavin, 25 Greatest Hits Fats Waller (May 21, 1904 – December 15, 1943) was an African-American jazz pianist, organist, composer and comedic entertainer. ... Latin American music, sometimes simply called Latin music, includes the music of many countries and comes in many varieties, from the simple, rural conjunto music of northern Mexico to the sophisticated habanera of Cuba, from the symphonies of Heitor Villa-Lobos to the simple and moving Andean flute. ...


Their next recording date in March 1939 produced five sides including "Keep A-Knockin'" (originally recorded in the 1920s and later covered famously by Little Richard), "Sam Jones Done Snagged His Britches" and "Doug the Jitterbug". Lem Johnson subsequently left the group, and was replaced by Stafford Simon. Sessions in December 1939 and January 1940 produced two more early Jordan classics, "You're My Meat" and "You Run Your Mouth and I'll Run My Business". Other members who passed through the band during 1940 and 1941 included tenorist Kenneth Hollon (who recorded with Billie Holiday); trumpeter Freddie Webster (from Earl Hines' band) was part of the nascent bebop scene at Minton's Playhouse and he influenced Kenny Dorham and Miles Davis. Little Richard on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, (issue RS 58, May 28, 1970) Little Richard (born Richard Wayne Penniman, December 5, 1932 in Macon, Georgia) is an American singer, songwriter, and pianist, and an early African-American pioneer of rock and roll. ... Billie Holiday photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1949 For the Canadian broadcaster, see Billie Holiday (broadcaster). ... Earl Hines - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... Bebop or bop is a form of jazz characterized by fast tempos and improvisation based on harmonic structure rather than melody. ... Mintons Playhouse was a bar and club, established by Henry Minton on West 118th Street in New York City in 1938. ... McKinley Howard (Kenny) Dorham (August 30, 1924 - December 5, 1972) was an American jazz trumpeter, singer, and composer. ... Davis 1959 album Kind of Blue, the best-selling jazz album ever. ...


In 1941 Jordan signed with the General Artists Corporation agency, who appointed Berle Adams as Jordan's agent. Adams secured an engagement at Chicago's Capitol Lounge, supporting The Mills Brothers, and this proved to be an important breakthrough for Jordan and the band. During this period bassist Henry Turner was sacked and replaced by Dallas Bartley. This was followed by another important engagement at the Fox Head Tavern in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Working in the looser environment of Cedar Rapids, away from the main centres, the band was able to develop the novelty aspect of their repertoire and performance. Jordan later identified his stint at the Fox Head Tavern as the turning point in his career, and it was also while there that he found several songs that became early hits including "If It's Love You Want, Baby", "Ration Blues" and "Inflation Blues". The Mills Brothers were an American jazz and pop vocal group of the 20th century. ... Cedar Rapids is the name of some places in the United States of America: Cedar Rapids, Iowa Cedar Rapids, Nebraska This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...


In April 1941 Decca launched the Sepia Series, a 35-cent line that featured artists who were considered to have the "crossover potetntial" to sell in both the black and white markets, and Jordan's band was transferred from Decca's "race" label to the Sepia Series. alongside The Delta Rhythm Boys, the Nat King Cole Trio, Buddy Johnson and the Jay McShann Band. For other uses, see King Cole (disambiguation). ... James Columbus (Jay or Hootie) McShann (born in 1909 or January 12, 1916) is an American blues and Swing pianist, bandleader, and singer. ...


By the time the group returned to New York in late 1941, the lineup had changed to Jordan, Bartley, Martin, trumpeter Eddie Roane and pianist Arnold Thomas. Recording dates in November 1941 produced another early Jordan classic, "Knock Me A Kiss", which became a significant jukebox seller, although it did not make the charts. However Roy Eldridge subsequently recorded a version, backed by the Gene Krupa band, which became a hit in June 1942, almost a year after the Jordan recording came out; it was also covered by Jimmie Lunceford. Roy David Eldridge (January 30, 1911 – February 6, 1989) was a jazz trumpet player in the Swing era. ... Gene Krupa Gene Krupa (January 15, 1909 – October 16, 1973) was a famous and influential Polish-American jazz and big band drummer, known for his highly energetic and flamboyant style. ... James Melvin Jimmie Lunceford (June 6, 1902–July 12, 1947) was an American jazz alto saxophonist and bandleader of the swing era. ...


These sessions also produced Jordan's first big-selling record, "I'm Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town", originally recorded by Casey Bill Weldon in 1936, although again it did not make the charts. It too was covered by Lunceford, in 1942, whose version reached #12 on the pop charts, and it was also covered by Big Bill Broonzy and Jimmy Rushing. Big Bill Broonzy (1893 or 1898-1958) was a prolific United States composer, recorder and performer of blues songs. ... James Andrew (Jimmy) Rushing (August 26, 1901/02/03 - June 8, 1972) was an American blues singer from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. ...


Sessions in July 1942 produced nine prime sides, allowing Decca to stockpile Jordan's recordings as a hedge against the American Federation of Musicians' recording ban. Declared the same month, it led to Jordan's enforced absence from the studio for the next year and it also (regrettably) prevented many seminal bebop performers from recording during one of the most crucial years of the genre's history. It had been imposed in order to secure royalty payments for union musicians for each record sold. The American Federation of Musicians (AFM) is a labor union of professional musicians in the United States and Canada. ...


"I'm Gonna Leave You on the Outskirts of Town" was an "answer record" to Jordan's earlier "I'm Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town," but it became Jordan's first major chart hit, reaching #2 on Billboard's Harlem Hit Parade. His next side, "What's The Use of Gettin' Sober (When You're Gonna Get Drunk Again)" became Jordan's first #1 hit, reaching the top of the Harlem Hit Parade in December 1942. A subsequent side, "The Chicks I Pick Are Slender, Tender and Fine" reached #10 in January 1943. An example of a Billboard Magazine. ...


Their next major side, the comical call-and response number "Five Guys Named Moe" was one of the first recordings to solidify the fast-paced, swinging R&B style that became the Jordan trademark and it struck a chord with audiences, reaching #3 on the race charts in September 1943. The song was later taken as the title of a long-running stage show that paid tribute to Jordan and his music. The more conventional "That'll Just About Knock Me Out" also fared well, reaching #8 on the race charts and giving Jordan his fifth hit from the Decemebr 1942 sessions.


In late 1942, just before the U.S. entered World War II, Jordan and his band relocated to Los Angeles, working at major venues there and in San Diego. While in L.A., Jordan began making "soundies, the earliest precursors of the modern music video genre, and he also appeared on many Jubilee radio shows and a series of programs made for the Armed Forces Radio for distribution to American troops overseas. Combatants Allies: Poland, British Commonwealth, France/Free France, Soviet Union, United States, China, and others Axis Powers: Germany, Italy, Japan, and others Casualties Military dead: 17 million Civilian dead: 33 million Total dead: 50 million Military dead: 8 million Civilian dead: 4 million Total dead: 12 million World War II... This article is about the largest city in California. ... San Diego County in the Southwest corner of California. ... Soundies were an early version of music videos. ... A music video (also promo) is a short film or video that accompanies a complete piece of music, most commonly a song. ... American Forces Network, or AFN - the acronym that its most commonly known as, is the brand name used by the United States Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) for its networks worldwide. ...


Decca was one of the first labels to reach an agreement with the Musicians' Union and Jordan returned to recording in October 1943. At this session they recorded "Ration Blues", which dated from their Fox Head Tavern days, but which had become newly timely with the imposition of wartime rationing. It became Jordan's first crossover hit, charting on both the white and black pop charts. It was also a huge hit on the Harlem Hit Parade, where it spent six weeks at #1 and stayed in the Top Ten for a remarkable 21 weeks, and it reached #11 in the general "best-sellers" chart.


The Forties

In the 1940s, Jordan released dozens of hit songs, including the swinging "Saturday Night Fish Fry" (one of the earliest and most powerful contenders for the title of "First rock and roll record"), "Blue Light Boogie", the comic classic "Ain't Nobody Here but Us Chickens", "Buzz Me," "Ain't That Just Like a Woman", and the multi-million seller "Choo Choo Ch'Boogie". // Events and trends World War II was a truly global conflict with many facets: immense human suffering, fierce indoctrination, and the use of new, extremely devastating weapons such as the atomic bomb. ... There are many candidates for the title of the first Rock and Roll record. ...


One of his biggest hits was "Caldonia", with its energetic screaming punchline, banged out by the whole band, "Caldonia! Caldonia! What makes your big head so hard?" After Jordan's success with it, the song was also recorded by Woody Herman in a famous modern arrangement, including a unison chorus by five trumpets. However, many of Jordan's biggest R&B hits were inimitable enough that there were no hit cover versions, a rarity in an era where poppish "black" records were rerecorded by white artists, and where many popular songs were released in multiple competing versions. Woodrow Charles Herman (May 16, 1913–October 29, 1987), better known as Woody Herman, was an American jazz clarinetist, alto and soprano saxophonist, singer, and Big band leader. ... Trumpeter redirects to here. ...


Jordan's raucous recordings were also notable for their use of fantastical narrative. This is perhaps best exemplified on the freewheeling party adventure "Saturday Night Fish Fry", the two-part 1950 hit that was split across both sides of a 78. It is arguably one of the earliest American recordings to include all the basic elements of the classic rock'n'roll genre (obviously exerting a direct influence on the subsequent work of Bill Haley) and it is certainly one of the first songs in popular music to use the word "rocking" in the chorus and to prominently feature a distorted electric guitar. Bill Haley, with his band, the Comets, was one of the first rock and roll acts to tour the United Kingdom. ...


Its distinctive comical adventure narrative is strikingly similar to the style later used by Bob Dylan in his classic "story" songs like "Bob Dylan's 115th Dream" and "Tombstone Blues". "Saturday Night Fish Fry" is also notable for the fact that it dispenses with the customary instrumental chorus introduction, but its most prominent feature is Jordan's rapid-fire, semi-spoken vocal. His delivery, clearly influenced by his experience as a saxophone soloist, de-emphasises the vocal melody in favour of highly syncopated phrasing and the percussive effects of alliteration and assonance, and it is arguably one of the earliest examples in American popular music of the vocal stylings that eventually evolved into rap. Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman on May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, musician and poet whose enduring contributions to American song are often compared, in fame and influence, to those of Stephen Foster, Irving Berlin, Woody Guthrie, and Hank Williams. ... Image:Argyle-arson. ... link titleAssonance is the repetition of vowel sounds within a short passage of verse or prose. ... Hip hop music (also referred to as rap or rap music) is a style of popular music. ...


Jordan's original songs joyously celebrated the ups and downs of African-American urban life and were infused with cheeky good humor and a driving musical energy that had a massive influence on the development of rock and roll. His music was popular with both blacks and whites, but lyrically, most of his songs were empahtically and uncompromisingly 'black' in their content and delivery. An African American is a United States citizen who is socially perceived as being at least part black, especially one with ancestors imported to America during slavery. ... Rock and roll (also spelled Rock n Roll, especially in its first decade), also called rock, is a form of popular music, usually featuring vocals (often with vocal harmony), electric guitars and a strong back beat; other instruments, such as the saxophone, are common in some styles. ...


Loaded with wry social commentary and coded references, they are also a treasury of 1930s/40s black hipster slang, and through his records Jordan was probably one of the main popularisers of the slang term "chick" (woman). Sexual themes often featured strongly and some sides -- notably the saucy double entredre of "Show Me How To Milk The Cow" -- were so risqué that even now it seems remarkable that they were issued at all.


Among Jordan's biggest fans were Little Richard and Chuck Berry, who clearly modelled his musical approach on Jordan's, changing the text from black life to teenage life, and subsituting cars and girls for Jordan's primary motifs of food, drink, money and girls. Jordan was also an obvious and substantial influence on British-based jump blues exponent Ray Ellington, who became famous through his appearances on The Goon Show. Little Richard on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, (issue RS 58, May 28, 1970) Little Richard (born Richard Wayne Penniman, December 5, 1932 in Macon, Georgia) is an American singer, songwriter, and pianist, and an early African-American pioneer of rock and roll. ... Charles Edward Anderson Chuck Berry (born October 18, 1926 in St. ... Ray Ellington Ray Ellington (born March 17, 1916, died February 28, 1985) was a singer. ... DVD of The Last Goon Show of All, aired by the BBC in 1972. ...


"King of the Jukeboxes"

The prime of Louis Jordan's recording career, 1942-1950, was a period of segregation on the radio. Despite this he was able to score the crossover #1 single "G.I. Jive"/"Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby?" in 1944, thanks in large part to his performance in the Universal film Follow the Boys. Two years later, MGM had its cartoon cat Tom lip-sync Jordan's recording of "Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby?" in the 1946 Tom & Jerry cartoon short Solid Serenade. 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1944 calendar). ... Universal Studios Theme Parks. ... MGM logo Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer or MGM, is a large media company, involved primarily in the production and distribution of cinema and television programs. ... 1946 (MCMXLVI) was a common year starting on Tuesday. ... Tom & Jerry title card from the 1940s. ... Solid Serenade is a one-reel animated cartoon short subject in the Tom and Jerry series, produced in Technicolor and released to theatres on August 31, 1946 by Metro-Goldwyn Mayer. ...


Jordan also placed another more than a dozen songs on the national charts. However, Louis Jordan And His Tympany Five dominated the 1940's R&B charts, or as they were known at the time, the "race" charts. In this period Jordan scored a staggering eighteen #1 singles and fifty-four Top Ten placings. To this day Louis Jordan still ranks as the top black recording artist of all time in terms of the total number of weeks at #1 -- his records scored an incredible total of 113 weeks in the #1 position (the runner-up being Stevie Wonder with 70 weeks). From July 1946 through May 1947, Jordan scored five consecutive #1 songs, holding the top slot for forty-four consecutive weeks. Stevie Wonder is the stage name of Stevland Morris (born May 13, 1950 as Stevland Judkins, later changed to Stevland Morris[1]), an American singer, songwriter, producer, musician, and social activist. ...


As well as his hit Decca sides, Jordan's popularity was further boosted by his prolific recordings for Armed Forces Radio and the V-Disc transcription program, which helped to broaden his popularity with white audiences. He also starred in filmed a series of short musicals, as well as making numerous "soundies" for his hit songs. The ancestor of the modern music video, "soundies" were short film clips designed for use in audio-visual jukeboxes. Jordan also had a cameo role in the Hollywood wartime musical Follow The Boys. American Forces Network, or AFN - the acronym that its most commonly known as, is the brand name used by the United States Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) for its networks worldwide. ... V-Disc was a record label produced during the World War II era by special arrangement between the United States government and various private U.S. record companies. ... Soundies were an early version of music videos. ... A music video (also promo) is a short film or video that accompanies a complete piece of music, most commonly a song. ...


Influence on Rock and Roll

Jordan is one of a number of seminal black performers who is often credited with, if not inventing rock and roll, certainly providing most of the building blocks for the music. He was the progenitor and foremost practictioner of the jump blues style, later to be followed by Roy Brown, Wynonie Harris, Tiny Bradshaw. etc. Jump blues was a direct precursor of rock 'n roll. Aside from the aforementioned influence on Chuck Berry and Little Richard, Jordan also strongly influenced Bill Haley & His Comets, whose producer, Milt Gabler, had also worked with Jordan and attempted to incorporate Jordan's stylings into Haley's music. Haley also honored Jordan by recording several of his songs, including "Choo Choo Ch'Boogie" (which Gabler co-wrote) and "Caldonia." Rock and roll (also spelled Rock n Roll, especially in its first decade), also called rock, is a form of popular music, usually featuring vocals (often with vocal harmony), electric guitars and a strong back beat; other instruments, such as the saxophone, are common in some styles. ... The jump blues is a type of blues music, characterized by a jazzy, saxophone (or other horn instruments) sound, driving rhythms and shouted vocals. ... There have been a number of notable people named Roy Brown: Roy Brown, the Canadian pilot who is credited with shooting down the Red Baron Roy Brown, a Blues musician who was a pioneer of Rock and Roll Roy Brown, a Puerto Rican musician Roy Brown, a famous clown most... Wynonie Mr. ... Myron (Tiny) Bradshaw (1905 – 1958) was an American jazz and rhythm and blues bandleader, singer, pianist, and drummer from Youngstown, Ohio. ... Charles Edward Anderson Chuck Berry (born October 18, 1926 in St. ... Little Richard on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, (issue RS 58, May 28, 1970) Little Richard (born Richard Wayne Penniman, December 5, 1932 in Macon, Georgia) is an American singer, songwriter, and pianist, and an early African-American pioneer of rock and roll. ... The original members of Bill Haley and His Comets, c. ... Milt Gabler (20 May 1911 - 20 July 2001) was a noted American record producer. ...


Jordan's vocal style was arguably an important precursor to rap. His 1947 track "Look Out (Sister)", entirely delivered as spoken rhyming couplets, can arguably be classified as one of the very first true "raps" in popular music. "Saturday Night Fish Fry" (1950) also features a rapid-fire, highly syncopated semi-spoken vocal delivery that is strongly reminiscent of the modern rap style. Popular West Coast rapper Snoop Dogg performing for the US Navy. ...


Decline of popularity

In 1951, Jordan put together a short-lived big band, at a time when big bands were on their way out ; this is considered the beginning of his commercial decline, even though he reverted to the Tympany Five format within a year. By the mid 1950s, Jordan's records were not selling as well as they used to and he began switching labels. At Mercury Records, Jordan managed to update his sound to full rock and roll with such non-charting songs as "Let the Good Times Roll" and "Salt Pork, West Virginia". After this, however, Jordan's popularity waned and he recorded only for a small following of enthusiasts. He seldom recorded at all after the early 1960s. Jordan died in Los Angeles, California from a heart attack on 4 February, 1975. 1951 (MCMLI) was a common year starting on Monday; see its calendar. ... A big band is a large musical ensemble that plays jazz music. ... The 1950s were a decade that spanned the years 1950 through 1959, although some sources say from 1951 through 1960. ... Mercury Records was a record label founded in Chicago, Illinois in 1945 by Irving Green, Berle Adams and Arthur Talmadge. ... The 1960s decade refers to the years from 1960 to 1969, inclusive. ... Nickname City of Angels Location Location within Los Angeles County in the state of California Government Country State County United States California Los Angeles County Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) Geographical characteristics Area  - City    - Land    - Water  - Urban 1,290. ...


During an interview late in life, Jordan made the controversial remark that rock and roll music was simply rhythm and blues music played by white performers, which contradicted the likes of Chuck Berry and Little Richard, both black artists playing what they considered to be rock and roll. Little Richard on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, (issue RS 58, May 28, 1970) Little Richard (born Richard Wayne Penniman, December 5, 1932 in Macon, Georgia) is an American singer, songwriter, and pianist, and an early African-American pioneer of rock and roll. ...


Although Jordan wrote (or co-wrote) a large proportion of the songs he performed, he did not benefit financially from many of them. Many of his self-penned biggest hits, including "Caledonia Boogie" were credited to Jordan's then wife Fleecie More as a means of avoiding an existing publishing arrangement. The marriage was acrimonious and shortlived -- on two occasions, More stabbed Jordan after domestic disputes, almost killing him the second time -- and after their divorce Fleecie retained ownership of the songs. However, Jordan was also apparently not above taking credit for songs written by others -- Jordan is credited as the co-writer of "Saturday Night Fish Fry", but Tympany Five pianist Bill Doggett later claimed that in fact he had written the song.


Tributes and collections

There are many collections currently available, so this only mentions some of the most notable.


The Broadway show, Five Guys Named Moe was devoted to Jordan's music and this title is given to both soundtrack (tribute) and original music collections. Broadway theatre is often considered the highest professional form of theatre in the United States. ...


The Bear Family label in Germany has released a comprehensive 9-CD collection of Jordan's work (Let the Good Times Roll: the Complete Decca Recordings 1938-1954).


The Proper Records label in the UK has also released a low priced 4-CD 102 track compilation (Jivin' With Jordan) that includes all of Jordan's seminal work from his Decca years.


Samples

  • Download sample of "Caldonia"

References

Joop Visser
liner notes for the 4-CD set Jivin' With Jordan
(Proper Records, PROPERBOX 47)


External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Louis Jordan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2853 words)
Louis Jordan was born in Brinkley, Arkansas, where his father was a local music teacher and bandleader.
Jordan's first band, drawn mainly from members of the Jesse Stone band, was originally a nine-piece, but he soon scaled it down to a sextet after landing a residency at the Elks Rendezvous club at 464 Lenox Avenue in Harlem.
Jordan's original songs joyously celebrated the ups and downs of African-American urban life and were infused with cheeky good humor and a driving musical energy that had a massive influence on the development of rock and roll.
Louis Jordan - definition of Louis Jordan in Encyclopedia (422 words)
Louis Jordan (July 8, 1908 - February 4, 1975) was an African-American jazz and rhythm & blues musician, and one of the few such to sell well to mainstream audiences in the post swing music era.
Louis Jordan was born in Brinkley, Arkansas; his father was a local music teacher and bandleader.
Jordan's recordings celebrated African American urban life and were infused with good humor and energy that had a great influence on the development of rock and roll; his music was popular with both fls and whites.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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