Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
(b 8 July '08, Brinkley AR; d 4 Feb. '75, LA) Alto sax, singer, leader. Worked with Chick Webb '36-- 8; recorded for Decca from '39 as Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five, though the group was in fact larger. Enormously popular jump band genre was influential on R&B, hence rock'n'roll; crossed over to pop chart with 19 hits '44--9: 'G.I. Jive'/'Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby' sold a million '44 as did 'Choo Choo Ch'boogie' '46; other hits incl. 'My Baby Said Yes' '45 with Bing Crosby, 'Baby, It's Cold Outside' '49 with Ella Fitzgerald, 'Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens' and one of several covers of Jack McVea's 'Open The Door, Richard' '47. His own songs were often covered, from 'Caldonia' (Woody Herman, '45) and 'Saturday Night Fish Fry' (Pearl Bailey and Moms Mabley, '49) to 'Inflation Blues' (B. B. King, '83). Style of 'Reet, Petite And Gone', 'That Chick's Too Young To Fry' etc being revived many years later by young artists like Joe Jackson. Prod. by Milt Gabler, Jordan left Decca just before Gabler prod. Bill Haley's 'Rock Around The Clock'; Haley's simple party records reaped rewards that perhaps should have been Jordan's. One Guy Named Louis on Capitol compiled '54 Aladdin tracks; recorded for RCA subsidiary Vik '55--6 (compiled on Bear Family LP, Bluebird CD), Mercury '56--8 (on Bear Family LPs), with Chris Barber on Black Lion '62, for Ray Charles's Tangerine label '62--4; later on Pzazz '68 with Teddy Edwards, Blues Spectrum c'72--3 with Johnny and Shuggie Otis (also on Bulldog, Path‚), on Black and Blue/Classic Jazz in France '73; continued pleasing crowds until '74 heart attack. Other compilations on many labels; Let The Good Times Roll is a nine-CD set of the classic Decca stuff plus book on Bear Family. Broadway hit Five Guys Named Moe was based on his music; good biography Let The Good Times Roll '92 by John Chilton.