Friday, July 8, 2011

Louis Jordan, the Father of R&B, Is Born: July 8, 1908

Louis Jordan has been called “The Father of Rhythm & Blues” and “The King of the Jukebox”. Jordan is one of the top 1000 music makers of all time according to Dave’s Music Database. He’s been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and The Blues Foundation’s Hall of Fame. He received the Pioneer Award from the Rhythm & Blues Foundation.

As a songwriter, musician, and bandleader, he blended jazz, blues, and R&B into a sound that was popular with both black and white audiences. His music expressed a joyfulness and humor which significantly influenced the development of rock ‘n’ roll. WK He played alto sax with Chick Webb in the 1930s and also did comedy routines. During the 1940s, he assembled his own band and landed 50 songs on the R&B charts; 18 of them went to #1. Three of his songs – “Choo Choo Ch’Boogie” (1946), “Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens” (1946), and “Boogie Woogie Blue Plate” (1947) – rank in the top 10 of the all-time #1 R&B hits with 18, 17, and 14 weeks respectively.

“Is You Or Is You Ain’t Ma Baby” as performed by “Tom and Jerry”

On the pop charts, Jordan went to #1 with 1944’s “G.I. Jive”. He had seven other top ten pop hits and four songs which were million sellers. His songs “Is You Or Is You Ain’t Ma Baby” (1944) and “Caldonia Boogie (1945) are DMDB top 1000 songs of the 20th century. The latter is also in the Grammy Hall of Fame along with “Let the Good Times Roll” (1946) and the aforementioned “Choo Choo Ch’Boogie”. “Caldonia Boogie” and 1949’s “Saturday Night Fish Fry” also make the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s list of the Top 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll. The latter has even been called the first rock and roll song. WK

“Saturday Night Fish Fry”

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