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Guide Talking to the Piano Player 2: Stars, Writers, and Bandleaders Remember

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The prime of Jordan's recording career, —, was a period of segregation on the radio. Despite this he had a crossover number 1 single, "G.

During this period Jordan again placed more than a dozen songs on the national charts. In this period Jordan had eighteen number 1 singles and fifty-four in the Top Ten. According to Joel Whitburn 's points-based analysis of Billboard chart placings, Jordan ranks fifth among the most successful artists over the period — Jordan's popularity was boosted not only by his hit Decca records but also by his prolific recordings for Armed Forces Radio and the V-Disc transcription program, which helped to make him as popular with whites as with blacks.

He also starred in a series of short musical films and made numerous " soundies " for his hit songs. These were in addition to his part in Follow the Boys. In , Jordan assembled a short-lived big band that included Pee Wee Moore and others, at a time when big bands were declining in popularity.


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This is considered the beginning of his commercial decline, even though he reverted to the Tympany Five format within a year. By the mids, Jordan's records were not selling as well as before, and he left Decca Records. The next label to sign Jordan was Aladdin Records , for which Jordan recorded 21 songs in early Nine singles were released from these sessions; three of the songs were not released. Speaking in , Barber recalled seeing Jordan in the early s at the Apollo Theater in New York, with the intention of bringing him to the UK to record there for the first time:.

It's a bit like an amateur guitar player from a back street who has just bought a Spanish guitar, working with Segovia. He didn't make you feel small, but he was just so perfect in what he did.

Louis Jordan

I still remember watching him singing, but he would accompany himself on the alto, and you were convinced he was playing the alto while he was singing. He got a very raw deal from history And yet really history has consigned him to just being a comedy vocal thing with a bit of rock and roll, and the first alto During an interview late in life, Jordan made the controversial remark that rock and roll was simply rhythm and blues played by white performers. The link between Jordan's music and rock and roll was later underscored by others, notably Chuck Berry , who acknowledged on The Tonight Show in that Jordan was his main inspiration; this led to Jordan's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Jordan wrote or co-wrote a large proportion of the songs he performed, but did not benefit financially from many of them. Many of the hit songs he wrote, including " Caldonia ", were credited to his wife Fleecie Moore as a means of avoiding an existing publishing arrangement. Their marriage was acrimonious and short-lived.

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On two occasions, Moore stabbed Jordan after domestic disputes, almost killing him the second time. After their divorce she retained ownership of the songs. However, Jordan may have taken credit for some songs written by others—he is credited as the co-writer of " Saturday Night Fish Fry ", but the Tympany Five pianist Bill Doggett later claimed that in fact he had written the song. In addition to singing in many films and appearing in mainstream films such as Meet Miss Bobby Sox and Follow the Boys , Jordan starred in several race films: His prolific use of film as a promotional vehicle broke new ground, garnering admiration from the trade press, including Billboard , which gushed, "The movies have helped the one-nighters, which have also been helped by recordings, which have also helped the movies, which in turn have become more profitable.

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It's a delicious circle, and other bands are now exploring the possibilities. Jordan was married five times. His first wife was named Julia or Julie. By he was married to Ida Fields, a Texas singer and dancer. He and Fields divorced. In he married his childhood sweetheart, Fleecie Moore; they were later divorced. He married Vicky Hayes, a dancer, in ; they separated in He married Martha Weaver, a singer and dancer, in Jordan died of a heart attack on February 4, , in Los Angeles. Olive Cemetery in St. Louis , Missouri , the hometown of his wife Martha.

Jordan was the greatest postwar exponent of the jump blues style, one of the prototypes of rock and roll, and he paved the way for Roy Brown , Wynonie Harris , Tiny Bradshaw and others. Among Jordan's biggest fans were Berry and Little Richard. Berry's iconic opening riff on " Johnny B. Goode " bears a striking similarity to the intro played by the guitarist Carl Hogan on the hit " Ain't That Just Like a Woman "; Berry has acknowledged the debt in interviews [21] [22] [23] Jordan was also an obvious and substantial influence on the British-based jump blues exponent Ray Ellington , who became famous through his appearances on The Goon Show.

James Brown has also specifically cited Jordan as a major influence because of his multifaceted talent. He could sing, he could dance, he could play, he could act. He could do it all. Martin Chilton of The Telegraph, February 4, , has suggested Jordan's vocal style may have been an important precursor of rap. His sister tracks, "Beware Brother Beware " and "Look Out Sister ", entirely delivered as spoken rhyming couplets, can arguably be classified as one of the first true "raps" in popular music. Whether spotlighting the talents of entertainment icons or documenting changing social attitudes and expectations, these posters now serve a greater purpose than publicity and promotion.

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They are invaluable pieces of history, preserving memories of cultural phenomena that otherwise might have been forgotten. The stamp pane was designed by Carl Herrman of Carlsbad, California. The Broadway show Five Guys Named Moe was devoted to Jordan's music, and this title was given to both the soundtrack tribute album and original music collections. Volume 1 , released on March 16, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. June Learn how and when to remove this template message. See "Early solo career", below. Archived from the original on July 21, Retrieved September 7, Archived from the original on October 16, Liner notes for the album Rock 'n' Roll.

Liner notes for the boxed set Jivin' with Jordan , p. Retrieved April 27, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Flowers in the Dustbin: The Rise of Rock and Roll, — Written in My Soul: Conversations with Rock's Great Songwriters. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — Class of Retrieved from " https: Webarchive template wayback links CS1: Views Read Edit View history. In other projects Wikimedia Commons. This page was last edited on 7 September , at By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Jordan in New York, about July Alto , tenor and baritone saxophones , piano, clarinet , vocals.

While some sources claim birth dates back to , and a June 5 date, this was likely an error made by his sister Louvina in a later interview, when she appears to have quoted her own birth information. Tony did not appear in the Federal census unlike his older sisters. The Federal census further reinforces the year and month of birth as October , [3] and his draft record shows a birth date of October 25, although the year reads Tony showed musical talents at a young age.


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  4. At about the age of 10 he reportedly constructed a type of crude but working and properly tuned harpsichord out of junk in his back yard, since his family lacked the money to buy or rent a piano. Jackson got his first musical job at age 13, [6] when he began playing piano during off hours at a Tonk run by bandleader Adam Olivier. By age 15 was already considered by many musicians the best pianist in town.

    Hank Jones

    Jackson became the most popular and sought after entertainer in Storyville. He was said to be able to remember and play any tune he had heard once, and was hardly ever stumped by obscure requests. He was also "openly, almost defiantly homosexual. His singing voice was also exceptional, and he was said to be able to sing operatic parts from baritone to soprano range. Fellow musicians and singers were universal in their praise of Jackson, most calling him "the greatest", and even the far-from-modest Jelly Roll Morton ranked Jackson as the only musician better than Morton himself.

    Clarence Williams noted "He was great because he was original in all his improvisations. We all copied him. Jackson moved to Chicago hoping to have more of an influence on his career. One of the few tunes published with Jackson's name on it, " Pretty Baby " came out in , although he was remembered performing the song before he left New Orleans and may have written it in