SPOTLIGHT ON LOUIS JORDAN AND HIS TYMPANY FIVE
PART THREE (THE 1950s)
"Blue Light Boogie - Part One"/
"I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby"/
"Oil Well, Texas"
"Wake Up, Jacob"
"Dad Gum Ya Hide, Boy"
"Time Is A Passin'"
"It's Been Said"
(Includes Audio For Twenty-Two Songs)
The 1930s.... (The 1930s have not been covered in this sequence of "Louis Jordan" Records of the Week. So, here, before we get into the 1950s, is a specific section for that time period.)
Above: This is a circa 1937 photo of Chick Webb And His Orchestra. Chick is standing in the middle. Ella Fitzgerald, not shown in the photo, was the main singer with the orchestra. In the back row, playing trumpet, is Taft Jordan (no relation to Louis), who also performed as a singer for the orchestra. At front far right, kneeling, is Charlie Linton, who was strickly a vocalist. Louis Jordan, kneeling with saxophone, was another featured singer. Jordan broke away from Webb to form his own band in 1938.
Above: (Left) New York Age 4/10/37; (Middle Left) Pittsburgh Post Gazette 4/21/37; (Middle Right) Daily Mail [Hagerstown, MD] 7/8/37; (Right) Tampa Times 8/13/38.
At Left: (Top) Philadelphia Inquirer 12/4/35; (Bottom) Pittsburgh Courier 6/2/34.
EXCERPT FROM BOOK "THE LATER SWING ERA" by LAWRENCE McCLELLAN:
....(Louis Jordan) toured with the Rabbit Foot Minstrel's band led by his father. At age fifteen, Louis played with the Ruby Williams Quintet in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and worked with other regional bands before relocating to Philadelphia to work with Charlie Gaines in 1933. After two years with Gaines, he moved to New York and worked briefly with drummer Kaiser Marshall. Jordan joined violinist Leroy Smith’s orchestra for about a year and gained invaluable experience as an instrumentalist and vocalist.
He later played with Chick Webb in 1936 where he had the opportunity to develop his instrumental and vocal skills further and gain some national exposure. Jordan formed his own small group in 1938 and opened at the Elks' Rendezvous Club in New York City for a clientele that preferred entertainment instead of dance music. The group was first named Louis Jordan and His Elks' Rendezvous Band.
Jordan signed a recording contract with Decca, and the first two sides he recorded for the label were released under the band’s original name. Subsequent records, however, carried the name of the Tympany Five....
NEW YORK AGE, SEPTEMBER 4, 1937: CHICK WEBB'S BAND AT THE APOLLO NEXT
America's No. 1 swing band will hold sway at the Apollo next week. Chick Webb and his band will inaugurate the new theatrical season with a new musical offering and a new review which have all the earmarks of setting a new standard for pleasing entertainment. Since their recent appearance on Broadway, gallons and gallons of ink have been spilled by writers raving over the unique performance of Chick Webb's organization.
Chick has been hailed as the greatest of all swing drummers. Ella Fitzgerald has received unstinted praise as the foremost swing singer. Taft Jordan has been praised for his original songs, his fine playing, and his Delightful Dancing. Charlie Linton's sweet voice has also drawn favorable comment. With all these outstanding members, it is small wonder That Chick Webb's band promises to forge to the very front of all sepia bands.
PITTSBURGH COURIER, SEPTEMBER 25, 1937: CHICK AND ELLA HIT AT LOEW'S
NEW YORK CITYChick Webb and Ella Fitzgerald whom the theater and dance public have come to look upon as God and Goddess of Swing, provide the headline attraction of the Loew's State second "Fall Festival" vaudeville program the current week. This is Webb's second appearance at the Broadway Playhouse with his famous Savoy Swing Orchestra in less than a month, which in itself is a new kind of record even for Times Square. The swing master appeared there just a few weeks ago, scoring triumphantly and by popular demand the management was forced to bring him back.
The king of the drum, as Webb is known, again offers a large group of well-known sepia performers, chief of whom is Ella Fitzgerald, who's melodies have resulted in her being known as the nation's "First Lady Of Swing". Among Webb's other entertainers are Miles and Smiles, Bardou Ali, Louis Jordan, and Charles Linton.
HARTFORD COURANT, SEPTEMBER 16, 1938: DRUMMER CHICK WEBB COMES TO STATE SUNDAY
Swing maybe comparatively new to Johnny Q. public, but it's an old story to drummer Chick Webb, who brings his hot Savoy Swing Band and Ella Fitzgerald to the State Theater stage for a solid week of swing beginning Sunday. For the past 12 years Chick Webb, who is still in his twenties, has been swinging out for those who know their swing and want it hot. Swinging for the Harlem Nights, who were first to bring swing into a recognized position in the music world.
Ever since he was a boy Chick Webb has been beating those wild throbbing rhythms on his drumsfirst for his own pleasure on a $10 drum he earned by selling newspapersand within the past few years for those enthusiastic crowds who jam into Harlem's Savoy Ballroom nightly, applauding and stomping to Chick Webb's music. Then with swing sweeping the country like a giant tidal wave, Chick played theaters and dance halls and hotels and college promsin short, he beat it out for the entire country.
LISTEN (Using Windows Media Player):
1. "There's Frost On The Moon" - Chick Webb And His Orchestra (Vocal By The Webb Trio) - Brunswick A 81152 A - 1937. [Recorded on 1/15/37]
2. "Love Marches On" - Chick Webb And His Orchestra (Vocal By Louis Jordan) - Brunswick A 81152 B - 1937. [Recorded in 1/14/37]
3. "Wake Up And Live" - Chick Webb And His Orchestra (Vocal By The Webb Trio) - Decca 1213 A - 1937. [Recorded 3/24/37]
4. "But I'll Be Back" - Louis Jordan And His Tympany Five (Vocal By Louis Jordan) - Decca 7675 B - 1939.
ALL FOUR SONGS played in sequence.
Above: The Webb Trio consisted of Ella Fitzgerald (Left & Middle), Louis Jordan (Left & Right), and Charlie Linton.
Above: Louis Jordan And His Tympany Five. In back are (L-R) Jimmy Peterson [piano], Charles Rice [drums], Bob Mitchell [trumpet], Louis Jordan [sax], Bert Payne [guitar], and Bob Bushnell [stand-up bass]. In front are singers/dancers (L-R) Elaine Robinson and Ann Bailey.
Above: Louis Jordan And His Tympany Five.
Above: (Top-Bottom) Elaine Robinson And Ann Bailey, singers/dancers in Jordan's contingent.
CAPTION: "To Chas Silvia Best Wishes from the Girls Louis Jordan 1/31/53"
Above Left: GULF INFORMER, MAY 10, 1952:
Louis Jordan....has added two lovely ladies to his group. They are Elaine Robinson, left, and Ann Bailey. Both girls sing and dance in support of their talented and famous leader. Louis Jordan and his show will appear at the Howard Theater in Washington, D.C. May 2 to 8. This will be followed by a week at the Earle Theater in Philadelphia commencing May 9, after which the dynamic "Mr. Personality" will show his new act to audiences of the Apollo Theater in Harlem.
Above Right: VANCOUVER SUN, JUNE 21, 1952:
LOUIS JORDAN and his famous orchestra and entertainers will appear in a concert and dance, Tuesday evening at the Auditorium. Shown above is Mr. Jordan with Elaine Robinson (left) and Ann Bailey, members of the company....
Above Left: THE CASH BOX, DECEMBER 30, 1950: LOUIS JORDAN SIGNS NEW CONTRACT
NEW YORKLouis Jordan is pictured signing his new three year contract for Decca. This starts his thirteenth year at the diskery. Louis's latest release is "Lemonade" backed up with "Chartreuse." Shown at the signing are, standing, Milt Gabler, Decca Recording Director, and Milton Rackmil, President. Seated are Louis Jordan and David Kapp, Vice President.
Above Middle: INDIANAPOLIS NEWS, JUNE 14, 1951: LOUIS JORDAN BAND COMING TO MURAT
Louis Jordan and his orchestra will play at the Murat June 24 at 8:30 p.m.
Above Right: This picture is from the MIAMI NEWS, DECEMBER 30, 1953 with caption "Louis Jordan Beachcomber Maestro".
Above: FROM THE COVER OF THE CASH BOX, APRIL 3, 1954.
CAPTION: "Louis Jordan and Eddie Mesner of Aladdin Records seem mighty pleased as they point to Louis' latest disk, 'I'll Die Happy' backed with 'Oooo Wee' [sp 'Ooo Wee']. The great saxophonist recently signed an exclusive recording deal with Aladdin which adds to the diskery's strong galaxy of stars. Jordan has long been one of the biggest record sellers and Aladdin won out in signing him after outbidding many other firms."
Far Left: Label image for Aladdin 3227, the second record by Louis Jordan on the Aladdin label. Louis Jordan had nine records on the Aladdin label (1954-1955).
Direct Left: Clipping from The Cash Box dated 4/3/54.
LISTEN (Using Windows Media Player):
"Ooo Wee" - Louis Jordan And His Tympany Five - Aladdin 3227 - 1954.
Above: Aladdin Records clipping from The Cash Box dated 7/3/54.
Far Left: Label image for Aladdin 3243, the third record by Louis Jordan on the Aladdin label.
Direct Left: Clipping from The Cash Box dated 6/5/54.
The Cash Box Rhythm 'N Blues Review (5/29/54): LOUIS JORDAN ALADDIN 3243.... A Dollar Down (B+)
Louis is grabbed by one of the "dollar down and a dollar now and then" stores and he happily buys everything in sight. Then comes the rude awakening. He finds he has to keep up the payments and spends his time ducking the collectors. Louis is his effervescent self on this side as he shouts out his difficulties. Appealing wax for his fans.
(NOTE: A B+ rating was considered "excellent".)
The Billboard Review Of New R&B Records (5/29/54): LOUIS JORDAN ALADDIN 3243.... A Dollar Down (76)
The material here tells the story of the guy trapped by the easy pay plans. In all, it's a rocking piece of material which he and the group do smartly. Should interest Jordan's large audience and could pull juke loot.
(NOTE: A ratings range of 70-79 was considered "good".)
LISTEN (Using Windows Media Player): "A Dollar Down" - Louis Jordan And His Tympany Five - Aladdin 3243 - 1954.
Above: Posters: (Left) From possibly circa 1952, with a listing of all the members of Jordan's band. Jordan And His Tympany Five did play the Black Hawk June 22 to July 5 in 1955, followed by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. However, they had left Decca Records and were under contract with Aladdin in June 1955; (Right) From 1953, Louis Jordan again with Ella Fitzgerald on the bill.
Above: Louis Jordan And His Tympany Five. At right, a later photo of the group.
Above: "X" Records advertisement from The Cash Box dated 11/26/55. Louis Jordan And His Tympany Five had four records on RCA Victor's "X" label (1955-1956).
At Right: 45 RPM label image of "X" 0182, released in 1955. Note the spelling of "Tympani", rather than Jordan's usual "Tympany".
The Billboard Review (12/10/55):LOUIS JORDAN "X" 182....
Chicken Back (66) Jordan and his gang rouse a few laughs with the humorous lyrics of this issue. A brisk dance beat is no small additional asset.
(NOTE: A ratings range of 60-69 was considered "satisfactory".)
LISTEN (Using Windows Media Player):
"Chicken Back" - Louis Jordan And His Tympani Five - "X" 0182 - 1955.
Above: Two personal life photos: (Left) Louis Jordan with wife, Fleecie Moore, and Peacock Records' founder Don Robey, in Houston in 1950; (Right) With his last wife, Martha Weaver, whom he married in 1966. Jordan died in 1975.
Above Left: TAMPA TIMES, FEBRUARY 1, 1956: LOUIS JORDAN TO PLAY FOR LOCAL DANCE FANS SATURDAY
.... from left, James Kirkwood, bass; Bobby Mitchell, trumpet; Bill Payne, guitar; Carl Laine, drums; Louis Jordan, leader and alto saxman; J.S. Jay, electric guitar; and Charlie Hastings, tenor sax.
Above Right: ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL, SEPTEMBER 8, 1957.
Above Left: TAMPA TIMES, JANUARY 18, 1958.
Above Right: SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY SUN, APRIL 19, 1958:
SEPIA SAXMANLouis Jordan's infectious vocal delivery and exuberant sax stylings are featured on "Man We're Wailin'" (Mercury MG-20331) assisted by the swinging beat of his Tympany Five. Added attraction is the solid background provided by Hammond organist Jackie Davis.
The personnel on the "Man We're Wailin'" album are Louis Jordan, alto sax, vocals; Dorothy Smith, vocals; Jackie Davis, Hammond organ; Austin Powell, tenor sax; Irving Ashby, guitar; Billy Hodnott, bass; and Marvin Oliver, drums.
LISTEN (Using Windows Media Player).... From the "Man, We're Wailin'" album:
"Saturday Night Fish Fry" - Louis Jordan And His Brilliant Tympany Five - Mercury GG 20331 - 1958.
The Billboard Review Of New Popular Albums (3/17/58): LOUIS JORDAN AND HIS BRILLIANT TYMPANY FIVE Mercury MG 20331.... Man, We're Wailin' (**)
Jordan and company, which includes a swinging Jackie Davis on Hammond organ plus a highly talented canary named Dorothy Smith, pound out a lot of rhythm and sound on this set....
(NOTE: A rating of ** was "for dealers who have the money and extra space".)
ARTICLES AND BLURBS....
INDIANAPOLIS RECORDER, DECEMBER 23, 1950: LOUIS JORDAN SIGNS ANEW WITH DECCA
NEW YORKShowman extraordinary Louis Jordan and his now famous rambling Tympany Five entered into another three-year exclusive pact with Decca recording company here last week. The signing of the contracts marked the beginning of Jordan's 13th year of association with Decca, the only label on which he has appeared. It was shortly after the formation of his group that Jordan leaped to fame with his version of "I'm Gonna Move On The Outskirts Of Town". Followed in succession such items as "Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby", "Knock Me A Kiss", "G.I. Jive", "Caldonia" and "Choo Choo Ch'Boogie, the latter, his all-time best seller. Current releases by Jordan are his pairing with Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong of "Life Is So Peculiar", "You Rascal You", "Lemonade", and "Chartreuse".
LISTEN (Using Windows Media Player): "Choo Choo Ch'Boogie" - Louis Jordan And His Tympany Five - Decca 23610 B - 1946.
INDIANAPOLIS RECORDER, SEPTEMBER 1, 1951: LOUIS JORDAN BAND HAS TWO NEW VOCLISTS
NEW ORLEANSLouis Jordan, who's celebrated Tympany Five has grown into a 14-piece orchestra which Jazz critics like Leonard Feather and John Hammond consider one of the most exciting bands to come along in the past 15 years, will be seen in this city for the first time Sept. 2 for a one-night dance engagement. Jordan will introduce his two new vocalist along with his brand-new crew.
Valli Ford, his female singer, is a Pittsburgh girl who has been stirring thousands during the current Jordan tour with her smooth interpretations of ballads and blues. She is featured in ballads like "Set 'Em Up", a number she recorded last year with Duke Ellington's orchestra. Miss Ford was vocalist with the Duke Ellington band for five months in 1949. She has also sung with the Mercer Ellington band. Louis Jordan first heard her last June in Sewickley, Pa., where he was playing a one nighter. He offered her the vocalist spot with his band and she toured with the Jordan aggregation for a 21-day period in the South and West.
PITTSBURGH COURIER, APRIL 12, 1952: LOUIS JORDAN'S NEW ORK. TOPS WARNER STAGE BILL
NEW YORKAfter a four-month absence from the nation's theaters, clubs and ballrooms, Louis Jordan returns to Broadway to headline the stage show at the Warner Theater. Jordan, a little heavier, but much healthier than when he announced an "indefinite retirement" last December, is fronting a bouncing five-piece band reminiscent of the world-famous Tympany Five.
The new Louis Jordan band consists of Jimmy Peterson on piano, Bert Payne on guitar, Bob Bushnell on bass, Charles Rice on drums, and Bob Mitchell on trumpet. Jordan revealed that his return to the smaller combination after disbanding his fourten-piece orchestra was due to public insistence. Two new vocalist are being presented by Jordan at the Warner Theater, Ann Bailey and Elaine Robinson, widow of the late famed Bill "Bojangles" Robinson.
INDIANAPOLIS RECORDER, SEPTEMBER 27, 1952: JORDAN'S BAND AT TOMLINSON
Elaine Robinson is featured vocalist
Louis Jordanbandleader, singer, instrumentalist, arranger, song- writer, radio, movie, and recording star, brings his famous orchestra to Tomlinson Hall on Friday night, September 26th, for a one-night dance engagement. Featured with the man who sings the blues is the new Jordan thrush, Elaine Robinson, winsome widow of the late Bill Robinson, and the girl who's presently captivating audiences throughout the country with her novelty singing and dancing.
INDIANAPOLIS RECORDER, JUNE 27, 1953: MR. JORDAN WILL FEATURE HIS LATEST SONGS AT SOUTHSIDE ARMORY
Louis Jordanbandleader, singer, instrumentalist, arranger, song-writer, radio, movie, and recording star, brings his famous orchestra to the Southside Armory on Sunday night, June 28th. A capacity crowd is expected. A popular entertainer with a dynamic personality, Jordan can shout the blues with the best of them or deliver a gossamer ballad straight from the heart. Today, his astute knowledge of the public's taste, together with his uncanny ability to combine singing and clowning with the ultimate in modern music, has made him a favorite in clubs, ballrooms, and theaters throughout the country.
A songwriter of considerable talent, Louis wrote a fast-selling sequel to the tune that shoved him into the big time, called "I'm Going To Leave You On The Outskirts Of Town", as well as the popular "Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby" and "Let The Good Times Roll". The Jordan crew appeared here recently with a musical package which included Ella Fitzgerald and Frankie Laine, and hundreds of fans were unable to see the great maestro, but the spacious Armory will provide ample space for all Jordan followers....
LISTEN (Using Windows Media Player): "Let The Good Times Roll" - Louis Jordan And His Tympany Five - Decca 23741 A - 1946.
JET MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 17, 1953: LOUIS JORDAN BAND HAS TWO NEW VOCLISTS
Louis Jordan, who has been an exclusive recording artist of the Decca Recording Company for 17 years, signed a contract with Aladdin records in New York. Jordan, who made his first Decca record as a saxophonist with the late Chick Webb's band in 1936, remained with the company when he formed his own band in 1938.
INDIANAPOLIS RECORDER, JANUARY 23, 1954: BEST SHAPE EVER
Maestro Louis Jordan, who has been battling illness for over a year, started the new year off with a bang by signing a new record contract with Aladdin Music. The energetic bandsman set a record by cutting 16 sides in three hectic days. He arrived in New York from Miami last week just for the recording sessions, then returned to open at the fabulous Beachcomber on January 12.
NEW YORK AGE, APRIL 17, 1954: LOUIS JORDAN HEADING APOLLO EASTER REVUE
The man regarded as one of the all-time great entertainers on today's stage... Louis Jordan, with his great band, heads the gala in-person Easter Revue at the 125th St. Apollo Theater beginning a one-week engagement Friday, April 16th. For years now, Louis Jordan has been one of the stage's top notch performers, he is still just that. There seems nothing which this great entertainer can't do. A master musician, undisputed king of showman, a composer, singer, alto saxophonist, master of ceremonies, comic... name all the things which make up a showman and Louis Jordan possesses them in rare abundance.
OWENSBORO MESSENGER, OCTOBER 31, 1954: LOUIS JORDAN'S BAND TO PLAY AT SPORTCENTER DANCE ELECTION NIGHT
Louis Jordan, the blues-shouting saxophonist, will bring his orchestra to the Sportscenter for a colored dance on election night, this Tuesday. Jordan has sold more than 15 million records for Decca and each of his discs has sold over the half-million mark, making him that company's number one recording artist. He has won numerous polls, placing first 66 times in 78 weeks in a recent Billboard record popularity poll. Jordan's first recording success came in 1940 when jukeboxes from Long Island Sound to the Golden Gate we're grinding out "I'm Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town", the tune that placed him in the big time.
PITTSBURGH COURIER, OCTOBER 13, 1956: MERCURY INKS LOUIS JORDAN
HOLLYWOODLouis Jordan and his Tympany Five have signed a long-term recording contract with Mercury label and the first session is set for next week in New York City. The initial record release will be in November. Announcement of the new contract was made by Ben C. Waller, Jordan's personal manager. Waller negotiated the deal with Mercury. "A careful selection of tunes for Louie plus proper exploitation will definitely result in his regaining his place as one of the top recording stars", Waller said.
NEW YORK AGE, APRIL 20, 1957: LOUIS JORDAN RETURNS TO APOLLO
Louis Jordan and his orchestra will headline a sparkling Easter review at the Apollo Theater beginning Friday. A splendid musician, competent composer, dancer, and mimic, Jordan, one of the country's finest entertainers, is the backbone of the review. His Tympany Five, which includes Wild Bull Moose, organist Jackie Davis, and the lovely Dottie Smith, an excellent singer, produces sweet and hot music.
RENO GAZETTE JOURNAL, AUGUST 28, 1959: LOUIS JORDAN CONTINUES AS "BIG NOISE" AT GOLDEN
Continuing his show with a rockin' beat, before capacity audiences at every performance in the Mardi Gras Show Lounge, is everybody's favorite, Mr. Personality himself, Louis Jordan. Louis proves to the listeners that the best way to sell a song is to put yourself into it, as he does while projecting his personality over the footlights to those in the audience. His distinctive Jordan stylings prove that people never lose interest in the true artist as he continues to dazzle his audience with the same tunes which made his name synonymous with the jive and be-bop eras which swept the country in the 40's.
Backing Mr. Personality in the swinging and singing is vocalist Dottie Smith. Miss Smith holds forth with classic jazz arrangements and on several numbers does duets in harmony with Jordan. Included in the vocals is Pete Gentry, an able addition to the Tympany Five.
JET MAGAZINE, 1975: BANDLEADER JORDAN DIES OF HEART ATTACK AT 66
Louis Jordan's music had a double-edged satisfaction: it soothed and it comically advised. For more than 42 years, and particularly when 78 r.p.m. records were the only wax in town, Jordan's wailing saxophone moaned the blues. His patented phrase was that he would keep "playing until the big man calls me". That call was made last week as the band leader who brought the Tympany Five combo to fame, died of a heart attack in his Los Angeles home at age 66.
Although his music in recent years was confined primarily to the West Coast, Jordan kept his vow to continue performing and recently released an album entitled "Oldies But Goodies". But vintage Louis Jordan was his one million-selling records recorded during the war years: "Caldonia", "Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby", "Beware", "Saturday Night Fish Fry", and his two million seller "Choo Choo Ch'Boogie".
Born in Brinkley, Arkansas, Jordan began his musical career under his father's tutelage. He got his first professional job with Ruby Williams and her band in Hot Springs back in 1927. It was not long after that when it became clear that Jordan's music would be immortal.
EXTRA AUDIO (Windows Media Player):
[Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
ABOVE LEFT: Decca 27200 label image. Both sides of this record were recorded on August 15, 1950. It was released later in 1950.
ABOVE MIDDLE: Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong from the cover of The Cash Box dated 10/7/50.
CAPTION: "Team a pair of pros like Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong on wax, and any way you care to cut it, it comes up as smash material for the nation's music operators.... Other hot sides for Ella are.... 'I'll Never Be Free' [With Louis Jordan]."
ABOVE RIGHT: Louis Jordan.
The Cash Box Race Review (9/16/50):
ELLA FITZGERALDLOUIS JORDAN DECCA 27200.... I'll Never Be Free/Ain't Nobody's Business If I Do
Sock teaming of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Jordan on this pair should result in peak play for music ops. Top deck is a current blues winner, while the flip is an uptempo rhythm ballad. Vocal work by the team is first rate throughout, and should boom juke box play. Disk rates a top spot in any machine.
1. "Ain't Nobody's Business If I Do" - Ella Fitzgerald And Louis Jordan With The Tympany Five - Decca 27200 - 1950.
2. "I'll Never Be Free" - Ella Fitzgerald And Louis Jordan With The Tympany Five - Decca 27200 - 1950.
BOTH SIDES played in sequence.
Above: Label image of Decca 27114 released in 1950.
This song was co-composed by Jessie Mae Robinson. She was a prolific songwriter, who also composed "Once There Lived A Fool" (Savannah Churchill And The Striders), "I Went To Your Wedding" (Steve Gibson And The Original Red Caps Featuring Damita Jo; Dusty Brooks And His Four Tones) and "Keep It A Secret" (The Five Crowns).
The Cash Box Review (7/22/50):LOUIS JORDAN AND HIS TYMPANY FIVE DECCA 27114.... Blue Light Boogie II/Blue Light Boogie I
Louis Jordan & the Tympany Five beat out the slow boogie rhythm while Louis and the Trio turn the vocal chorus on the shellac. The vocal is a blues shouting effort that has an extremely strong blues flavoring for the average pop location. Flip is the first part of the wax ring with the instrumental pace slow again. As a "pop" release the biscuit is one that will certainly require close attention.
Above Left: Label image of Decca 27620 (this side) recorded on March 1, 1951 and record released in 1951.
Above Middle: Label image of Decca 28225 released in 1951.
Above Right: Label image of Decca 29263 recorded on January 4, 1954 and released in 1954.
The Cash Box Review (6/9/51):LOUIS JORDAN DECCA 27620.... I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby/You Will Always Have A Friend
Louis Jordan gives a grand oldie his own kind of interpretation and really puts new life into it. Together with his Tympany Five, Louis gives out with some grand music and a listenable vocal. The flip is a calypso item featuring a good set of lyrics and a beat. Ops will do ok with this.
The Billboard Review (10/2/54):LOUIS JORDAN DECCA 29263.... Wake Up Jacob (71)
A catchy novelty wrapped up in Jordan's usual bright vocal style. Should get spins.
(NOTE: A ratings range of 70-79 was considered "good".)
Above: Label image of Decca 29018 recorded on January 4, 1954 and released in 1954.
The composer of this song is Raphael "Googie" René, the son of Leon René (famous composer and owner/founder of Exclusive Records and Class Records). "Googie" René was a composer and band leader, and played the piano and organ. His combo had several records on the Class label. Another co-composition by "Googie" is 1954's "Dig That Crazy Santa Claus" by Oscar McLollie on the Modern label. Wonder if there is any connection between "McLollie" and the idea for "Lollypop".
The Billboard Review (1/30/54):LOUIS JORDAN TYMPANY FIVE DECCA 29018.... Lollypop (75)
The combo socks this rhythmic item across in solid fashion. It rocks all the way and projects excitement. A good slicing with an infectious riff.
(NOTE: A ratings range of 70-79 was considered "good".)
Above Left: Label image of Aladdin 3223 released in 1954.
Above Right: Label image of Aladdin 3279 released in 1955.
THE CASH BOX, January 30, 1954: ....The long awaited Louis Jordan first release on Aladdin is about ready for the market. The Mesner's and the distribs are all hopped up about "Dad Gum Ya Hide, Boy" which Louis has been doing in his personal appearances for two years....
The Billboard Review (2/6/54):LOUIS JORDAN ALADDIN 3223.... Dad Gum Ya Hide, Boy (72)
Here Louis is trying for the novelty material with which he became known, and once again, in spite of a good vocal and good work by the Five, the material is neither fish nor fowl and not right for Louis.
(NOTE: A ratings range of 70-79 was considered "good".)
The Cash Box Review (2/26/55):LOUIS JORDAN ALADDIN 3279.... Time Is A Passin' (B)
Louis Jordan sings an up tempo item that should please his market. Tune is presented in straightforward blues manner.
(NOTE: A rating of B was considered "very good".)
Above: Label image of "X" 0116 released in 1955. This song had been released by composer Nellie Lutcher on Decca 29464 in early 1955.
NOTE: A special thanks to Hans-Joachim Krohberger and Dave Saviet for their help with this Record of the Week.
NOTE: Most discographical information provided at this website is from Ferdie Gonzalez' Disco-File.
Listen to this week's selections featuring Louis Jordan And His Tympany Five on Decca/Aladdin/"X" from 1950-1955 using Windows Media Player:
[Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
1. Blue Light Boogie - Part One
2. Blue Light Boogie - Part Two
3. I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby
4. You Will Always Have A Friend
5. Oil Well, Texas
6. Wake Up, Jacob
8. Dad Gum Ya Hide, Boy
9. Time Is A Passin'
10. It's Been Said
ALL TEN FEATURED SONGS
played in sequence.
ALL TWENTY-TWO SONGS ON THIS PAGE
played in sequence
[To download audio files, right-click on song title
link and then click "Save link (target) as..."]