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Louis Jordan

1908

Louis Jordan is born in Brinkley, Arkansas.

1929

A session with the Jungle Band yields a pair of sides that are believed to be future bandleader Louis Jordan’s first recordings.

1936

Louis Jordan joins Chick Webb’s jazz band on alto saxophone, following stints with various other bands in Arkansas and New York City.

1938

Louis Jordan signs to Decca Records, where he’ll enjoy a record-breaking string of hits that will earn him the title “King of the Juke Boxes.”

1942

“I’m Gonna Leave You at the Outskirts of Town” marks Louis Jordan’s first entry into the R&B charts, where he would be a mainstay for ten years.

1942

“What’s the Use of Getting Sober,” by Louis Jordan, is released. It will become the first of eighteen chart-topping singles for Jordan and his Tympany Five.

1944

Louis Jordan releases the double-sided smash “G.I. Blues” (#1, 6 weeks) b/w “Is You or Is You Ain’t (Ma’ Baby)” (#3).

1946

Louis Jordan kicks off his most successful year with “Mop Mop,” his fourth Number One hit. Before the year is out, he will launch sixteen other hits, including the classic “Caldonia.”

1946

Louis Jordan’s biggest hit, “Choo Choo Ch’Boogie,” enters Billboard‘s R&B chart, which it will top for an amazing eighteen weeks (over four months!).

1947

Louis Jordan opens the year with yet another single, “Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens,” atop the charts. It’s rocking, rolling B side, “Let the Good Times Roll,” would hit #2, and eight more Top Ten hits would follow before the year is out.

1950

“Blue Light Boogie,” by Louis Jordan, enters the R&B chart, which it will top for seven weeks. It is the last of eighteen Number One hits for Jordan.

1951

The last of Louis Jordan’s fifty-seven hit singles, “Weak Minded Blues,” enters Billboard‘s R&B chart.

1954

Louis Jordan leaves Decca Records, ending a wildly successful association that had lasted for one and a half decades.

1974

Louis Jordan suffers a heart attack while performing in Sparks, Nevada.

1975

Louis Jordan dies while convalescing from a heart attack in Los Angeles.

1984

Jump ‘n’ Jive with Louis Jordan, a live album, is posthumously issued on the British JSP label.

1985

Joe Jackson releases Jumpin’ Jive, an album that pays tribute to the music of jazz-R&B pioneer Louis Jordan and his peers.

1987

Louis Jordan is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the 2nd annual induction dinner. Seymour Stein is his presenter.

1992

The musical Five Guys Named Moe, based on the songs and persona of Louis Jordan, opens on Broadway.