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Louis Jordan
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    (July 8, 1908-February 4, 1975)
    Born in Brinkley, Arkansas
    Nicknamed the ‘King of the Jukebox’ and the ‘Father of Rhythm & Blues’
    Songs include ‘What’s the Use of Getting Sober (When You Gonna Get Drunk Again, 1942),’ ‘Ration Blues (1943),’ ‘G.I. Jive (1944),’ ‘Is You Is Or Is You (Ain’t Ma Baby 1944),’ ‘Mop! Mop! (1945),’ ‘Caldonia (1945),’ ‘Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens (1946)’ ‘Let the Good Times Roll (1946),’ ‘Open the Door Richard (1947),’ ‘Run Joe (1948),’ ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ (with Ella Fitzgerald, 1949) and ‘Beans and Corn Bread (1949)’
    Inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame (2005)
    He referred to Johnny Otis as an ‘ofay trying to pass for a negro’ (white trying to be black).
    He married five times.
    In 1951, when their popularity was on the wane, he put together a big band that didn’t last long.
    He said rock n’ roll was R&B by white artists.
    He received few royalties for his many compositions.
    His mother died when he was young, leaving his father to raise and musically train him.
    ‘Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t Ma Baby’ was featured in the Tom & Jerry short ‘Solid Serenade (1946).’
    One of his big bands was a powerhouse at the Savoy Ballroom’s ‘cutting contests’ (musical battle between stride pianists, often involving interference in the other’s performance).
    Despite his claims about rock n’ roll, he provided many building blocks for the emerging genre.
    He also unwittingly provided some building blocks for the rap genre.
    James Brown listed him as an influence (‘he could sing, he could dance, he could play, he could act, he could do it all’).
    Chuck Berry listed him as an influence (‘I identify myself with Louis Jordan more than any other artist’).
    B.B. King paid tribute to him with an album called ‘Let the Good Times Roll — The Music of Louis Jordan,’ which included remakes of ‘Caldonia’ and ‘Let the Good Times Roll.’

Credit: Cool It All Right?

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