LOUIS JORDAN
1908 - 1975.


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Louis Jordan.

Louis Jordan is born 8 July 1908 in Brinkley, Arkansas.

He joins the Rabbit Foot Minstrels in 1923, then moves to Hot Springs, a famous spa town in Arkansas in 1930.

In 1932 Louis moves to Philadelphia, where, with the help of trumpeter Charlie Gaines, he acquires some top class musical experience and in 1934 makes his first recorded work, singing on the Gaines composition 'I Can't Dance, I Got Ants in My Pants'.

Louis joins the Chick Webb band in 1936 as an all purpose reeds player and occasional vocalist, the following year he makes several recordings alongside Ella Fitzgerald, who is also a member of Webb's orchestra.

Louis leaves Webb in 1938, to set up the short lived Elks Rendezvous Band and signs with the Decca label. He creates the Tympany Four in 1939, soon to become the Tympany Five.

In 1942 the Tympany Five have their first hit with 'I'm Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town'.

After failing to play to his exact instructions, in 1945 Louis sacks the entire line-up of the Tympany Five.

Louis is badly injured in 1947 when his wife Fleecie stabs him over his affair with a dancer.

He consolidates his enormous popularity in 1950 by duetting with Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong and a year later forms a big band. One of the saxophonists is Oliver Nelson, later to become a famous composer and arranger.

Then in 1954 Decca records fail to renew his recording contract and in 1956 Louis signs with the Mercury label. He stays with them for two years, during which time he was produced by Qunicy Jones.

In 1962 Louis makes his first visit to Britain to play with the Chris Barber band.

Louis Jordan dies suddenly from a heart attack on 5th February 1975.


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