Wednesday, February 9, 2011


He was King of the Jukebox.  More than anyone else, Louis Jordan created the classic early 40's R&B sound by spinning jivey humor, hot sax and shuffling beats into an astonishing 57 chart hits during that one decade alone.  To dig Jordan's music, let's start with "Saturday Night Fish Fry."  The rowdy tale of a wild, all-night party with all revelers ending up in the slammer was number one on the R&B charts for 12 weeks.  While other black performers of that era, like Nat King Cole and the Mills Brothers were crooning smooth songs with race-neutral content, Jordan sang black, and his story lines were often very obviously about black life.  It’s clear that “Ain’t Nobody Here but us Chickens”  was not a Beverly Hills experience, and also that “Caldonia” was probably not a cousin of Pat Boone’s.  Still, Louis Jordan sold well to white audiences as well as blacks.  It’s also a fact  that he had a direct influence on many rock and roll icons.  Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Bill Haley, Fats Domino and Ray Charles have all said so .  They've also said it in their music.  Here's a video of "Saturday Night Fish Fry ."