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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Brinkley in Monroe County, Arkansas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Louis Jordan

Sounds from the Soil & Soul

 

—Arkansas Delta Music Trail —

 
Louis Jordan Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 10, 2018
1. Louis Jordan Marker
Inscription. Click to hear the inscription.  Louis Jordan, born July 8, 1908, in Brinkley, Arkansas, was one of the state's brightest musical stars, ruling the rhythm and blues charts of the World War II era with hits like "Choo Choo Ch'Boogie," "Let the Good Times Roll," "Is You Is or Is You Ain't (My Baby)," and "Beans and Cornbread." Along with his Tympany Five combo, the band he fronted or more than twenty years, Jordan's infectious and readily identifiable shuffle rhythm is widely regarded as the foundation of what would become American rock n' roll music.

Jordan studied music under his father, a member of the traveling Rabbit Foot Minstrels, and quickly learned the clarinet. He also played piano early in his career, but alto saxophone became his main instrument. Above all else, however, he became best known as a songwriter, entertainer, and vocalist.

As one of the first black recording artists to achieve a significant "crossover" in popularity into the mainstream American audience, Louis Jordan scored simultaneous Top Ten hits on the pop and rhythm and blues (R&B) charts on several occasions during his career. Although Jordan began his career performing"big band" swing jazz, he became famous as one of the leading practitioners, innovators, and popularizers of "jump blues," a swinging, up-tempo, dance-oriented hybrid of jazz, blues, and boogie-woogie.

Jordan was also an actor and a major black film personality, appearing in dozens
Louis Jordan Marker at the Central Delta Depot Museum. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 10, 2018
2. Louis Jordan Marker at the Central Delta Depot Museum.
of "soundies" (promotional film clips). He made numerous cameos in mainstream features and short films, including the highly successful Caldonia. Several feature films were made especially for him such as Beware! in 1946 and Look Out Sister in 1948.

A prolific songwriter, many of the songs Louis Jordan wrote or co-wrote became influential classics of 20th century popular music. Today, songs he made famous are found on the soundtracks of many contemporary movies, in advertising campaigns, and are at the core of the hit Broadway musical revue Five Guys Named Moe. Numerous performers, including B.B. King, James Brown, Chuck Berry, Bill Haley, and Ray Charles have acknowledged their debt to the charismatic entertainer and his music.

Jordan was posthumously welcomed as a pioneer into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, and was inducted into the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 2005. Ironically Jordan was among those veteran musicians whose careers were undermined with the coming of rock n' roll. Though he continued to be a draw at nightclubs in the U.S. and abroad through the l950s, Jordan never returned to the charts he once dominated. He died in I1975 in Los Angeles, California, and is buried near St. Louis, Missouri.

The Trail

The music of the Arkansas Delta is the music of America. With roots in gospel or "church music," the blues, jazz, country, and rock n' roll flowed from the rich, fertile landscape bordering the lower Mississippi River and spread out across the country and the world.
The Central Delta Depot Museum from West Cypress Street. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 10, 2018
3. The Central Delta Depot Museum from West Cypress Street.
Follow the Arkansas Delta Music Trail to experience the sounds that shaped the land, its people, and the nation.

 
Erected by the Arkansas’ Delta Byways Tourism Association.
 
Location. 34° 53.271′ N, 91° 11.494′ W. Marker is in Brinkley, Arkansas, in Monroe County. Marker can be reached from West Cypress Street east of North New Orleans Avenue, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Located in front of the Central Delta Depot Museum. Marker is at or near this postal address: 100 West Cypress Street, Brinkley AR 72021, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 3 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Battle of Cache River or Cotton Plant (approx. 8.8 miles away); Action at Cotton Plant (approx. 9.1 miles away); Moro in the Civil War / Prelude to Helena (approx. 13.1 miles away).
 
Also see . . .  Wikipedia article on Louis Jordan. (Submitted on May 10, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
 
Categories. African AmericansArts, Letters, MusicEntertainment
 
Louis Thomas Jordan (July 8, 1908 – February 4, 1975) image. Click for full size.
Public Domain (William Gottlieb), 1946
4. Louis Thomas Jordan (July 8, 1908 – February 4, 1975)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 10, 2018. This page originally submitted on May 10, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 88 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on May 10, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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