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Episode #485 – Louis Jordan, Pt. 4: 1947-48

Air Week: August 19-25, 2019

Louis Jordon, Pt. 4: 1947-48

The “Juke In The Back” presents Part 4 of our mammoth, 6 part series, featuring the most important musical figure of the 1940s, Louis Jordan. He was the most successful African-American artist of the decade, selling millions of records to both Black and White audiences. Jordan charted 57 singles between 1942 and 1951, scoring 18 #1 R&B hits and 56 top 10s. Several of his records even crossed over into the Pop Top 10, which was an almost unheard of feat at the time. Part 4 of our series focuses on the incredible hit-making years of 1947 and ’48. Jordan scored 4 #1 records in 1947, spending an amazing 40 weeks at the top of the Race Record Chart (the name of the R&B chart at that time). The year was kicked off with “Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens,” which topped the chart for 17 weeks and nearly every record that Decca issued on Jordan that year was a major seller. “Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens” became the catchphrase of 1947, along with “Open The Door, Richard.” The latter was a tune based on a Black Vaudeville routine, which hit #2 on the R&B charts by 4 different artists, including Louis Jordan. Count Basie’s version of “Richard” crossed over to #1 on the Pop Chart, making “Richard” a huge crossover success. We’re also highlighting the first half of 1948. It’s still a big year for Jordan, but the hits begin to slow down a bit. He only scored 1 #1 in ’48. The “Juke” is jumpin’ with Jordan this week on part 4 of “Juke In The Back”‘s tribute to the “King Of The Jukeboxes, Louis Jordan. 

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Episode #484 – Louis Jordan, Pt. 3: 1946

Air Week: August 12-18, 2019

Louis Jordan, Pt. 3: 1946

The “Juke In The Back” presents Part 3 of a mammoth, multi-part series, featuring the most important musical figure of the 1940s, Louis Jordan. He was the most successful African-American artist of the decade, selling millions of records to both Black and White audiences. Jordan charted 57 singles between 1942 and 1951, scoring 18 #1 R&B hits and 56 top 10s. Several of his records even crossed over into the Pop Top 10, which was an almost unheard of feat at the time. Part 3 of our series focuses on the entire year of 1946. Jordan scored 5 #1 records that year and spent 35 out of 52 weeks at the top of the Race Record Chart (the name of the R&B chart at that time). One of those #1s was a duet with the great Ella Fitzgerald. We’ll also hear Jordan duetting with another musical titan, Bing Crosby. Decca Records put their 2 biggest stars together, but unfortunately that tune only hit #14 on the Pop Chart. “Choo Choo Ch’Boogie” topped the chart for 18 weeks and then it was knocked out of the top spot by another Louis Jordan record, “Ain’t That Just Like A Woman.” He was at the top of his game in 1946, selling more records than any other African-American artist. We’ll also dig on a V-Disc Jordan cut for those serving overseas in the Armed Forces as well as some choice B sides. The “Juke” is jumpin’ with Jordan this week on part 3 of “Juke In The Back”‘s tribute to the “King Of The Jukeboxes, Louis Jordan. 

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Episode #483 – Louis Jordan, Pt. 2: 1942-45

Air Week: August 5-11, 2019

Louis Jordan, Pt. 2: 1942-45

The “Juke In The Back” presents Part 2 of a mammoth, multi-part series, featuring the most important musical figure of the 1940s, Louis Jordan. He was the most successful African-American artist of the decade, selling millions of records to both Black and White audiences. Jordan charted 57 singles between 1942 and 1951, scoring 18 #1 R&B hits and 56 top 10s. Several of his records even crossed over into the Pop Top 10, which was an almost unheard of feat at the time. Part 2 of our series picks up in 1942, right before Jordan’s first hit record, “I’m Gonna Leave You On The Outskirts Of Town,” and covers his first 5 #1 records, which began with “What’s The Use Of Getting Sober (When You’re Gonna Get Drunk Again” in 1943. The hits started as Decca assigned legendary jazz producer Milt Gabler to produce his sessions. Their first session together took place right before the Recording Ban of 1942 went into effect. During the ban, the musicians union refused to let artists record for any recording company until their royalty demands were met. This kept Jordan out of the studio for over a year. Once the ban ended in September of ’43, Jordan was back in the studio cutting hit record after hit record. It’s during this time that he became the “King Of The Jukeboxes.” So don’t miss one fantabulous Louis Jordan record on this week’s “Juke In The Back.” 

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Episode #482 – Louis Jordan, Pt. 1: 1938-41

Air Week: July 29-August 4, 2019

Louis Jordan, Pt. 1: 1938-41

The “Juke In The Back” begins a mammoth, multi-part series, featuring the most important musical figure of the 1940s, Louis Jordan. He was the most successful African-American artist of the decade, selling millions of records to both Black and White audiences. Jordan charted 57 singles between 1942 and 1951, scoring 18 #1 R&B hits and 56 top 10s. Several of his records even crossed over into the Pop Top 10, which was an almost unheard of feat at the time. Jordan was born in Brinkley, AR in 1908 and thanks to his musician father, began touring with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels before he was even in his teens. His love of music, performing and baseball took him to Arkansas Baptist College and soon he was playing in bands in Philadelphia and New York. He started his own band after being fired by legendary drummer Chick Webb. His first records with the Elk’s Rendezvous Band were not hits, but they cast a light on the tight arrangements, the comedic delivery and good feelin’ jump blues that was to become Louis Jordan’s trademark. Part 1 features Jordan’s earliest recordings from 1938 to 1941. There are no certified hits, but these records show the blueprint for the future superstar. Matt The Cat’s series on Louis Jordan will cover all his important records up through 1956, so don’t miss a show!

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Juke In The Back: Demo The Show

 

Click below to hear a demo episode of “Juke In The Back.”