Louis Jordan

The most important originator of R&B was Louis Jordan, who, in the early 40's, was the main pioneer of the movement away from big bands playing swing to small combos playing jump blues. It was from these mid-40's jump blues bands that R&B originated in the late 40's. He and his band The Tympany Five, were by far the biggest-selling act in black music during the 1940's. Jordan's main hits were, "Caldonia," "Choo-Choo-Ch'boogie," and roughly a dozen more that were number one hits on the black charts.

When Chuck Berry appeared on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show in 1987, Johnny asked him who his main inspiration was, and he said, "Here, here, I'll tell you. The main guy was Louis Jordan..." This single comment by Chuck Berry sent the world on such a mad search for information about the man, that it culminated in a Broadway musical called "Five Guys Named Moe," which was Jordan's nickname for his band. The comment also resulted in Louis Jordan being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in 1987, when the previous year, 1986, he had been almost unknown to rock fans in general.

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