Louis Jordan Commemorative Stamp
Before Chuck Berry, Ray Charles, James Brown or The Big Bopper began to “Rock & Roll” there was the “Jumpin’ Jive” of Louis Jordan. It was the sound that influenced them all and earned Jordan the titles “King Of Rhythm And Blues” and “Grandfather Of Rock & Roll”. The SereNgeti Galleries will celebrate The 100th Birthday Of Louis Jordan on July 21, 2008 with a 5:30 to 6:30 PM Reception and Signing by Mrs. Louis Jordan of her autobiography “The Debutante That Went Astray”. The reception will be followed by a 7:00 PM concert with Ben’s Friends Big Band featuring The DeSean Jones Jazzy Five and the short film “Caldonia” .
Louis Jordan was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and the US Postal Service just issued a postage stamp in honor of the centennial year of his birth on July 8, 1908. He had 54 hits on the charts during the 1940s. Eighteen of them were number one including “Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby,” “Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens,” “Caldonia,", “Let The Good Times Roll” and “Saturday Night Fish Fry.” His short “soundies” provided popular entertainment and are considered forerunners of today’s music videos.
Martha Weaver, the daughter of a prominent St. Louis dentist, met Jordan while dancing at New York’s Club Baron in 1946. Martha performed in the chorus line for shows that featured Cab Calloway, Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington and Pearl Bailey, who was one of her good friends. She was a frequent performer in Detroit where she worked with Ziggy Johnson. Louis and Martha became friends in the 50’s and were married in 1966. She traveled and sang with the Louis Jordan Band and took care of the finances. Martha was amused when Louis referred to her as ‘the debutante who went astray’ referring to her middle class upbringing. It inspired the title of her book.
The July 21st centennial celebration of the life and music of Louis Jordan will be Hosted by Judge Claudia Morcom and Bill Foster. Admission is $15 and the proceeds will benefit the Louis Jordan Scholarship Fund. The SereNgeti Galleries are located at 2757 Grand River in Detroit just one block south of Motor City Casino. For information call 313-715-0170.