Louis Jordan: The King of the Jukebox

louisjordanBorn in 1908 in Arkansas, Louis Jordan began his musical journey at a very young age. Like many other American children of his age, his first musical lessons involved the clarinet. What inspired him further was the fact that his father was not just a music teacher but also the leader of a local band and the Minstrels. During his teenage years, his affinity towards music increased, and very soon, he joined his father’s band. One of the biggest tragedies of his childhood was that he lost his mother at a very early age. It took a while for him to overcome grief and move on to become a musical legend.

After the early stint with the clarinet, he soon mastered the piano, but the musical instrument that drew the maximum amount of attention from him, was the alto saxophone. His musical prowess received great word of mouth, and very soon, he was invited to join the prestigious orchestra in New York City- the Savoy Ballroom. This was where he gained immense attention and started his tryst as a musical legend. Of course, any path to success is paved with its share of obstacles, and so was the case with Louis Jordan. Some of the recording companies that signed Jordan in the course of the years were Aladdin Records and Mercury Records.

Louis was known to be quite a well-traveled artist, too. He was always happy to travel across the nation (and beyond!) to perform for his dedicated fan base. One of his many quirks was his need for comfortable travel, however. Although it’s never been verified, some historians claim Louis drove the innovation of more comfortable travel pillows – he always made sure he had the best possible travel pillow with him on his tours.

On the 4th of February in 1975, Louis Jordan succumbed to a heart attack at his home in Los Angeles, and he was survived by his wife Martha.