Tympany Five

Tympany Five was a successful and influential American rhythm and blues and jazz dance band founded by Louis Jordan in 1938. The group was composed of a horn section of three to five different pieces and also drums, double bass, guitar and piano.

Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five created many of the most influential songs of the early R&B and rock and roll era, including "Let The Good Times Roll", "Keep A-Knockin'", and "Caldonia". Carl Hogan's opening riff to "Ain't That Just Like A Woman" later became one of rock's most recognizable riffs in Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode".

Jordan first formed the band as "The Elks Rendezvous Band", named after the Elks Rendezvous jazz joint in Harlem. The original lineup of the sextet was Jordan (saxes, vocals), Courtney Williams (trumpet), Lem Johnson (tenor sax), Clarence Johnson (piano), Charlie Drayton (bass) and Walter Martin (drums). The various lineups of the Tympany Five (which often featured two or three extra players) included Bill Jennings and Carl Hogan on guitar, renowned pianist-arrangers Wild Bill Davis and Bill Doggett, "Shadow" Wilson and Chris Columbus on drums and Dallas Bartley on bass. Jordan played alto, tenor and baritone saxophone and sang the lead vocal on most numbers. The band found fame after opening for The Mills Brothers at the Capitol Lounge in Chicago in 1941.

In 1941, they were transferred from Decca's "race" label to its Sepia Series, featuring artists thought to have the crossover potential to appeal to both black and white audiences. Jordan was always proud of the fact that the Tympany Five's music was just as popular with white as it was with black people.

Jordan's last recordings were made for the French Black & Blue label in 1973 and issued as I Believe in Music. The session included Irv Cox tenor in saxophone, Dave Burrell on piano, bassist John Duke and drummer Archie Taylor.

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1939 - 1955

Roles Represented in DAHR: Musical group

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 187 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Decca 65304 10-in. 3/29/1939 Flat face (Instrumental) Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 65305 10-in. 3/29/1939 Keep a-knockin' (but you can't come in) Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 65306 10-in. 3/29/1939 Sam Jones done snagged his britches on Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 65307 10-in. 3/29/1939 Swingin' in a cocoanut tree (Instrumental) Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 65308 10-in. 3/29/1939 Doug the jitterbug Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 65309 10-in. 3/29/1939 At the swing cats' ball Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 66871 10-in. 11/14/1939 Jake, what a snake (Instrumental) Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 66872 10-in. 11/14/1939 Honeysuckle rose Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 66873 10-in. 11/14/1939 'Fore day blues-2 Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 66874 10-in. 11/14/1939 But I'll be back Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 66875 10-in. 11/14/1939 You ain't nowhere Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 66876 10-in. 11/14/1939 You're my meat-1 Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 67111 10-in. 1/25/1940 June Tenth jamboree Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 67112 10-in. 1/25/1940 You run your mouth and I'll run my business Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 67113 10-in. 1/25/1940 I'm Alabama bound Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 67114 10-in. 1/25/1940 Hard lovin' blues Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 67308 10-in. 3/13/1940 You've got to go when the wagon comes Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 67309 10-in. 3/13/1940 Lovie Joe Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 67310 10-in. 3/13/1940 Somebody done hoodooed the hoodoo man Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 67311 10-in. 3/13/1940 Bounce the ball (Do da dittle um day) Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 67318 10-in. 3/13/1940 Penthouse in the basement Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 67319 10-in. 3/13/1940 After school swing session (Instrumental) (Swinging with Symphony Sid) Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 67634 10-in. 4/29/1940 Oh boy I'm in the groove Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 67635 10-in. 4/29/1940 Never let your left hand know what your right hand's doin' Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 67636 10-in. 4/29/1940 Don't come cryin' on my shoulder Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
(Results 1-25 of 187 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Tympany Five," accessed November 30, 2022, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/328178.

Tympany Five. (2022). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved November 30, 2022, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/328178.

"Tympany Five." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2022. Web. 30 November 2022.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/328178

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