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 26-50 of 187 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Decca 67637 10-in. 4/29/1940 Waitin' for the Robert E. Lee Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 68169 10-in. 9/30/1940 A chicken ain't nothin' but a bird-1 Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 68170 10-in. 9/30/1940 Pompton turnpike Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 68171 10-in. 9/30/1940 Do you call that a buddy?-1 Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 68172 10-in. 9/30/1940 I know you (I know what you wanna do) Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 68621 10-in. 1/24/1941 Pinetop's boogie woogie (Instrumental) Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 68622 10-in. 1/24/1941 The two little squirrels (Nuts to you) Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 68623 10-in. 1/24/1941 T-Bone blues Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 68624 10-in. 1/24/1941 Pan-Pan Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 68905 10-in. 4/2/1941 St. Vitus dance Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 68906 10-in. 4/2/1941 Saxa-woogie-1 Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 68907 10-in. 4/2/1941 Brotherly love Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 68908 10-in. 4/2/1941 De laff's on you Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 68909 10-in. 4/2/1941 Boogie woogie came to town Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 68910 10-in. 4/2/1941 John, stop teasing me Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 71126 10-in. 7/21/1942 What's the use of gettin' sober Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 71127 10-in. 7/21/1942 The chicks I pick are slender tender and tall Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 71128 10-in. 7/21/1942 I'm gonna leave you on the outskirts of town Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 71129 10-in. 7/21/1942 That'll just 'bout knock me out Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 71130 10-in. 7/21/1942 Dirty snake Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 71131 10-in. 7/21/1942 Somebody done changed the lock on my door Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 71132 10-in. 7/21/1942 Five guys named Moe Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 71133 10-in. 7/21/1942 It's a low-down dirty shame Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 71134 10-in. 7/21/1942 De laff's on you Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 71818 3/1/1944 How high am I? Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
(Results 26-50 of 187 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Tympany Five," accessed January 27, 2023, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/328178.

Tympany Five. (2023). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved January 27, 2023, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/328178.

"Tympany Five." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2023. Web. 27 January 2023.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

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