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 51-75 of 187 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Decca 71820 3/1/1944 The truth of the matter Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 71821 3/1/1944 Hey! Now let's jive Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 71871 10-in. 3/15/1944 Mop mop Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 71873 10-in. 3/15/1944 You can't get that no more Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 72709 10-in. 1/19/1945 Buzz me Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 72710 1/19/1945 They raided the house Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 72711 10-in. 1/19/1945 Caldonia Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 72978 7/16/1945 Don't worry 'bout that mule Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 72979 10-in. 7/16/1945 Salt Pork, West Virginia Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 72980 10-in. 7/18/1945 No baby, nobody but you Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 72982 10-in. 7/18/1945 Don't worry 'bout that mule Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 73073 10-in. 10/8/1945 Stone cold dead in de market Ella Fitzgerald ; Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 73074 10-in. 10/8/1945 Petootie pie-1 Ella Fitzgerald ; Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 73081 10/15/1945 Petootie pie Ella Fitzgerald ; Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 73082 10-in. 10/15/1945 Reconversion blues Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 73302 1/23/1946 It's so easy Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 73303 1/23/1946 Beware! Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 73304 1/23/1946 Don't let the sun catch you cryin' Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 73305 1/23/1946 Choo choo ch' boogie Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 73306 1/23/1946 Ain't that just like a woman Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 73307 1/23/1946 That chick's too young to fry Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 73642 6/26/1946 No sale Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 73643 6/26/1946 If it's love you want baby, that's me Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 73644 6/26/1946 Ain't nobody here but us chickens Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 73645 6/26/1946 Let the good times roll Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
(Results 51-75 of 187 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Tympany Five," accessed February 6, 2023, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/328178.

Tympany Five. (2023). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved February 6, 2023, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/328178.

"Tympany Five." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2023. Web. 6 February 2023.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

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