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 101-125 of 187 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Decca 75123 8/9/1949 Saturday night fish fry, part 1 Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 75124 8/9/1949 Saturday night fish fry, part 2 Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 76540 6/26/1950 I want a roof over my head Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 76541 6/26/1950 Show me how Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 76542 6/26/1950 Blue light boogie, part 1 Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 76543 6/26/1950 Blue light boogie, part 2 Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 76731 8/15/1950 Ain't nobody's business but my own Ella Fitzgerald ; Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 76736 8/18/1950 Tambouritza boogie Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 76737 8/18/1950 Chartreuse Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 76738 8/18/1950 Lemonade Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 76739 8/18/1950 It's a great, great pleasure Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 76740 8/18/1950 You will always have a friend-2 Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 76741 8/21/1950 Louisville Lodge meeting Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 76742 8/21/1950 Trouble then satisfaction Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 76743 8/21/1950 Crazy baby Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 76744 8/23/1950 Life is so peculiar Louis Armstrong ; Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 76745 8/23/1950 (I'll be glad when you're dead) You rascal you Louis Armstrong ; Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 80299 12/21/1950 Tear drops from my eyes Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 80300 12/21/1950 If you've got some place to go Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 80633 3/1/1951 Weak minded blues Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 80634 3/1/1951 Is my Pop in there? Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 80635 3/1/1951 I can't give you anything but love, baby Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 81121 6/5/1951 If you so smart, how come you ain't rich ? Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 81122 6/5/1951 Trust in me Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 81123 6/5/1951 Louisville Lodge meeting Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
(Results 101-125 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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