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 126-150 of 187 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Decca 81124 6/5/1951 How blue can you get ? Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 81125 6/5/1951 Happy birthday boogie Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 82793 4/30/1952 Gimme gimme blues Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 82794 4/30/1952 Junco partner Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 82795 4/30/1952 Time marches on Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 82796 4/30/1952 Azure-Te Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 82797 4/30/1952 Oil well Texas Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 82798 4/30/1952 There's nothing else that I can do Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 82834 5/8/1952 Jordan for president Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 82835 5/8/1952 The soon-a baby Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 83681 12/3/1952 There's nothing else that I can do Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 83682 12/3/1952 The soon-a baby Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 83683 12/3/1952 You didn't want me baby Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 83684 12/3/1952 A man's best friend is a bed Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 84627 5/28/1953 Hog wash (Hot wash) Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 84628 5/28/1953 House party Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 84629 5/28/1953 Everything that's made of wood Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 84630 5/28/1953 I want you to be my baby Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 84631 5/28/1953 You know it too Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 85657 1/4/1954 Locked-up Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 85658 1/4/1954 I gotta move Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 85659 1/4/1954 Nobody knows you when you're down and out Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 85660 1/4/1954 If it's true Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 85661 1/4/1954 Wake up, Jacob Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
Decca 85662 1/4/1954 Lollypop Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five Musical group  
(Results 126-150 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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