LOUIS JORDAN (ca. late-1940s) Talent agency photo


New York: General Artists Corporation, [ca. late-1940s]. Vintage original 10 x 8″ (25 x 20 cm.) black-and-white photo, minor marginal stain in blank bottom right margin, photo credit for James J. Kriegsmann, N.Y., in lower left of image, near fine.

A portrait of Louis Jordan, a seminal figure in the history of rhythm and blues.

Known as “the King of the Jukebox”, he earned his highest profile towards the end of the Swing era. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an “early influence” in 1987. Jordan ranks fifth in the list of the most successful African American recording artists according to Joel Whitburn’s analysis of Billboard magazine’s R&B chart, and was the most popular rhythm and blues artist with his “jump blues” recordings of the pre-rock n’ roll era. 

Though comprehensive sales figures are not available, he had at least four million-selling hits during his career. Jordan regularly topped the R&B “race” charts, achieving the Number 1 slot eighteen times, with 113 weeks in that spot over the years. He was also one of the first Black recording artists to achieve significant crossover in popularity with the predominantly white mainstream American audience, having simultaneous Top Ten hits on the pop charts on several occasions. (Wikipedia)

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