Tag Archives: Louis Jordan

Another day at Ray’s Corner

Longtime readers know we occasionally stop by Ray’s Corner to listen to tunes spirited from my dad’s music collection.

So we’re back there on this Father’s Day, which this year follows Dad’s birthday by exactly one day. Dad turned 83 yesterday. He doesn’t get around too well anymore, but he’s still sharp.

Here, then, are a couple of tunes you might hear at Ray’s Corner. It’s the apartment with the loud music, and the place where the martinis are made of gin with the vermouth bottle held about a foot away.

They’re kind of laid back. Perfect for a lazy summer Sunday.

“Night Train,” Louis Prima, from “The Wildest,” 1957.

Dad was 31, and he and Mom had probably just learned I was on the way when this album was released in January 1957. It really is the wildest! It’s mostly swing, jazz and blues, but you can see rock and roll in the distance.

“Blue Light Boogie,” 1950, Louis Jordan and Trio, from “The Best of Louis Jordan,” released on vinyl in 1977 and on CD in 1989.

Dad was 25, still a single guy, when this tune hit the charts in August 1950. He was working as the agent at the Railway Express Agency office in the depot in his hometown of Elroy, Wisconsin. He was living at home, but you can be sure he got out and heard this tune on the jukeboxes of the day.

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Filed under June 2008, Sounds

Moving day at Ray’s Corner

If you’re a regular visitor to AM, Then FM, you know we occasionally visit Ray’s Corner and cue up some selections from my dad’s music collection.

Ray’s Corner is the apartment with the loud music, where the martinis are still made of gin with the vermouth bottle held about a foot away.

Tomorrow, though, Ray will be moving from his corner apartment.

At 82, he’s finding it increasingly difficult to get around, so he’s moving from the second floor down to the first floor, and moving his parking space so he doesn’t have to walk across the lot to get to his car. He’ll be next door to his friend, Maxine, so that’s an added bonus.

So we’ll be up early in the morning to help him with a move that comes just in time.


“Early in the Mornin,'” Louis Jordan, 1947, from “The Best of Louis Jordan,” a 1989 compilation on CD.


“Just in Time,” Dean Martin, 1960, from “Dino: The Essential Dean Martin,” a 2004 compilation on CD.

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Filed under February 2008, Sounds

A call from Ray’s Corner

This is how the call went Tuesday morning. Honest.

“Jeff? This is Dad. Did the TV seem loud to you when you stopped over last night?”

“No, about the same as always.”

“Well, you know what? I’ve gone deaf in my right ear!”

Then Dad proceeded to explain, in his typically detailed fashion, how he came to realize this. Suffice it to say he was noodling around with his hearing aid, trying to figure out why it was wasn’t working, when he found it worked just fine in his left ear. And not at all in his right ear.

If you are a regular visitor, you know Dad is 82. He lives in the apartment with the loud music. Part of that is being a fan. Part of that is his hearing.

The TV and the stereo have always been loud in our family, for as long as I can remember. Almost everyone has some kind of hearing loss. Grandma did. Grandpa did. Dad does. I do.

Now that Dad has figured out his plight, perhaps he’ll be able to dial down the volume just a tad. If so, perhaps he’ll enjoy this mellow blues tune, which comes from his collection.


“Blue Light Boogie,” Louis Jordan and Trio, 1950, from “The Best of Louis Jordan,” a 1989 CD release.

This was the last of Jordan’s 18 No. 1 R&B hits, debuting on Aug. 5, 1950, and spending seven weeks at No. 1.

Hope you have enjoyed our latest visit to Ray’s Corner, the apartment with the loud music (and now you know why), where the martinis are still made of gin with the vermouth bottle held about a foot away.

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Filed under November 2007, Sounds

Big day at Ray’s Corner

We’re celebrating today at Ray’s Corner. My dad turns 82 today.

You know, of course, that Dad’s apartment is the one with the loud music.

That’s where the martinis are made of gin with the vermouth bottle held about a foot away.

Don’t forget two or three olives, either. Always wise to have a little something to eat if you’re drinking.

Dad was in high school when World War II broke out, but he couldn’t get into the service because of a hearing loss. Then they started taking everyone with a pulse. He went to Arkansas for infantry training, ostensibly as part of the Japanese invasion force, “but then Harry dropped the big one.”

The war over, Dad instead went to Germany as an Army clerk and supply sergeant. He got spun off from one unit to another and wound up in the port district of Bremerhaven, sort of a one-man unit.

So, what did you do in the war, Dad?

“Oh, I ran a GI club in a little town called Vegesack.”

Yes, my dad made sure they had enough beer and Coke and kept the jukebox going.

Perhaps these swinging tunes were on that GI club’s jukebox in 1946.


“Knock Me A Kiss,” Louis Jordan, 1941.

“Caldonia,” Louis Jordan, 1945.

Both of these cuts are from “The Best of Louis Jordan,” which came out on vinyl in 1977, then on CD in 1989.


Filed under June 2007, Sounds

Been one of those weeks

The good news is that I’ve been busy ripping away, stashing a bunch of tunes for future use.

The bad news is that I sit here at the Mac on Friday morning with no coherent notion for a post. It is entirely possible it’s too early in the morning.


“Early In The Mornin’,” Louis Jordan, 1947, from “The Best of Louis Jordan.”

Nothing like some smooth, syncopated rhythms from a swinger who helped launch rock ‘n’ roll. This is the same tune Harry Nilsson did on “Nilsson Schmilsson,” another of my faves from my younger days.

This selection comes from my dad’s collection. Dad is 81 and still swinging … musically, that is. We’ll be hearing more from Dad’s collection as we go.

I also promised guilty pleasures. Here’s one. You seemed to like the recent Isaac Hayes, so here’s some more. Hope you have a weekend exciting enough to have this be the theme for it.


“Truck Turner,” from “Truck Turner” soundtrack, Isaac Hayes, 1974.

This comes from a CD full of soundtrack music that came with Mojo magazine a while back. It’s the only music magazine I read.

Mojo comes from England, and it’s pricey — almost $10 at the newsstand — but is well worth it for the writing, for its appreciation of great music and rock history and for the compilation CDs that come with it every month. Not all the CDs are my cup of tea, but they may be yours. Enjoy.


Filed under March 2007, Sounds