Who Did It Better? - Louis Jordan vs. James Brown

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Published on 26 May 2020 / In Film & Animation

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"Caldonia" is a jump blues song, first recorded in 1945 by Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five. A version by Erskine Hawkins, also in 1945, was described by Billboard magazine as "rock and roll", the first time that phrase was used in print to describe any style of music.

In 1942, Jordan had started on an unparalleled run of success on the Billboard Harlem Hit Parade (forerunner of the R&B chart), which by 1945 had included four number-one hits, and eventually made Jordan by far the most successful R&B chart act of the 1940s.[1] "Caldonia" became his fifth number one on "Race Records" chart.[1] It debuted on the chart in May 1945 and reached number one in June, where it stayed for seven weeks. On the pop chart, the song peaked at number six with the title "Caldonia Boogie".[1]
The writing of the song is credited to Jordan's wife of the time, Fleecie Moore. However, it was written by Jordan, who used his wife's name to enable him to work with an additional music publisher. Jordan later commented, "Fleecie Moore's name is on it, but she didn't have anything to do with it. That was my wife at the time, and we put it in her name. She didn't know nothin' about no music at all. Her name is on this song and that song, and she's still getting money."[2] However, by the time of that quote, Jordan and Moore had divorced after a number of arguments in which she had stabbed him with a knife.

As one of Jordan's best-known songs, "Caldonia" has also been recorded by a variety of artists. James Brown recorded it in 1964 as his first release for Smash Records. Featuring an arrangement by Sammy Lowe, it reached number 95 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. - Wikipedia

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