Saturday Night Fish Fry

There is really no need for very much commentary here. Master musician, sax player, singer, songwriter, bandleader, record seller and entertainer Louis Jordan has all the elements assembled and put to work in this historic record. Louis Jordan was born on July 8, 1908 in Brinkley, Arkansas. His father was a music teacher, bandleader and founder of the Rabbit’s Foot Minstrels. Louis was taught to sing, play and entertain by his father and his musical associates. Louis lived his entire life in a more or less segregated society. Nevertheless, he sold records to both white and black people by the thousands. He was known as the “King of the Jukebox”, the “Father of Jump Blues and R&B”, the “Grandfather of Rock & Roll”, and the “Pioneer of Music Short Films”. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 as an early influence.

There is a controversy about who composed “Saturday Night Fish Fry”. Jordan’s piano player Bill Doggett is heard on the record. Doggett claimed that he wrote both the words and music of the tune. Jordan also claimed to have composed the entire song by himself. Jordan, together with New Orleans drummer and lyricist Ellis Walsh, are credited as the composers on the Decca record label. The lyrics of the song clearly set the scene as Rampart Street in New Orleans. Perhaps Jordan, Ellis and Doggett collaborated in composing the song with Doggett not sharing in the credits or the royalties. As we know, “That’s Show Biz”. If that be true, Doggett later evened the score in the mid ‘50s with his composition and record “Honky-Tonk Parts 1 & 2”, arguably the most famous instrumental in the history of Rock & Roll.

Meanwhile, turn those little computer speakers up almost to the point of distortion and enjoy this slice of rhythm from 1949.

Louis Jordan died in Los Angeles on February 4, 1975.

Rock on,


Saturday Night Fish Fry-Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five-Decca 78 rpm No.24725 (1949)

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