Saturday, February 09, 2008

B.B. King & Louis Jordan - Let the Good Times Roll

In Charles Sawyer's 1980 biography of B.B. King, the ‘King of the Blues Guitar says that amongst his ambitions is to record an album of Louis Jordan's songs. Nineteen years later an album was finally recorded and released, an album that both acknowledges B.B’s debt to Louis and celebrates the ‘King of the Jukeboxes’ string of great hit records. The albums title appropriately is - Let the Good Times Roll.

B.B. King first saw Jordan when he came to play ‘Jones’ Night Spot’ in Indianola, King’s hometown, probably in 1943 or 44. Louis recorded Let the Good Times Roll in New York City on June 26th 1946, so it is unlikely that the teenage Blues Boy would have actually seen him perform the song. Decca released the song in late 1946 as one side of a double hit with Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens. The record was a huge hit on the Juke Box Race records chart. The song writing is credited to Fleecie Moore and Sam Theard, Fleecie was Louis’ second wife although it seems likely that it was actually Louis who wrote the song. Thread, from Alabama, had recorded a couple of sides with Cow Cow Davenport back in 1929, as well as composing songs recorded by Louis Armstrong amongst others.

Let the Good Times Roll
Written by Fleecie Moore & Sam Theard
Bobby Bland & B.B. King, From the album ‘Together for the First Time….Live’
Single reached No.20 in the R&B chart

Hey everybody, let's have some fun
You only live for once and when you're dead you're done
So let the good times roll, let the good times roll
And live a long long
I don't care if you are young or old no no, get together and let the good times roll

Don't stand there moaning, talking trash
If you wanna have some fun, you'd better go out and spend some cash
And let the good time roll, Let the good time roll
I don't care if you young or old, get together and let the good times roll

In 1995 Quincy Jones made an album called Q’s Jook Joint and on it is Let The Good Times Roll. “This is a version based on my 1958 version for which I received my first Grammy,” said Quincy. On the updated version Ray Charles again takes the vocal, as he did in 1958, but this time Stevie Wonder and Bono from U.2 join him.


r morris said...

Very interesting post, Richard. I'll have to check this out.
Check out my post today on my blog. It's one of the strangest I've ever posted.

r morris said...

I want to thank Richard Evans for his suggestions on Beatles sites last week. I was so busy I did not read it till now.
Thanks, Richard E. I will visit these!
If you are ever out West, let me know, and I'll show you Yellowstone and the Tetons as only a local knows them.

Richard Evans said...

Many thanks, Rob. I may well take you up on that.

Ah, Jellystone Park, the home of Yogi Bear and BooBoo!