Caldonia - Louis Jordan

Feb 03, 2024

What makes your big head so hot?

The 500 songs podcast makes a great case for Louis Jordan as one of the key links between jazz and rock & roll, and this song is as good a bridge as any.

Louis Jordan recorded this version in 1945, when the R&B charts were still called the "race records" chart. (Think about that, and how/if it's different from today!)

James Brown, who idolized Louis Jordan (as did many of the first wave of rock & roll artists), recorded his dynamite version in 1964:

Carl Perkins did it as a rockabilly number in 1977:

Here's The Band performing it with Muddy Waters and accordian (!) accompaniment.

Willie Nelson did a cover with Wynton Marsalis which isn't my cup of tea, but is at least interesting:

and many more. An all-time jam.

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