Rhythm and Blues: the Music of Louis Jordan with Al Leichter

Al Leichter will speak at the Staunton Senior Center on the music of Louis Jordan in honor of Black History Month.

The talk is set for Thursday, Feb. 17, at 10:30 a.m.

Jordan was the best-selling African-American artist of the 1940s, with 18 number one records between 1942 and 1950, but is little remembered today. In the African-American market, which was highly segregated then, he outsold – by far – artists like Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, and everyone else at the time.

Not only did Jordan record extensively, but he pioneered “Soundies” (today called music videos), appeared in full-length movies with his group The Tympany Five, toured widely, and even “rapped” long before anyone else.

Even after 60 years, many of his successes have yet to be surpassed. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame calls him the Father of Rhythm & Blues and the grandfather of Rock & Roll.

Leichter has collected rhythm & blues music for more than 50 years and will play Jordan’ music and discuss his significance.

More information on the Staunton Senior Center is online at www.stauntonseniorcenter.org.

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