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YouTube Gold: The Very Definition Of Musical Longevity

The same at 66 as he was at 31

Photo of Louis JORDAN
Posed studio portrait of Louis Jordan
Photo by Gilles Petard/Redferns

The 20th century was full of insanely good American musicians. Where do you even start? Louis Armstrong? Ella Fitzgerald? Miles Davis? Big Bill Broonzy? Irving Berlin? Cole Porter? Professor Longhair? Chuck Berry?

It’s really incredible. You could make a list of literally hundreds of supremely talented musicians, get to the end, and say...wait! We forgot Rosanne Cash! Or Wynonie Harris!

Or, maybe, Louis Jordan.

Jordan was born in 1908 and the best years of his career were between the late ‘30s and the early ‘50s when rock and roll blew everything else out of the water.

Jordan just kept going. He played smaller venues, went overseas, but he always kept going.

The amazing thing about him is not just his longevity or his unreal energy. It’s the voice.

As he says in this video, he released this song about 35 years earlier, which means it was originally released around 1939.

The man’s voice never changed. It’s amazing. Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra and Willie Nelson all saw their voices change dramatically over very long careers. So did Ella Fitzgerald and Joni Mitchell.

If you go back and listen to the original, you can hardly tell the difference.