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Louis Jordan: “Caldonia”

This is a fascinating clip — and not just because it features Louis Jordan, which usually would be enough.

The Steve Allen Show pulls off a live remote between New York and San Francisco. The band moves and multiple cameras are employed. That wouldn’t be easy today. It must have been rocket science in the late 1950s, when this probably was shot.

Jordan had a number of hits. His songs, which usually had great names, included Choo Choo Cha’Boogie, Five Guys Named Moe, Is You Is or Is You Ain’t (My Baby)? Let the Good Times Roll, Saturday Night Fish Fry and Jack, You’re Dead.

For the record, the five Moes are Big, Little, Four-Eyed, No and Eat. In Choo Choo Cha’Boogie, Jordan describes a guy who would rather take a train. Shakespeare would have been proud of the line “democratic fellows named Mac”:

Headin’ for the station with a pack on my back
I’m tired of transportation in the back of a hack
I’d love to hear the rhythm of the clicketty clack
and hear the lonesome whistle see the smoke
from the stack
and pal around with the democratic fellows named Mac
Take me right back to the track Jack.