1001 Songs Challenge,  1940s,  Music

1001 Songs Challenge #35: Saturday Night Fish Fry (1949)

On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.

My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.

I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.

So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be… legendary!


Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five – Saturday Night Fish Fry (1949)

Saturday Night Fish Fry

” Saturday Night Fish Fry” is a jump blues song written by Louis Jordan and Ellis Lawrence Walsh, best known through the version recorded by Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five. The single was a big hit, topping the R&B chart for twelve non-consecutive weeks in late 1949.

Lyrics (via Genius)


Our stay in the US continues as we sample a spot of R&B from Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five. Jordan enjoyed success from the late 1930s into the 1950s before Rock and Roll left him behind, even though he is considered one of its influences. Known as the King of the Jukebox, our song today is Saturday Night Fish Fry.

This is an epic song with a multitude of verses sandwiching the chorus. Jordan takes us on an action-packed and somewhat comedic evening. Jordan and a friend stop off at a house on Rampart Street and enjoy some serious partying with an assortment of guests on hand for a dance and a good time. Unfortunately, the festivities are disturbed by a police raid and, hesitant in what to do, Jordan ends up being taken to prison only to be released on bail by his girlfriend. Quite an evening you might say.

I found it quite sad to know that Jordan’s career declined with the arrival of rock and roll. I really enjoyed this little number. Lyrically there is so much here to enjoy and Jordan steers us effortlessly through it all in describing what is an eventful night with a spot of partying and facing off against the police. The King of the Jukebox deserves his name on this list of songs and Saturday Night Fish Fry has made me desire a taste of more of his music.


Favourite song so far:

Edith Piaf – La Vie en Rose (1946)

My name is Dave and I live in Yorkshire in the north of England and have been here all my life. I hope you enjoy your visit to All is Ephemeral.

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