What radio shows exactly these come from is mostly a mystery to me. The source bootleg recordings I found had little to no documentation. I've had to piece much of this together using guesswork and logic. For instance, knowing when each of his singles came out allowed me to guestimate the years for these sessions. That said, the majority of these performances come from radio shows done by the US military during World War II. American soldiers were stationed all over the world, and they wanted to be entertained. Louis Jordan was one of the most popular musical artists of the era, especially with black audiences, so it made sense that he performed on armed forces radio a lot. And since those radio performances were shipped out all over the world (on what were called V-discs), some of them survived to this day.
I find this is an interesting slice of life for life in the 1940s, especially life during World War II. If you listen to the lyrics, you'll notice that some of the songs specifically address issues of the time, such as shortages in "You Can't Get That No More" or going from the military back to civilian life in "Reconversion Blues." And the title of "(My Feet Are Killing Me Marching In) The Infantry Blues" speaks for itself.
I'm really surprised that these recordings haven't been properly released, because the sound quality is pretty good. There even are some songs that he didn't release otherwise, such as "Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe," "You Was Right Baby," and "Pinetop's Boogie Woogie," or only came out in different versions much later, like "Ofay and Oxford Gray." By the way, that latter song is an appeal to racial harmony that wasn't released at the time because dealing with any racial issue apparently was too hot of a topic to touch.
I have another album of his US military radio shows from 1943, but the sound quality is a little bit poorer. Please let me know if you're interested in that. I'm veering so far from the rest of the music I post here that I have doubts if many people are interested.
If you're not that familiar with Louis Jordan's stuff, you might want to give this a shot. This isn't exactly a "best of," but his popularity was peaking during these years, and many of his biggest hits are here. The other songs are almost always lively and entertaining.
This album is 58 minutes long. And by the way, if anyone can help me pin down the exact sourcing for some of the song's mp3 tags, I'd appreciate it.
01 Knock Me a Kiss (Louis Jordan)
02 Five Guys Named Moe (Louis Jordan)
03 Jumpin' at the Jubilee (Louis Jordan)
04 talk (Louis Jordan)
05 You Can't Get That No More (Louis Jordan)
06 The End of My Worry (Louis Jordan)
07 I'm Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town (Louis Jordan)
08 Better Off without You (Louis Jordan)
09 talk (Louis Jordan)
10 The Chicks I Pick Are Slender and Tender and Tall (Louis Jordan)
11 talk (Louis Jordan)
12 [My Feet Are Killing Me Marching In] The Infantry Blues (Louis Jordan)
13 How High Am I (Louis Jordan)
14 Hey, Now Let's Live (Louis Jordan)
15 talk (Louis Jordan)
16 Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby (Louis Jordan)
17 Caldonia (Louis Jordan)
18 talk (Louis Jordan)
19 Bahama Joe (Louis Jordan)
20 Nobody but Me (Louis Jordan)
21 talk (Louis Jordan)
22 You Was Right Baby (Louis Jordan)
23 talk (Louis Jordan)
24 Ofay and Oxford Gray (Louis Jordan)
25 talk (Louis Jordan)
26 Reconversion Blues (Louis Jordan)
27 talk (Louis Jordan)
28 Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe (Louis Jordan)
29 talk (Louis Jordan)
30 Don't Worry 'bout That Mule (Louis Jordan)
31 Pinetop's Boogie Woogie [Instrumental] (Louis Jordan)
32 Choo-Choo Ch' Boogie (Louis Jordan)
33 Let the Good Times Roll (Louis Jordan)
For the cover art, I wanted to do something that would fit the artistic style of the 1940s. That's really hard to get right this many decades later though. So I got around that problem by using a color poster to one of his 1940s movies. All I did was crop the rectangular poster to fit a square album cover space, then remove some text and add in some other text.