Carl Hogan

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Carl Hogan was an American guitarist, bassist and songwriter. He is known for playing the lead guitar riff on Louis Jordan's "Ain't That Just Like a Woman (They'll Do It Every Time)"[1] which was later imitated by Chuck Berry for his hit "Johnny B. Goode".[2][3]


Hogan was raised in St. Louis, Missouri. His early musical career included stints on guitar and bass with the Jeter-Pillars Orchestra and George Hudson's Orchestra.[4]

Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five[edit]

Main article: Tympany Five

Hogan was recruited to join Louis Jordan's Tympany Five as a temporary bass player. Jordan had wanted Po Simkins as a bassist, but Simkins was unable to give Jordan his release date from the US Armed Forces, so until his release was completed Hogan filled in as Jordan's bassist.[4] With Jordan's band, Hogan appeared on the soundtracks to Look Out Sister (1946) and Reet, Petite, and Gone (1948).[5] He performed on numerous recordings with Jordan, including "Choo Choo Ch'Boogie", "Don't Worry 'Bout That Mule", "Ain't That Just Like a Woman (They'll Do It Every Time)", "Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens", "Jack, You're Dead", "Let the Good Times Roll", "Open the Door, Richard", "Boogie Woogie Blue Plate", and "Early in the Mornin'".[6] On 1946's "Ain't That Just Like a Woman (They'll Do It Every Time)", Hogan first recorded the guitar riff that was to become "the most famous signature in rock 'n' roll"[7] when Chuck Berry used it 12 years later – almost note-for-note[8] – as the introduction to "Johnny B. Goode".[2][3] On describing his use of the riff, Berry said:

The first time I heard [the riff] was in one of Carl Hogan's riffs in Louis Jordan's band. We have T-Bone Walker; I love [his] slurs he's bluesy. So put a little Carl Hogan, a little T-Bone Walker, and a little Charlie Christian together, and look what a span of people that you will please! And making it simple is another important factor ... in being able to play my music. If you can call it my music. Ain't nothing new under the sun.[2][9]

Berry used a similar riff in "Roll Over Beethoven",[2] released one year earlier.


In the 1960s and 1970s, Hogan wrote songs for Carol Lynn Townes, The Main Ingredient and The Dixie Cups.[5]


  1. ^ Pegg, Bruce (2002). Brown eyed handsome man : the life and hard times of Chuck Berry : an unauthorized biography. New York: Routledge. p. 247. ISBN 0415937515. 
  2. ^ a b c d Bayles, Martha (1996). Hole in our soul : the loss of beauty and meaning in American popular music. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 151. ISBN 0226039595. 
  3. ^ a b Chilton, John (1994). Let the good times roll : the story of Louis Jordan and his music. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. p. 123. ISBN 0472105299. 
  4. ^ a b Chilton, John (1994). Let the good times roll : the story of Louis Jordan and his music. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. p. 114. ISBN 0472105299. 
  5. ^ a b "Carl Hogan discography". Discogs. Retrieved April 25, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Louis Jordan And His Tympany Five – Louis Jordan And His Tympany Five". Discogs. Retrieved April 25, 2012. 
  7. ^ Flanagan, Bill (1986). Written in my soul : rock's great songwriters talk about creating their music ([New ed.]. ed.). Chicago: Contemporary Books. p. 85. ISBN 0809251531. 
  8. ^ Joseph, Lawrence (2010). Music is rapid transportation : --from the Beatles to Xenakis. Toronto: Charivari. p. 112. ISBN 1895166047. 
  9. ^ Boyd, Todd (2008). Theater, film, and television. Westport, Conn. [u.a.]: Praeger. p. 36. ISBN 0275989232.