Ellington Jordan

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Ellington Jordan
Also known asFugi
Born1940
Los Angeles, California
OriginDetroit, Michigan
DiedJune 18, 2020 (age 80)
Fresno, California
GenresFunk, Soul, Blues
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter, record producer
Years active1960s-1970s, 1990s-2010s
LabelsCadet Records, Tuff City

Ellington Jordan (1940 – 2020), also known as Fugi, was an American musician, songwriter, and record producer based in Detroit, Michigan.

Career[edit]

Ellington Jordan was originally from Los Angeles but moved to Detroit to start his music career.[1] He began playing music in Detroit in the 1960s and collaborated with various local soul and funk musicians as a songwriter and sideman.[2][3] In 1967 he co-wrote the blues song "I'd Rather Go Blind" for Etta James, based on his recent experiences in prison.[4] The song was later covered by many artists including Rod Stewart and Beyonce.[4]

In the late 1960s Jordan recorded as a one-man psychedelic funk act called Fugi, and released the song "Mary Don't Take Me on No Bad Trip" on Cadet Records (a subsidiary of Chess Records) in 1968.[5] A full album of the same title was recorded, but was not released until 2005.[6] It included Fugi's own version of "I'd Rather Go Blind".[4] He was backed on the album by Black Merda, who were later signed to Chess at Jordan's suggestion.[3] As Fugi, he signed with 20th Century Records in 1972 for a possible new album, though it was never released.[6]

Jordan left music for several years and eventually relocated to Fresno, California.[1] In 1994 he released a rap-oriented album called The Cold-Blooded City They Call the ‘No’ locally in Fresno under the Fugi name.[1] In the early 2000s, interest in his music was revived when fans of lesser-known early funk music rediscovered "Mary Don't Take Me on No Bad Trip", and he benefited from his association with Black Merda when that band experienced a similar resurgence in popularity.

In 2005, the full album Mary Don't Take Me on No Bad Trip was released for the first time by Tuff City,[6] and in the same year he released the new neo-soul album Almost Home.[7] Jordan returned to occasional live performances, and collaborated with former members of Black Merda on new material in 2016-17.[8] He died at age 80 in Fresno on June 18, 2020.[1]

Discography[edit]

  • The Cold-Blooded City They Call the ‘No’ (1994)
  • Mary Don't Take Me on No Bad Trip (2005; recorded 1968)
  • Almost Home (2005)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Tehee, Joshua (June 25, 2020). "RIP 'Fugi' Jordan, the man behind an Etta James classic and one of Fresno's first rap anthems". The Fresno Bee. Retrieved June 4, 2021.
  2. ^ Watkins, Grouchy Greg (2006-02-06). "Ellington Jordan: True Meaning". AllHipHop. Retrieved 2021-06-04.
  3. ^ a b Jackman, Michael. "1960s black rock trailblazers Black Merda back with Fugi for a new album". Detroit Metro Times. Retrieved 2021-06-04.
  4. ^ a b c "Etta James, "I'd Rather Go Blind"". American Songwriter. 2012-01-23. Retrieved 2021-06-04.
  5. ^ "23/4/15 - Ellington "Fugi" Jordan - Mary Don't You Take Me On No Bad Trip - 1968". In Deep Music Archive. 2015-04-22. Retrieved 2021-06-04.
  6. ^ a b c "Mary, Don't Take Me on No Bad Trip - Fugi | Release Info". AllMusic. Retrieved 2021-06-04.
  7. ^ Almost Home - Ellington, Ellington Jordan | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic, retrieved 2021-06-04
  8. ^ Jackman, Michael. "New track from Fugi of Black Merda fame: 'Jesus Don't Like 'Em'". Detroit Metro Times. Retrieved 2021-06-04.