Let the Good Times Roll (Louis Jordan song)

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"Let the Good Times Roll"
Single by Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five
A-side "Ain't Nobody Here but Us Chickens"
Released 1946 (1946)
Format 10-inch 78 rpm record
Recorded New York City, June 26, 1946
Genre Jump blues
Length 2:45
Label Decca (no. 23741)
Songwriter(s) Sam Theard, Fleecie Moore
Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five singles chronology
"Ain't Nobody Here but Us Chickens"
"Let the Good Times Roll"
"Texas and Pacific"
"Ain't Nobody Here but Us Chickens"
"Let the Good Times Roll"
"Texas and Pacific"

"Let the Good Times Roll" is a jump blues song recorded in 1946 by Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five. A mid-tempo twelve-bar blues, the song became a blues standard and one of Jordan's best-known songs.[1]

Original song[edit]

"Let the Good Times Roll" is "Louis Jordan's buoyant invitation to party":[2]

Hey everybody, let's have some fun
You only live but once, and when you're dead you're done
So let the good times roll, let the good times roll
Don't care if you're young or old, get together let the good times roll

The song was written by Sam Theard, a New Orleans-born blues singer and songwriter, and was co-credited to Fleecie Moore, Jordan's wife, who never wrote a lyric in her life (however, her name was sometimes substituted for Jordan's to get around an inconvenient publishing contract; this strategy backfired when Louis and Fleecie divorced acrimoniously and she kept ownership of the songs he'd put her name on -- thus denying him any income from them). Jordan and the Tympany Five performed the song in the 1947 film Reet, Petite, and Gone, although the studio recording rather than a live performance is used in the soundtrack.

Charts and recognition[edit]

"Let the Good Times Roll" reached number two in the Billboard R&B chart in 1947. Its A-side, "Ain't Nobody Here but Us Chickens", was the top number one record of 1947 — both songs spent nearly six months in the chart.[3] In 2009, the song was acknowledged with a Grammy Hall of Fame Award[4] and was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 2013 in the "Classic of Blues Recording — Singles or Album Tracks" category.[2]

Other versions[edit]

Numerous artists have performed "Let the Good Times Roll"[2][1] and many have recorded it, including: Ray Charles (1959, The Genius of Ray Charles), Sam Butera and the Silent Witnesses (from the 1960 album The Wildest Clan), Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames (1964 Rhythm and Blues at the Flamingo), Muddy Waters (1975, Muddy Waters Woodstock Album), Koko Taylor (1978, The Earthshaker), Clifton Chenier and His Red Hot Louisiana Band (1982, Live at the San Francisco Blues Festival), Buckwheat Zydeco and Ils Sont Partis Band (1992, Let the Good Times Roll - released 2009), Quincy Jones (with Stevie Wonder, Bono, and Ray Charles – 1995, Q's Jook Joint), Rick Derringer (1998, Blues Deluxe), and Johnny Mathis with Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band (2003, "XXL").

B.B. King has recorded several studio and live versions, including with Bobby Bland and Tony Bennett. It also appeared in Five Guys Named Moe, the 1992 musical review about Louis Jordan, and in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers. Lynda Carter covered this song in her 2011 album Crazy Little Things.


  1. ^ a b Herzhaft, Gerard (1992). "Let the Good Times Roll". Encyclopedia of the Blues. University of Arkansas Press. p. 458. ISBN 1-55728-252-8. 
  2. ^ a b c "Classic of Blues Recording — Singles or Album Tracks". Blues Hall of Fame — 2013 Inductees. The Blues Foundation. 2013. Retrieved May 21, 2013. 
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1988). Top R&B Singles 1942–1988. Record Research, Inc. p. 229. ISBN 0-89820-068-7. 
  4. ^ "Grammy Hall of Fame Awards". Grammy Awards. The Recording Academy. 2009. Archived from the original on July 7, 2015. Retrieved May 21, 2013.