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Louis Jordan — Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby
Album: Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five
Avg rating:
7.7

Your rating:
Total ratings: 957









Released: 1944
Length: 2:42
Plays (last 30 days): 1
I got a gal that's always late
Every time we have a date
But I love her
Yes I love her

I'm gonna walk right up to her gate
And see if I can get it straight
Cause I want her I'm gonna ask her

Is you is or is you ain't my baby?
The way you're actin' lately makes me doubt
Yous is still my baby-baby
Seems my flame in your heart's done gone out
A woman is a creature that has always been strange
Just when you're sure of one
You find she's gone and made a change
Is you is or is you ain't my baby
Maybe baby's found somebody new
Or is my baby still my baby true?

Is you is or is you ain't my baby?
The way you're actin' lately makes me doubt
Yous is still my baby-baby
Seems my flame in your heart's done gone out
A woman is a creature that has always been strange
Just when you're sure of one
You find she's gone and made a change
Is you is or is you ain't my baby
Maybe baby's found somebody new
Or is my baby still my baby true?
Comments (65)add comment
A pure 1 {#Smile}
Herb Alpert, Andrew Bird, The Beatles, Louis Jordan, Leonard Cohen.  Maybe next we can have a little Missy Eliott.  This is the kind of ecclectic radio I'm looking for, and I hope we keep it up by losing more of the recent too-often-played stuff.  Nothing against recent.  Just slot it in every so often.
For some reason I am always reminded of Tom and Jerry when I hear this song: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-sLX5UZaxk 

My father used to sing this song to me in my cradle. The reason I know this is because my mother told me so. And all of the Flannagan and Allen hoary old favorites. Damn, I'm old, which makes sense, since it recently dawned on me that da Missus, der mbike and me are 150 years old. The Suzuki is 3.
Update to Fred Riley's link (now broken) to the classic Tom & Jerry sequence that uses this song!
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-sLX5UZaxk
 Andybob wrote:
I got introduced to Louis Jordan the same way I got introduced to Thelonious Monk...through Joe Jackson cover versions. His Jumpin' Jive album had us searching record shops for the original recordings and they didn't disappoint and still don't. One of the pioneers. The film available of him and his band is worth digging up on You Tube. An amazing group of musicians. Love this track.

 
I was working away and found myself singing along with the song.  Then realized it was the original — Jumpin' Jive was a big intro for me to some classic jazz.
 jademon wrote:
I've noted some grammatical errors in the lyrics.

 
{#Lol} 
Hey Man, if ya gotta ask...
I got introduced to Louis Jordan the same way I got introduced to Thelonious Monk...through Joe Jackson cover versions. His Jumpin' Jive album had us searching record shops for the original recordings and they didn't disappoint and still don't. One of the pioneers. The film available of him and his band is worth digging up on You Tube. An amazing group of musicians. Love this track.
Pure 10 from me. Thank you Bill!! {#Music}
 jademon wrote:
I've noted some grammatical errors in the lyrics.

 
You have keen eye!

 
I've noted some grammatical errors in the lyrics.
This will always be the song that Tom sang in this cartoon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7KdIhGTtKE
 On_The_Beach wrote:
Though virtually unknown, Louis is the true granddaddy of Rock & Roll.

 
I'dve never thought of it like that, but yeah.
 caregiver wrote:

This is obviously an earlier version of the song, but BB King and Dr John's version is timeless.

 

This is the original version of the song. A timeless classic.
{#Dancingbanana}{#Sunny}
love this. and love joe jackson's rendition, too.
I have heard this in Tom & Jerry cartoon, and it is also fantastic. Slight parody, but fantastic.
 here here!  
Lazarus wrote:

This classic song is soooo good for the ears...
 

 


This classic song is soooo good for the ears...
 
 Poacher wrote:
69 years old. Wow.
 
Wow, as in it's older than I am and never heard it until today... I'm also one of those who has always thought that B.B. King and Dr. John sang the definitive version—now I'm not so sure.  Pretty damn good.  If this is from a 40's recording I'm sure we must thank God at this time for remastering.

(Edit: I'm not saying that God remastered this, just saying this may be the best 40's era reproduction that I've personally ever heard)
69 years old. Wow.
Though virtually unknown, Louis is the true granddaddy of Rock & Roll.
 JonnySteele wrote:
I have Dinah Washington's version of this. Her rendition is much more sassy than Jordan's. I like it for that reason.  What a great song!
 
Yes — Dinah's version is the one I have too — for me on the Verve Remixed album (vol 1).  This is nice too, though!
ummm?
Who won the war?


Wow...  this is beautiful...  love it...

 
My father-in-law who was a really cool WWII Marine vet, used to todder around singing the chorus from this song. It was clearly a trip down memory lane in some way we could never access- I was happy for him regardless.
I love the Tom and Jerry version of this :o)

This is obviously an earlier version of the song, but BB King and Dr John's version is timeless.


 Mugro wrote:
I think it is a great song. I was poking fun of those among us that get bound up over things like this. I pride myself in being able to speak in legalese or gutter trash speak depending on the situation.
 
Mugro:

There are times when you can't get no satisfaction. I guess this is one. ;-) 
Good to know that I am not the only male struggling with the female psyche. 
aw fun with irregular verbs. {#Bananajam}
This is how I like to remember this song...it is the first song my mother ever taught me and is one of the first I remember  and I would say "I is" after she would sing the verse that asks {"is you is or is you aint my baby"
, goofy, but true, and I will always remember it that way...I cherish it.
betty
has anyone heard Renee Olstead's cover of this song ? she does a smashing job on Summertime as well.....great to see is you is in the mix - definitely a piece of paradise
serendipity_blue wrote:
I can't help but associate this with the old Tom & Jerry cartoons. Which isn't necessarilly a bad thing.
My son (age 7) has a Tom and Jerry reel he watches again and again and again, and there is indeed a segment in which Tom (the cat) serenades another cat to the tune of this song. Great song, funny segment, and wonderful flashback.
ChardRemains wrote:
Sometimes the vernacular says what the grammarian cannot express... Get over it. Or do you whine as grievously over e e cummings' lack of capital letters?
I think it is a great song. I was poking fun of those among us that get bound up over things like this. I pride myself in being able to speak in legalese or gutter trash speak depending on the situation.
I can't help but associate this with the old Tom & Jerry cartoons. Which isn't necessarilly a bad thing. Nice enough song, even if the grammar is appalling.
Mugro wrote:
This one will surely drive the English teachers among us NUTS!!
Sometimes the vernacular says what the grammarian cannot express... Get over it. Or do you whine as grievously over e e cummings' lack of capital letters?
Mugro wrote:
This one will surely drive the English teachers among us NUTS!!
My ninety-three-year-old mother -- a stooped white woman from the upper Midwest of the U.S. -- can and does speak English just fine. I recollect the pointed inquiry, delivered whenever she was looking to get a straight answer out of a wishy-washy subject, say, a quibbling adult or a fibbing child: "is you is or is you ain't?" I never knew where such disjoint phraseology came from, until . . . Louis Jordan lives on.
Not bad - not fantastic, but not bad!
This one will surely drive the English teachers among us NUTS!!
jpfueler wrote:
I loved Tom cat doing this on a Tom and Jerry 'toon :clap: :D/ :D/
This was my introduction to this one. Glad someone else saw it.
Was is you is a little muffled trumpet? That's not very good english. Was you saying? :stupid:
A completely good-natured bouncy bit of a song.....makes me feel like grinning and tapping my feet.
You know, if they play ALLMAN BROS. next, the playlist will read JORDAN ALLMANs, hmm...
I feel like I am shopping at Pottery Barn. 8-<
Yes, please. Thank you.
Pyro wrote:
Wasn't there a Louis Jordan who was a white actor in the 50's? Obviously, this AIN'T him.
Yes. I think he played the villain in the James Bond film OCTOPUSSY, too. This track is aces.
Wasn't there a Louis Jordan who was a white actor in the 50's? Obviously, this AIN'T him.
I have Dinah Washington's version of this. Her rendition is much more sassy than Jordan's. I like it for that reason. And the cartoon of mice dating is with Dinah's version. At least when I saw it. But Jordan's version is quite smooth. It takes on a much more sincere feeling to it than when Dinah sings it. And of course the mice thing makes hers seem more comical. I think of the cartoon every time I hear it. What route shall exploitation take next? Fortunately I've been introduced to a new "outlook" to this song. I don't see mice in my head. What a great song!
Matt_Naas wrote:
The version on Joe Jackson's Jumpin Jive is great as well. It's great to hear an original version
I always loved "Tom Cat's" version from Tom and Jerry! That particular version is my favorite but Joes is cool too... I've noticed Joe Jackson was always before the trend...Jumpin Jive was out way before the swing thing hit with Big Bad Voo Doo Daddy, Brian Setzer Orcestra, and SNZ came to prominance. He was "New Wave" well before the term was used.
Matt_Naas wrote:
The version on Joe Jackson's Jumpin Jive is great as well. It's great to hear an original version
:nodhead:
Is you is or is you ain't?
Somewhere, cartoon mice are being maligned to this song...
Definately the best! :cowboy:
Man that is smoooooth 8)
As long as Diana Krall doesn't cover it, it's good. After that, it's ruined.
Great song, and great, illuminating comments below. Thanks.
GregX59 wrote:
I agree completely. I've said it for years, he is probably the true father of Rock and Roll.
You're so right! Only record companies and the media, dominated by whites, made people believe it was Bill Haley(!), Elvis, Jerry Lee etc. who started it all, but it's much more likely that Louis Jordan was one of the true originators of rock 'n' roll and also of, what much later became known as soul and funkmusic. James Brown has often acknowledged the fact that Louis Jordan was a main influence. I remember an interview with Chuck Berry who said he didn't made up his trade mark rock 'n' roll riffs himself, but that he copied Louis Jordan's guitarplayer (ànd Johnnie Johnson)!
Gregorama wrote:
This is an excellent album. Whole thing is great with rythm & blues, swing, and bebop. Even has a little mambo tune, "Run Joe" thrown in. Nice addition to any diverse record collection. Louis Jordan was a great ioneer that helped engender rock & roll. Active in the 1940s-50s. Great swing, party & dance music.
I agree completely. I've said it for years, he is probably the true father of Rock and Roll. I also "discovered" Louis Jordan through Joe Jackson's album "Jumpin Jive", as someone else mentioned below. I started to explore, and was amazed at what I found. Really great stuff, much would be as popular today as it was up to 70 years ago. Louis Jordan was Jumpin and Jivin as far back as the thirties. He truly was one of music's great innovators and pioneers.
I loved Tom cat doing this on a Tom and Jerry 'toon :clap: \:D/ \:D/
ohh soo smoooooooooooove!
This is an excellent album. Whole thing is great with rythm & blues, swing, and bebop. Even has a little mambo tune, "Run Joe" thrown in. Nice addition to any diverse record collection. Louis Jordan was a great ioneer that helped engender rock & roll. Active in the 1940s-50s. Great swing, party & dance music.
The version on Joe Jackson's Jumpin Jive is great as well. It's great to hear an original version
awesome. I have this by dinah washington and thought about uploading it but I really like the vintage sound of this.