Brinkley, Arkansas-born Louis Jordan (1908-1975) is one of the most important -- and most forgotten -- figures in American popular music. A 1987 inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Jordan is a direct link between minstrelsy and medicine shows of the early part of the 1900s and modern-day rock, rap and R&B music. He charted fifty-five songs on the Billboard charts in the 1940s. He starred in some of the earliest examples of music video, and did endorsement deals for U-Haul, "ethnic" hair products, clothing, and other products. He recorded with Ella Fitzgerald, Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong and many others. He appeared on the Steve Allen Show, the Jack Paar Show, with Ronald Reagan and many more. Louis Jordan is an influence to those many consider influences themselves. Chuck Berry said "I identify myself with Louis Jordan more than any other artist." James Brown simply said Louis Jordan "was everything." B.B. King, Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie and countless others have acknowledged the impact of the Monroe County, Arkansas native. Jordan's impact on rock is also direct -- his longtime producer, Milt Gabler, went on to produce Bill Haley and the Comets, who also appeared on Jordan's longtime record label, Decca. Bill and the Comets recorded several Louis Jordan songs -- but Jordan was dropped from the label in 1952 after 14 years of selling millions and millions of records for Decca on the race, country and pop charts. On July 8, 1997, a tribute to Jordan's overlooked contributions and influence was held in downtown Little Rock. The Louis Jordan Tribute has since become an annual event featuring writers, artists and academia as well as musicians performing their versions of Jordan's classic songs, like "Caldonia," "Choo-Choo Ch' Boogie" and others. On July 8, 1998 -- which would have been Jordan's 90th birthday -- Jordan's widow, Martha, was guest of honor at the Louis Jordan Tribute. Mrs. Jordan returned to Arkansas in October when Louis was inducted into the new Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame, located in the Pine Bluff Convention Center. A third Jordan tribute is scheduled for July 8, 1999. Jordan's music can be heard on a variety of current media, despite his current obscurity. His "Barnyard Boogie" is featured in the movie "Babe: Pig in the City;" his "Beans & Cornbread" is featured on the cable TV program "Dinner & A Movie;" and his "Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens" (a multi-million seller in its time) was recently featured in a Burger King commercial. Jordan's signature song, "Let the Good Times Roll," (later adopted by B.B. King as a concert-opener) appeared in the movie "The Blues Brothers." In the early 1990s, Jordan experienced a slight comeback of sorts when "Five Guys Named Moe," a musical based on Louis Jordan's songs, became a surprise hit in London's West End. The fanciful musical repeated its success on Broadway, and the show toured nationally. But, inexplicably, Louis Jordan has not been a household name for several decades. His musical legacy, however, lives on in today's rap, rock, and R&B sounds -- even if many modern musicians don't realize it. Jordan's witty blend of rural blues and urban jazz with a rocking shuffle is unique to Mr. Jordan himself, but it paved the way that many would follow.