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Martha Jordan

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Information about Martha Jordan

Profile image of Martha Jordan

Profession

Category:
EntertainmentMakers
Occupation(s):
Entertainer
Dancer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
Soul Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Greek Islands
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
1/22/1927
Birth Location:
St. Louis, Missouri

Profession

Category:
EntertainmentMakers
Occupation(s):
Entertainer
Dancer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
Soul Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Greek Islands
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
1/22/1927
Birth Location:
St. Louis
See how Martha Jordan is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Martha Jordan was born on January 22, 1927, in St. Louis, Missouri. Jordan was adopted as a baby by Dr. Chalmers Weaver, a local dentist and his wife, Eliza. Jordan attended Simmons Elementary School, and because of her love for music, Jordan took tap and ballet classes as well as piano lessons. Jordan then attended Charles H. Sumner High School where she danced in the Y Circus, a type of music revue that featured popular musicians of that time; she graduated in 1943, at age sixteen.

Jordan promised her parents that she would go to college if they allowed her to work at the Plantation Club in St. Louis as a dancer for one year. When that year ended, she did not attend college, and instead went to Chicago with show producer-dancer Hortense Allen Jordan to work at the Rhumboogie Club as a chorus girl. Jordan performed with the chorus line for shows that featured Cab Calloway, Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington, and Pearl Bailey, who was one of her good friends. Jordan appeared in one of the first all African American shows in Las Vegas at the Dunes Hotel: Smart Affairs , produced by Larry Steele.

In the early 1960s, Jordan moved to Los Angeles during the decline in popularity of chorus line shows; there she took a real estate course and received her broker’s license. At this time, Jordan became engaged to music great, Louis Jordan, and they married in 1966. Louis Jordan was famous for his recorded hits, Let the Good Times Roll and Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby. Jordan traveled and sang with the Louis Jordan Band and took care of the finances. Jordan stopped touring in the early 1970s and began working as an office manager for a Santa Monica elementary school. Louis Jordan passed away in 1975, and in 1980, Jordan moved to Las Vegas where she worked for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department as a records technician. She then retired in 1990.

Jordan served as president of the Las Vegas Chapter of Links, Inc.; a member of the Girl Friends, Inc.; and founder and CEO of the Louie Jordan Commemorative Scholarship Foundation.

Jordan passed away on May 28, 2016 at age 89.

See how Martha Jordan is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Martha Jordan's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Martha Jordan lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Martha Jordan describes her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Martha Jordan describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Martha Jordan describes her parents' personalities
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Martha Jordan describes her community in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Martha Jordan remembers performing with the Y Circus in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Martha Jordan recalls her early education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Martha Jordan describes her early interest in music and dance
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Martha Jordan remembers her childhood friends
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Martha Jordan describes her extracurricular activities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Martha Jordan talks about her adoption, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Martha Jordan talks about her adoption, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Martha Jordan recalls breaking the dress code at Charles H. Sumner High School in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Martha Jordan remembers he popular musicians from her childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Martha Jordan talks about her family reunions
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Martha Jordan remembers performing for soldiers during World War II
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Martha Jordan describes her decision to pursue a career in show business
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Martha Jordan describes her early dancing career
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Martha Jordan describes the culture of show business
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Martha Jordan describes her experiences as a chorus girl, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Martha Jordan describes her experiences as a chorus girl, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Martha Jordan talks about African American owned clubs and theater productions
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Martha Jordan describes her dancing career in Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Martha Jordan describes her dancing and real estate career in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Martha Jordan describes the racial discrimination in the entertainment industry
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Martha Jordan describes her marriage to Louis Jordan
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Martha Jordan talks about Louis Jordan's singing career
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Martha Jordan describes her travel experiences
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Martha Jordan remembers her colleagues in show business, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Martha Jordan remembers her colleagues in show business, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Martha Jordan remembers her colleagues in show business, pt. 3
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Martha Jordan describes her career in Los Angeles, California and Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Martha Jordan describes her organizational involvement
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Martha Jordan talks about her autobiography, 'The Debutante That Went Astray'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Martha Jordan reflects upon her life
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Martha Jordan describes how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Martha Jordan narrates her photographs