American banjo player, guitarist and songwriter. Born on October 19, 1938 and passed away on August 26, 2016.
Jordan moved to Nashville in 1964, initially working for Jimmy Martin, with whom he cut three songs, and then played with Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper before joining Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys in the summer of 1967. He recorded nine songs/tunes during the 18-month period that he was with Monroe.
He left the Blue Grass Boys in late February/early March 1969, and he and Roland White both decided, independently, to try out for Lester Flatt’s recently formed Nashville Grass band. He played with them until 1971, then with Jim and Jesse from 1972 through to 1974.
During his time working with Lester Flatt, Jordan composed and recorded the banjo instrumental Pickaway, a tune that has been recorded by numerous other artists. It was named after a small town in West Virginia. He was driving Lester Flatt’s bus one night and Roland White spotted the “Pickaway West Virginia” sign at three o’clock one morning and suggested that Jordan name his new banjo tune after the town.
An album named after the tune was released by Atteiram (AP I 1027) in 1973.
In 1978 he had another solo LP Banjo Nashville (Sugar Hill Records, SH 3704).
A third solo album Greatest Christmas Songs of our Land, (Power Pak PO 501, released in 1981) presented a dozen Yuletide favorites all played effortlessly on the banjo.
After leaving his job with Lester Flatt, Jordan worked as a session musician until the late 1980s.
Highlights of the 1990s include; establishing his own band, Old Hickory; in 1992, he worked as part of the show band for the Hee Haw TV show; and, later on, he worked with Wayne Newton in Las Vegas and Branson.
Subsequently, he returned to Nashville, once more working as a session musician. During this time and in the earlier period as sideman he worked with Dolly Parton, Hank Williams Jr., the Oak Ridge Boys, Jerry Reed and Loretta Lynn among others.
Jordan also played banjo on two movie soundtracks; Coal Miner’s Daughter and Smoky and the Bandit.
In 2013 Jordan was presented with the IBMA’s Distinguished Achievement Award.