From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Embry, Jordan A.

(born: 1896  -  died: 1972) Jordan Embry was a jazz musician, the leader of the Jordan Embry Band. He was born in Richmond, KY, and for a while lived in Richmond, IN, where he owned a shoe shining parlor at 911 Main Street [source: World War I Draft Registration Card].

Jordan Embry was the son of July Embry, and in 1900, the family of three was listed in the U.S. Federal Census as living on B Street in Richmond, KY. His sister, Cordelia Embry, was a teacher at the Rosenwald School in Richmond, KY [source: 1920 U.S. Federal Census]. Jordan Embry was the husband of Ruby Embry (b. 1898 in KY).

Jordan Embry returned to Kentucky after World War I, and in the 1940s Clarence "Duke" Madison joined his band. The band, referred to as an orchestra, had been named Jordan Embry and His Big Blue Entertainers in 1930 when they played at the Rose Garden on Russell Cave Pike in Lexington, KY [source: "Colored Notes," Lexington Leader, 7/9/1930, p. 11]. The following year, the Lexington city authorities gave permission for a 'Battle of Music' dance from 9 p.m.-2 a.m. or later at Purcell's Garage on West Main Street [source: "Colored Notes," Lexington Leader, 1/23/1931, p. 22]; the battling bands were the Masked Marvels Band and Jordan Embry's Band.

Jordan Embry's Blue Bird Entertainers are listed in Jazz and Ragtime Records (1897-1942): A-K, by B. A. L. Rust and M. Shaw, p. 554. The band recorded the song "Wotta Life" in Richmond, IN, on March 20, 1929, a Gannett record that was not issued.

Kentucky County & Region

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Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Richmond, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
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Outside Kentucky Place Name


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Madison, Clarence "Duke"
NKAA Source: Lexington leader (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Jazz and ragtime records, 1897-1942

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Embry, Jordan A.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 27, 2022,

Last modified: 2022-04-18 17:16:17