Time has been kind to Charley Jordan's music. He had some moderate success in his own right as a recording artist during his own time, in the 1930s, but he's probably better known among casual blues listeners of the 21st century than he was outside of St. Louis in the '30s. Jordan wasn't the greatest singer of his era, but he had a way with a song and especially his guitar, which makes his records some of the most endearing of the '30s St. Louis blues scene, of which he was a key part. He was a relative rarity in his time, a player who could coax a beautiful melody out of his instrument within a phrase or riff yet retain a steady tempo and push a song forward. Jordan was born in Arkansas -- some sources say Helena, others Mabelvale -- in (or around) 1890. Nothing is known of his early life, apart from the obvious fact that he was a talented guitarist and singer, and made some of his living while hoboing around the south in his twenties; he'd spent a fair amount of time in Memphis before settling in St. Louis. And sometime during that same decade, he became involved with the bootlegging business, which led to a shooting and a spinal injury that left him walking on crutches. The exact date of the injury is conjectural, but it did push Jordan toward music as a source of income, and the end of Prohibition in 1933 ensured that he would rely on music for most of his living.