Jordan R. Young is a freelance writer-photographer and show business historian who has written 12 books and 600 articles. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Christian Science Monitor, The People's Almanac, America Illustrated, Los Angeles Magazine, Sheet Music Magazine, and other publications. Young's books include Spike Jones Off the Record; The Man Who Murdered Music, a biography of the bandleader who revolutionized comedy music during World War II; Acting Solo: The Art of One-Man Shows, which has been adopted as a university text; The Beckett Actor; Reel Characters; Great Movie Character Actors; Let Me Entertain You; Conversations with Show People; The Nostalgia Entertainment Sourcebook; and Comedy Writing in Radio and TV's Golden Age, which features behind-the-scenes interviews with a dozen of Hollywood's top comedy writers about the heyday of live broadcasting.
His plays include Hollywood Is a State of Mind, a trilogy of one-act plays produced by California Artists Radio Theater in Hollywood for broadcast on public radio; Love Is Not All: The Passions of Edna St. Vincent Millay, which originated as a one-woman show first performed at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia; Sgt. Levy's Lonely Hearts Club, which has been read at the Melbourne Fringe Festival and broadcast on Australian radio; and Picasso's Mustache, a surreal homage to Salvador Dali.
Young has acted as a researcher or consultant on various projects for BBC Radio, BMG Music, Rhino Records, Bear Family Records, Storyville Films, The Samuel Beckett Estate, Chicago International Theater Festival, New York Jazz Repertory Ensemble, San Francisco Symphony and WXPN Radio, Philadelphia. He has contributed to radio and TV programs including Prairie Home Companion and Entertainment Tonight, documentaries, stage productions, gallery exhibits, compact discs, concerts, websites and over 60 books by other authors. He has worked as a compilation producer and annotator for Good Music Record Co. and has written program notes for the Grammy Hall of Fame Awards. He also maintains a large archive of memorabilia on the performing arts, including the Spike Jones music library.
He served as Photography Editor for Amazon.com. He functioned as editor and research associate on Laurel and Hardy: The Magic Behind the Movies by Randy Skretvedt, with whom he is co-authoring an oral history of old-time radio. His poems have appeared in Gridlock: An Anthology of Poetry About Southern California and other publications. Young earned his B.A. in Communications from California State University, Fullerton. He has taught magazine writing at California State University, Long Beach, and has lectured on writing and publishing at colleges throughout California. He is a native of Los Angeles. He has traveled throughout the U.S. and Europe.
Desert Island Picks
Katz, Mickey Mickey Katz and His Orchestra
Various artists Kings of Swing
Muzsikas The Lost Jewish Music of Transylvania
Various Artists J'Etais Au Bal: Music From French Louisiana