Enterprise writer signs song deal

Published 8:00 pm Friday, April 6, 2012

A 95-year-old Lincoln County woman has been awarded a songwriting contract with a national performing rights organization.

     Irene Jordan, of the Enterprise community, signed a contract with Broadcast Music Inc. on March 24.

     Jordan’s daughter, Elaine Nettles, said all in the family were thrilled by the news.

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     “She (Jordan) and everyone have been really excited,” said Nettles. “She’s very aware of her contract. Jordan knows she’s been given this opportunity, and it’s an honor just to have a contract with a company like BMI.”

     BMI is one of the largest songwriting organizations in the nation. They collect license fees on behalf of songwriters and distribute them as royalties to the songwriters whose work has been performed.

     Nettles said Jordan suffered an injury recently that has hampered her ability to enjoy the contract.

     “It would have been great if it happened a few months ago because she fell and broke her hip and she hasn’t been in the best health since then,” said Nettles.

     Irene Jordan grew up on Mallalieu Drive and lived on Highway 583 in Enterprise after she married James Troy Jordan, who has passed away.

     Musical talents run in the family as Jordan has a nephew and a grandson who both play instruments.

     Her grandson, Denny Knight, has gone on to be a producer and engineer for artists in California. His father and Jordan’s son-in-law, Carl Knight, is a musician who once had a recording contract.

     Carl Knight received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010 from the Nashville Songwriters Festival and has been inducted into the Mississippi Music Hall of Fame as a songwriter.

     Carl Knight said Jordan contacted him about an idea she had for a song and he saw it as a good idea. The next time he went to see her, they worked on the idea together, which turned into a song.

     Jordan has been writing county and western song poems for as far back as Nettles can remember and said it’s always been one of Jordan’s hobbies. She had just never had one recorded, until now.

     The song they worked on became “The Devil’s Hand” by Maggie Mae on her new album, “Walking in the Sun’s Light,” which was recently released. She is an up and coming new artist, according to Nettles.

     “It was a fabulous idea and turned out to be a good song,” Carl Knight said.

     Getting the contract is something Jordan has always wanted, and Carl Knight said he was very happy that Jordan got it.

     “I’m so glad we did this at this time,” said Carl Knight. “She was so thrilled back in November when we got the contract and signed with BMI. She has always written poems and little songs and was never able to do anything with them, but she had a great talent.”

     Nettles said Jordan was first contacted about a contract in November, and the deal was finalized on the March 24. Jordan does have the ability to submit more songs under the terms of the contract.

     “She’s not writing currently because of her health, which is sad because she’s been so into it for so long,” said Nettles.