'Sunday Hymn Singin’ Celebrating Leslie Jordan' set for Nov. 20 at Memorial Auditorium

Staff photo by Matt Hamilton / Festival host Leslie Jordan, left, sings along with musician Danny Myrick in the VIP area during the second day of the Riverbend Festival on June 4.

Musician/writer/producer Danny Myrick had a front-row seat for much of Leslie Jordan's meteoric rise in fame over the past several years, having worked with the actor-turned-singer on 2021's "Company's Comin'" album, as well as several other music projects.

Myrick sang with Jordan during his cameo appearances at Riverbend 2022, for example, while Jordan served as the festival's grand marshal. He also worked with Jordan on "Let It Slide," a new song written by Myrick and Tim James featuring Jordan along with Locash and Blanco Brown. Jordan died Oct. 24 in Los Angeles, and Myrick said the video for the song was completed just three weeks ago.

"We are still processing losing him," Myrick said.

Myrick is part of a group of people working to plan a memorial for Jordan set for 5 p.m. to 7 p.m Nov. 20 at Memorial Auditorium. It will be a ticketed event with all proceeds going to Cempa Community Cares, which provides social service advocacy, care and assistance for those impacted by HIV.

Friends and family are working with the city of Chattanooga and the Tivoli Foundation to plan the event, and the group said during a Zoom meeting on Thursday that full details for the event -- to be called "Love. Light. Leslie.: Sunday Hymn Singin' Celebrating Leslie Jordan" -- will be released next week.

Following the meeting, Myrick spoke with the Chattanooga Times Free Press via phone about Jordan and "Let It Slide."

The song and the video were released Wednesday night, and Myrick said that the song had taken on a life of its own over the past year.

Myrick said after James showed it to him, they thought of Jordan. Myrick said he thought country artist Blanco Brown might be a fit for the song, and then he later thought another country artist, Locash, would be a good fit as well for the track.

Jordan's cousin Jeff Davis said it might remind some of Walker Hayes' funny song "Fancy Like" about taking a date to Applebee's.

"It's great and, of course, Leslie is the star," Davis said, in a phone interview, of "Let It Slide."

"It's very catchy."

Myrick said the plan was to record it and put it out independently, but Broken Bow label head Jon Loba happened to be in the studio one day, heard it and offered to put it on his label and suggested making a video of the song.

"Jon was there and laughing and was like, 'What is this?'" Myrick said.

Myrick said working with Jordan on his musical journey was an experience he'll never forget. He said Jordan's album of gospel songs was the perfect complement to his hilarious short Instragram clips he did during the pandemic.

"He played so many roles throughout his life, and when the world needed it most, he was ready," Myrick said.

"He was game for it all, and to be able to live in that orbit and to see how it affected people was special.

"He was very quiet and introspective with these bursts of hilarity."

Contact Barry Courter at bcourter@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6354. Follow him on Twitter @BarryJC.