Johnny "Yard Dog" Jones

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Johnny "Yard Dog" Jones
Birth name John Junior Jones
Born (1941-06-21) June 21, 1941 (age 73)
Crawfordsville, Arkansas, United States
Genres Chicago blues, soul blues[1]
Occupation(s) Singer, guitarist, harmonica player, songwriter
Instruments Guitar, harmonica, vocals
Years active 1960s–present
Labels Earwig

Johnny "Yard Dog" Jones (born John Junior Jones, June 21, 1941)[2] is an American Chicago blues and soul blues singer, guitarist, harmonica player, and songwriter. He won a W.C. Handy Award in 1997.

Despite years of playing in clubs and on the blues circuit, Jones recorded his debut album at the age of 55.[3]

Life and career[edit]

Jones was born on a cotton plantation in Crawfordsville, Arkansas, United States, but relocated in 1945 with his family to East St. Louis, Illinois.[4] Influenced by Robert Johnson and T-Bone Walker, Jones was given lessons in his early teens in playing the harmonica by Little Walter. At the age of 18, he moved to Chicago, Illinois, and was further inspired by the gospel music recordings of O. V. Wright, Johnnie Taylor and the Spirit of Memphis Quartet, and Jones played the guitar in several gospel groups for over a decade.[2][4] He added the "Yard Dog" moniker to help him gain more exposure.[5]

Having trained as a welder, Jones moved on to Detroit, Michigan, where he became established as a musician in the local blues scene.[2] In his early days he often played alongside Bobo Jenkins.[4] In 1991, he recorded his debut tracks for a Blues Factory compilation album, which also included work by the Butler Twins. Jones moved back to Chicago and was spotted playing by an executive of the Earwig Music Company.[2]

His debut album, Ain't Gonna Worry, was released on Earwig in 1996. The Allmusic journalist, Scott Yanow, noted, "At the age of 55, Johnny Yard Dog Jones finally had the opportunity to lead his first record date in 1996. His singing is likable and full of emotion as he explores a set of music that emphasizes 1950s-style Chicago blues, along with occasional soul ballads...". The album contained contributions from Johnny B. Moore and Detroit Junior.[3] It was chosen in a Living Blues critics poll as the 'best new blues album (contemporary)' in 1996,[2] and a W.C. Handy Award followed in 1997, citing Jones as the 'best new male blues artist'.[6] Jones played at the 1997 Chicago Blues Festival.[5]

Jones played on stage with Aron Burton at the 16th Pocono Blues Festival.[7]



Year Title Record label
1996 Ain't Gonna Worry Earwig


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Johnny Yard Dog Jones". Allmusic. Retrieved December 13, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Johnny "Yard Dog" Jones". October 4, 2010. Retrieved December 13, 2011. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b c Scott Yanow. "Allmusic ((( Johnny Yard Dog Jones > Ain't Gonna Worry > Overview )))". 
  4. ^ a b c "Johnny "Yard "Dog" Jones". Retrieved December 13, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Ray M. Stiles (1998). "Profile: Johnny "Yard Dog" Jones". Retrieved December 13, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Blues On Stage — Johnny "Yard Dog" Jones Interview". Retrieved March 16, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Aron Burton and Yard Dog Jones at Pocono Blues Fest video". Retrieved December 13, 2011. 

External links[edit]