April 8, 1908|
Earle, Arkansas, United States
|Died||March 23, 1988
Chicago, Illinois, United States
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, bass|
|Associated acts||Snooky Pryor, Floyd Jones|
Moody Jones (April 8, 1908 - March 23, 1988) was an American blues guitarist, bass player, and singer, who is significant for his role in the development of the post-war Chicago blues sound in the late 1940s.
Life and career
Jones was born in Earle, Arkansas, United States, on 8 April 1908. Raised in the church, he developed an interest in music at an early age and learned to play guitar after his brother bought an old broken guitar for $3. When he was proficient enough he started playing for country dances, and by 1939 had arrived in Chicago. In Chicago he became one of a number of musicians, performing on Maxwell Street and in non-union venues, who played an important role in the development of the post-war Chicago blues sound, often performing with his first cousin, singer and guitar player Floyd Jones. By the late 1940s he was capable of playing any kind of music requested, and had learned to play piano, banjo and bass (including a home-made bass made out of a wash-tub, a broom-handle and a clothes line), in addition to guitar. He was regarded by his contemporaries as the best guitar player on the Chicago scene, and was warned by noted slide guitar player Muddy Waters not to "fool with that slide" when Jones sat in with Waters' band one night.
Jones is most significant, and best known, for his association with his cousin Floyd Jones and harmonica player Snooky Pryor, and for the singles he recorded with them in 1948 which were among the first recorded examples of the new style. The track "Snooky and Moody's Boogie" is said to have been the inspiration for Little Walter's 1952 hit "Juke". Jones made further recordings for the JOB label in the early 1950s, backing musicians such as Snooky Pryor and Johnny Shines. He sang three numbers on a 1952 session, but these were not released at the time, according to Jones because label owner Joe Brown thought his voice was "too rough". One of the songs, "Rough Treatment", was recorded and released by singer and guitarist Little Hudson (Hudson Shower) for the same label the following year.
Jones died in Chicago, on March 23, 1988.
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