Moody Jones

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Moody Jones
Born (1908-04-08)April 8, 1908
Earle, Arkansas, United States
Died March 23, 1988(1988-03-23) (aged 79)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Genres Chicago blues
Instruments Vocals, guitar, bass
Years active 1930s–1953
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[edit]

Jones was born in Earle, Arkansas, United States, on 8 April 1908.[1] 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.[2] 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.[3] 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),[3] in addition to guitar. He was regarded by his contemporaries as the best guitar player on the Chicago scene,[4] 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.[5]

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[6] 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".[1] 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".[6] 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.[7]

After 1953 Jones stopped playing blues and joined a gospel group,[6] and by 1955 he had become pastor of a Sanctified church.[8]

Jones died in Chicago, on March 23, 1988.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Komara 2006, p. 547
  2. ^ Rowe 1973, p. 56
  3. ^ a b Rowe 1973, p. 57
  4. ^ Komara 2006 p. 547
  5. ^ Rowe 1973, p. 75
  6. ^ a b c "Planet and Marvel". Retrieved 2008-11-22. 
  7. ^ Leadbitter, Fancourt and Pelletier 1994, p. 81
  8. ^ Rowe 1973, p. 194


  • Komara E M (2006): Encyclopedia of the Blues, Routledge.[1]
  • Ledbitter M, Fancourt L and Pelletier P (1994): Blues Records 1943-1970 Vol 2 (L to Z), London, Record Information Services
  • Rowe M (1973): Chicago Breakdown, London, Eddison Press