Tad Jones

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For the jazz trumpeter, see Thad Jones. For the college football coach, see T. A. Dwight Jones.
Tad Jones
Born September 19, 1952
New Orleans, Louisiana
Died January 1, 2007(2007-01-01) (aged 54)
Occupation music historian

Thaddeus Bunol "Tad" Jones (19 September 1952 – 1 January 2007) was a music historian and researcher. His extensive research is credited with definitively establishing and documenting Louis Armstrong's correct birth date, August 4, 1901.

Life and career[edit]

Jones was a native and resident of New Orleans, Louisiana. A graduate of Loyola University of New Orleans, he developed an interest in the music and history of New Orleans at a young age and conducted important oral history interviews with musicians while still in his teens. While earning a degree in Communications at Loyola, Jones was named Music Director of the university's radio station, WLDC and served from 1971-74. Frequently, Jones merged his broadcasting training with his musical historical expertise to promote New Orleans music in the station's playlist. This, in turn, gained the attention and influenced the programming of numerous record companies and album-oriented rock and jazz broadcast outlets through the United States. Jones also used Loyola's WLDC recording facilities in pioneering the taped oral history interviews of numerous New Orleans musicians from every period and style of New Orleans music. The William Ransom Hogan Jazz Archive at Tulane University now houses many of the interviews.

Jones contributed significantly to fostering and researching American rhythm & blues, early rock & roll and jazz. He was one of the "Fabulous Fo'teen," the founding members of Tipitina's, New Orleans's landmark music club established in 1977 and dedicated to Professor Longhair as a place for Longhair to perform until his death in 1980. Jones co-authored the liner notes of Longhair's final original records, "Crawfish Fiesta." He was involved in the founding of New Orleans community radio station WWOZ-FM. He was also involved in the organization of "Piano Night," a celebration of piano originally presented at Tipitina's on the Monday following the first weekend of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival as a benefit for the radio station.

Jones taught a popular and acclaimed course on the history of New Orleans Rhythm & Blues at University of New Orleans in the late 1980s. Jones also managed music publishing for The Radiators as General Manager of the band's Fishhead Music. He served as an original Program Organizer of New Orleans's Satchmo SummerFest, the city's annual conference and celebration of Louis Armstrong's birthday which draws a choice roster of scholars and fans to New Orleans. Jones also served as a consultant for multiple documentaries and films. Jones co-authored the history of post-World War II New Orleans Rhythm and Blues, Up from the Cradle of Jazz, with Jason Berry and Johnathan Foose.

At his death, Jones was researching and writing a long-anticipated biography of the early life of Louis Armstrong. The book was said to be near completion when Jones died.

Jones died unexpectedly on January 1, 2007 after an accidental fall outside his Uptown New Orleans home. He was interred in Metairie Cemetery following a "jazz funeral" organized by New Orleans musicians.

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