July 21, 1917|
Marianna, Arkansas, United States
|Died||December 19, 1989
Chicago, Illinois, United States
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, bass guitar|
|Associated acts||Snooky Pryor, Moody Jones|
Floyd Jones (July 21, 1917 – December 19, 1989) was an American blues singer, guitarist and songwriter. He was one of the first of the new generation of electric blues artists to record in Chicago after World War II, and a number of his recordings are regarded as classics of the Chicago blues idiom. His song "On the Road Again" was a top 10 hit for Canned Heat in 1968. Notably for a blues artist of his era, several of his songs have economic or social themes, such as "Stockyard Blues" (which refers to a strike at the Union Stock Yards), "Hard Times" and "Schooldays".
Life and career
Jones was born in Marianna, Arkansas. He started playing the guitar seriously after being given one by Howlin' Wolf. He worked as an itinerant musician in Arkansas and Mississippi in the 1930s and early 1940s. He settled in Chicago in 1945.
In Chicago, Jones took up the electric guitar and was one of the numerous musicians playing on Maxwell Street and in nonunion venues in the late 1940s who played an important role in the development of the postwar Chicago blues. This group included Little Walter and Jimmy Rogers, both of whom went on to become mainstays of the Muddy Waters band; Snooky Pryor; Jones's cousin Moody Jones and the mandolin player Johnny Young. Jones's first recording session, in 1947, with Pryor on harmonica and Moody on guitar, produced the sides "Stockyard Blues" and "Keep What You Got", which formed one of the two records released by the Marvel label. They are one of the earliest examples of the new style on record. A second session, in 1949, resulted in a release on the similarly short-lived Tempo-Tone label.
The album Old Friends Together for the First Time, featuring Jones and David "Honeyboy" Edwards, Sunnyland Slim, Big Walter Horton, and Kansas City Red, was released by Earwig in 1981. Jones sang and played lead guitar on "Mr. Freddy Blues" and sang on "Banty Rooster".
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