Jay Owens (musician)

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Jay Owens
Birth nameIsaac Jerome Owens
Born(1947-09-06)September 6, 1947
Lake City, Florida, United States
DiedNovember 26, 2005(2005-11-26) (aged 58)
Orlando, Florida, United States
GenresElectric blues, soul blues[1]
Occupation(s)Guitarist, singer, songwriter
InstrumentsGuitar, vocals
Years active1960s–2005
LabelsAtlantic, EastWest

Jay Owens (September 6, 1947 – November 26, 2005)[2] was a blind American electric blues and soul blues guitarist, singer and songwriter.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Isaac Jerome Owens was born in Lake City, Florida, United States.[1] His mother was a minister in a local church, where Owens first learned to sing. He learned to appreciate blues from an uncle of his.[3] Having obtained his first guitar, Owens was playing music professionally by the time he left high school.[4]

Owens played alongside his friend, Johnny Kay, in the 1970s and 1980s, leading a succession of bands playing in the Tampa Bay and St. Petersberg area of Florida.[1] In such a role he supported many other musicians such as O. V. Wright, Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, Aaron Neville and Little Milton.[4]

Mike Vernon produced Owens' debut solo album, The Blues Soul of Jay Owens, which was released on Atlantic Records in 1993, and featured Pete Wingfield playing keyboards[5] It won Living Blues magazine's 'Best Blues Album' and 'Best Debut Album' awards.[3] In 1995, EastWest issued Movin' On, which included contributions as before from Vernon and Wingfield, whilst Dave Bronze played bass guitar on the collection.[6]

He was also a prolific songwriter, and his songs have been recorded by Jim Leverton ("Only Human"),[7] James Booker ("1-2-3" and "One Hell of a Nerve"),[8][9] and K. T. Oslin ("Come On-A My House").[10]

In 1997, Owens moved to Orlando, Florida after spending twenty years in New York City.[4]

Owens died at his home in Orlando, at the age of 58, from complications of diabetes in November 2005.[4]


Year Title Record label
1993 The Blues Soul of Jay Owens Atlantic
1995 Movin' On EastWest


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Jason Ankeny. "Jay Owens | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-08-02.
  2. ^ "Jay Owens". Oxford Reference. Retrieved 2014-08-02.
  3. ^ a b "Google Groups". Groups.google.com. Retrieved 2014-08-02.
  4. ^ a b c d "Southpinellas: Blues guitarist Jay Owens dies at 58". Sptimes.com. Retrieved 2014-08-02.
  5. ^ "The Blues Soul of Jay Owens - Jay Owens | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-08-02.
  6. ^ "Movin' On - Jay Owens | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-08-02.
  7. ^ Jo-Ann Greene (2006-11-13). "End of the Pier Show - Jim Leverton | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-08-02.
  8. ^ "United, Our Thing Will Stand - James Booker | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. 2004-10-26. Retrieved 2014-08-02.
  9. ^ Al Campbell. "A Taste Of Honey: Live In New Orleans 1977 - James Booker | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-08-02.
  10. ^ Maria Konicki Dinoia (2001-03-06). "Live Close By, Visit Often - K.T. Oslin | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-08-02.
  11. ^ "Jay Owens | Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-08-02.

External links[edit]