Joe Jones (singer)

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Joe Jones
Birth name Joseph Charles Jones
Born (1926-08-12)August 12, 1926
New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Died November 27, 2005(2005-11-27) (aged 79)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres R&B
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter, arranger
Labels Capitol

Joseph Charles "Joe" Jones (August 12, 1926 – November 27, 2005)[1] was an American R&B singer, songwriter and arranger, who was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. Jones is also generally credited with discovering the Dixie Cups. He also worked with B.B. King.[2] As a singer, Jones had his greatest hit in the form of the Top Five 1960 R&B hit "You Talk Too Much", which also reached #3 on the pop chart.


Jones served in the U.S. Navy, where he played piano in a band, before studying music at the Juilliard Conservatory of Music. He formed a band, Joe Jones and his Atomic Rebops, in the late 1940s; band members played on Roy Brown's 1947 hit "Good Rocking Tonight".[3] He was expelled from the Musicians Union in New Orleans for attempting to set up a rival organization, but was later reinstated.[3]

He became a valet, then pianist and arranger for B.B. King, and recorded his first solo single, "Adam Bit the Apple", for Capitol Records in 1954. He also discovered Shirley and Lee, whose recording of "Let the Good Times Roll" became a hit in 1956.[3] In 1960, a re-recording of a song he had first recorded in 1958,[3] "You Talk Too Much", became a national success, but his subsequent releases were less successful.[4]

Jones claimed to have composed many songs, including the song "Iko Iko." Although his claims were originally successful, a federal jury and then Court of Appeals ruled that Jones did not write "Iko Iko," that his claims were fraudulent, and that the true writers were the band he managed, the Dixie Cups (the true original recording of this song had been released as Checker 787 by New Orleans singer and pianist Sugar Boy Crawford and his Cane Cutters in late 1953). The band hired music attorney Oren Warshavsky, who had previously won a case demonstrating that Jones fraudulently claimed ownership of another Mardi Gras classic song, "It Ain't My Fault." Jones also failed in his bid to claim ownership (though not as an author) to yet another Mardi Gras classic song, "Carnival Time." He also recorded the original "California Sun", which was made a hit by the Rivieras.[5]

He later moved into music publishing,[3] and worked tirelessly for the rights of fellow R&B acts.[4] In 1973 Jones set up a company in Los Angeles, California, making advertising jingles.

He died in 2005 from complications from quadruple bypass surgery.[2]


  1. ^ Eagle, Bob; LeBlanc, Eric S. (2013). Blues - A Regional Experience. Santa Barbara: Praeger Publishers. p. 175. ISBN 978-0313344237. 
  2. ^ a b Doc Rock. "The Dead Rock Stars Club 2005 July To December". Retrieved 2012-11-15. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Joe Jones Obituary, The Independent, 24 December 2005. Retrieved 12 October 2016
  4. ^ a b Ankeny, Jason. "Joe Jones - Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-11-15. 
  5. ^

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