Linda Jones in 1967
|Born||December 14, 1944|
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
|Died||March 14, 1972 (aged 27)|
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
Jones was born in Newark, New Jersey. She started singing in her family's gospel group, the Jones Singers at the age of six. Her first recording was "Lonely Teardrops" under the name of Linda Lane on Cub Records in 1963. She was found performing at a local club by songwriter Jerry Harris who introduced her to producer George Kerr. After unsuccessful singles on Atco Records in 1964 and Blue Cat Records the following year, Kerr took her to Warner Bros. Records' R&B subsidiary, Loma Records in 1967. The first Loma release proved to be her biggest success, the ballad, "Hypnotized" reached No. 4 on the Billboard R&B chart and No. 21 on the Hot 100. This proved to be the label's best-selling record and it was followed by two further hits, including "What've I Done (To Make You Mad)" (#8 R&B, No. 61 pop), and an album.
After Loma closed in late 1968, Linda had a final single on the main Warner label before joining Neptune Records, run by Philadelphia producers, Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. Two singles, both produced by Kerr, saw some R&B success before she signed for All Platinum subsidiary, Turbo Records, in New Jersey in 1971. A powerful revamped version of the former Jerry Butler & The Impressions hit, "For Your Precious Love" reached both the R&B (#15) and pop (#74) charts in 1972 and saw her career take off again. Reviewing her 1972 album Your Precious Love in Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981), Robert Christgau wrote: "Jones isn't too long on artistry—she likes to dispense with formality and just start at the climax throwing her emotions and her high notes all over material like 'Dancing in the Street' and 'I Can't Make it Alone.' Pretty amazing, in its way, and definitely recommended to people who always get out of their cars to look at waterfalls and strange rock formations."
Shortly after the end of her national tour supporting the album, Jones died at her mother's home at the age of 27 while resting between matinee and evening shows at New York City's Apollo Theater in Harlem. She had been a diabetic for most of her life and slipped into a coma (or more likely, insulin shock) while sleeping.
All Platinum put out three albums of previously issued and unreleased material after Linda's death and in 2008, her daughter, Terry Jones, along with Helen Bruner, produced an album featuring her mother's vocals. One of the tracks, "Baby I Know" was nominated for a Grammy award at the end of 2008.
- Hypnotized (Loma Records, LS 5907 1967) U.S. R&B Albums No. 26
- A Portrait Of Linda Jones (Turbo Records,TU-7004)
- For Your Precious Love (Turbo Records,TU-7007 1972) U.S. R&B Albums No. 35
- Let It Be Me (Turbo Records,TU-7008 1972)
- Soul Talkin (Record Label: Phil\'erzy Productions 2008)
|U.S. Pop Singles||U.S. R&B Singles|
|1967||"What've I Done (To Make You Mad)"||61||8|
|1968||"Give My Love a Try"||93||34|
|1970||"I'll Be Sweeter Tomorrow"||–||45|
|1970||"That's When I'll Stop Loving You"||–||40|
|1971||"Stay With Me Forever"||–||47|
|1972||"Not on the Outside"||–||32|
|1972||"Your Precious Love"||74||15|