Also see II. 'Billy Jones Bluez' below.
I. Billy Jones
1. Imagine for a moment that you could take the music of the following artists and somehow blend them all together Ike Turner, Chuck D, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Johnnie Taylor, Clarence Carter and Jimmy Reed. Throw in just a little bit of Richard Pryor/Dolomite and you will get a good idea about the music of Billy Jones.
2. William Reese Jones (March 15, 1889 - November 23, 1940) was a tenor who recorded during the 1920s and 1930s, finding fame as a radio star on The Happiness Boys radio program.
Shortly after the turn of the century, Billy Jones worked in such occupations as mining, banking and blacksmithing before his 1918 recording debut. He recorded with the Cleartone Four, the Crescent Trio, the Harmonizers Quartet and the Premier Quartet, and he performed under a variety of names (Harry Blake, Billy Clarke, Lester George, Duncan Jones, Reese Jones, John Kelley, Dennis O'Malley, William Rees, Victor Roberts, Billy West, William West and Carlton Williams).
After he met Ernie Hare in 1919, they teamed in 1920 when Brunswick executive Gus Haenschen had them sing an accompaniment on a Brunswick recording. They went on to do numerous recordings together for Brunswick, Edison and other companies.
They began on radio October 18, 1921 on WJZ (Newark, New Jersey). Sponsored by the chain of Happiness Candy stores, they were heard on The Happiness Boys program beginning August 22, 1923 on New York's WEAF, moving to NBC from a run from 1926 to 1929. As the Happiness Boys, they sang popular tunes, mostly light fare and comic songs, and they joked with one another between numbers.
By 1928, they were the highest paid singers in radio, earning $1,250 a week. The partnership ended with Hare's death on March 9, 1939. Jones continued to perform, teaming with Hare's 16-year-old daughter, Marilyn Hare, in 1939-40. He died November 23, 1940.
"Yes! We Have No Bananas" is the title of a novelty song by Frank Silver and Irving Cohn that was a major hit in 1923, and one of the top songs of the 20th century. The song was recorded by Billy Jones, Arthur Hall, Irving Kaufman and others that year, and covered later by Benny Goodman and his Orchestra, Spike Jones & His City Slickers and many more. It also inspired a follow-up, "I've Got the Yes! We Have No Bananas Blues", recorded by Jones and others in 1923.
II. Billy Jones Bluez
The American Bluesman
AllAboutJazz.com : The Urbanization of Delta Blues
Taking Blues to New Places with R&B, Soul, and Urban Style :
"Billy Jones brings back the Thrill that once belonged to Jimi Hendrix & Stevie Ray ...A refreshing blast of the really great sound of Healing Blues, Jazz, Funk Music.
I'd recommend this to any avid blues listener and I look forward to hearing more from the reclusive Billy Jones."
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