Jimmy Jones

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Stylistically, the musical background of Jimmy Jones includes Western swing as well as gospel, but he is much better known for his contributions to the latter genre, including forming and leading the…
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Stylistically, the musical background of Jimmy Jones includes Western swing as well as gospel, but he is much better known for his contributions to the latter genre, including forming and leading the popular Deep South Quartet. He is a double threat in terms of providing bottom to a musical expression, being adept as both a bass singer and bass guitarist. His professional career began in the late '40s as a member of the Melody Ranch Boys -- this outfit performed both of the styles mentioned above. Jones also began paddling with the Swanee River Boys, then in 1951 was enlisted to replace a member of the Rangers Quartet who had been injured in an auto accident.

The Deep South Quartet was formed in the mid '50s, Jones relocating to Atlanta in order to take advantage of the city's rich music scene. But one member of the group, baritone Brownie Jones, had been available all along, as he was Jimmy Jones' brother. While quite popular on the performance circuit, recording opportunities developed slowly, beginning with a session of six sides cut for the Deep South imprint. Many different singers came in and out of the group, part of an overlapping cast of white gospel performers whose lack of loyalty to any one ensemble is part of the reason some listeners come to the conclusion that all of these groups sound the same.

After attempting to change its base to the United States capital, the Deep South Quartet broke up completely. Jones went on to join the LeFevres, alternating between bass and baritone parts. Following a decade with that group, Jones beamed his way into the Sunshine Boys, then joined the Palmetto State Quartet. As a soloist he cut two albums for the Peacock label in 1990.