Jimmy Joy

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b. Monte Maloney, 1912, USA, d. March 1962, Dallas, Texas, USA. Formed in the mid-20s in Texas, the Jimmy Joy Orchestra took its name after its leader’s association with the Joyland Park in Galveston,…
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Artist Biography by

b. Monte Maloney, 1912, USA, d. March 1962, Dallas, Texas, USA. Formed in the mid-20s in Texas, the Jimmy Joy Orchestra took its name after its leader’s association with the Joyland Park in Galveston, Texas, where many of their early concerts took place. Maloney later changed his name to Jimmy Joy by deed poll in Kansas City in 1929. His orchestra, which included sidemen Gilbert O’Shaughnessy, Hollis Bradt, Jack Brown, Rex Preis, Lynn Harrell, Clyde Austin, Johnny Cole, Dick Hammell, Amos Ayalisa, Norman Smith, Matty Matlock, Orville Andrews, Ernie Mathias, Al King, Oscar Reed, Elmer Nordgreen and Oscar Miller, was originally formed on campus at the University of Texas. They would find receptive audiences at a variety of Midwest and southern locales, including the Muehlbach, the Peabody, the Baker and Adolphus hotels. Led by Joy himself on saxophone, the group’s entertaining stage show was geared directly to the needs of evening dancers, and proved perennially popular. Their theme song was ‘Shine On, Harvest Moon’, with records released on OKeh, Brunswick and Decca Records. Joy was something of a showman, delighting audiences with his ability to play two clarinets at the same time (an idea borrowed from Wilbur Sweatman) and to sing the blues when the occasion demanded. Especially popular in his home state, Joy was made an honorary Texas Ranger in the 30s. He was also made an honorary Kentucky Colonel after his band played three seasons at the race track as the Official Kentucky Derby Orchestra. He remained active as a band leader through the 40s and 50s, though by then he was not as prolific.