Isham Jones

Isham Jones

American musician, leader of the band Isham Jones and his Orchestra
Date of Birth: 31.01.1894
Country: USA

  1. Biography of Isham Jones
  2. Success with Isham Jones and his Orchestra
  3. Later Career and Legacy
  4. Interestingly, renowned jazz drummer Rusty Jones is Isham's nephew.

Biography of Isham Jones

Isham Jones was an American musician and bandleader. He was born in 1894 in Coalton, Ohio and raised in Saginaw, Michigan. Coming from a musical family, Jones began playing in musical groups at a young age, trying his hand at the piano, bass, and saxophone. In 1915, he moved to Chicago, where he stayed until the early 1930s before relocating to New York City.

Isham Jones

Success with Isham Jones and his Orchestra

In the 1920s, Jones's dance band, Isham Jones and his Orchestra, gained immense popularity in Chicago. During this period, the musicians actively toured, including a visit to London, England. Jones himself served as the arranger for most of the band's recordings, which became hits in the 1920s and 1930s. "Wabash Blues" topped the American charts for 12 weeks in 1921, followed by "On the Alamo" holding the same top position for four weeks the following year. Other notable compositions include "Swinging Down the Lane" (1923), "Spain" (1925), and "I'll See You in My Dreams" (1925). In 1930, Jones's arrangement of Hoagy Carmichael's ballad "Stardust" became a number one hit, considered the pinnacle of his creative prowess.

Isham Jones

Later Career and Legacy

From the summer of 1932, Jones recorded on the Victor label, with those recordings considered his most successful from a technical standpoint. In October of the same year, he joined forces with the band Three X Sisters, resulting in the recordings "Where, I Wonder Where?" and "What Would Happen To Me If Something Happened To You." Known for his cold and distant demeanor, Jones was not particularly friendly with the public or his fellow musicians.

Jones's swing band, which had paused its activities since the early 1930s, reunited in 1936, with the addition of the young and later legendary musician Woody Herman. Herman led the Isham Jones Juniors, a jazz group within Jones's collective. Notable musicians who worked with Jones include Louis Panico, Benny Goodman, Walt Yoder, Roy Bargy, and others.

In the late 1930s, Jones recorded on labels owned by the ARC corporation, including Melotone, Perfect, and Banner. Before that, the majority of his recordings were made on Brunswick Records.

Jones resided on a farm in Colorado from the 1940s and later moved to Los Angeles and then Florida. It is worth noting that he lived in a town called Hollywood in Florida, often confused with the more famous Hollywood. Isham Jones passed away from cancer in 1956 and was laid to rest at the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Los Angeles.

Some of Jones's most popular recordings include "It Had To Be You," "On The Alamo," and "There Is No Greater Love." In 1989, he was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. "California, Here I Come" from 1924 was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2005, followed by "It Had To Be You" recorded by Isham Jones and His Orchestra in the same year.

Interestingly, renowned jazz drummer Rusty Jones is Isham's nephew.