Floyd Jones

July 21, 1917 – December 19, 1989

Recording history: late 1940’s for Marvel/ Tempo-Tone, early/mid-1950’s for JOB/ Chess/ Vee-Jay, 1960’s for Testament, 1970’s for Earwig

Also recorded with: Little Walter, Snooky Pryor, Eddie Taylor, Sunnyland Slim, Junior Wells, and more…

Important/historic recordings: “Stockyard Blues”, “Dark Road”, “On The Road Again”, “Hard Times”

Random fact: One of the earliest of the great post-war Chicago blues stylists (one of his early bands included Little Walter & Jimmy Rogers), he didn’t record much as a leader, though he remained active for many years in the Chicago blues scene.

About: Born in Arkansas, Floyd Jones spent much of his formative years in the Mississippi Delta. In the 1930’s and 1940’s spent some time playing music in Mississippi and Arkansas, before moving to Chicago in the mid-1940’s. He became very active in the post-war Chicago blues music scene, especially in it’s early period (the late 1940’s). With his cousin Moody, and other musicians such as Baby Face Leroy, Little Walter, Jimmy Rogers, Sunnyland Slim, Johnny Young, and Snooky Pryor, Floyd made some now-classic early post-war Chicago blues recordings and also performed in the Chicago area (especially on the famous Maxwell Street), helping to set the stage for more popular post-war stylings from artists such as Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf.

The 1950’s saw only a few (but great) recording sessions for JOB, Chess and Vee-Jay. Classics such as “Playhouse” (on Chess featuring Little Walter) and “Schooldays On My Mind” (on Vee-Jay featuring Snooky Pryor) come to mind as particular highlights, but all of his early 1950’s recordings stand as great examples of early post-war Chicago blues. Later in his career, the electric bass replaced the guitar as his main instrument, but he continued to remain active on the scene for many years.

Recommended Recordings in-print (some with harmonica):

  • “Chicago Blues – Hard Times”– Indigo – nice early Chicago blues compilation with some great FJ tracks
  • “Blues Is Killin’ Me” – Paula – nice early Chicago blues compilation of JOB recordings with some great FJ tracks
  • “Vee-Jay Blues – Very Best Vol 2” – Collectables – another good blues compilation with some FJ tracks
  • “Old Friends” – Earwig – later recording with some harp from Big Walter Horton

I’ve found the best selection of blues harmonica CDs to be available at:

blues harmonica, blues harp, lessons, history
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