Results 1 to 2 of 2

Thread: #31 Coley Jones

  1. #1
    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    672

    Default #31 Coley Jones

    Coley Jones (circa 1880s 1930s), a founder of the Dallas String Band was another outstanding blues mandolinist. Many of the details of his life are unknown, but he was born in Texas, came from a musical background, and, while young, played at dances and on the streets with a family group led by his father, Coley Jones Sr. Coley Jr. moved to Dallas by 1903, and performed in a travelling minstrel show before starting the Dallas String Band, a group of street musicians, some with homemade instruments. He recorded for a Columbia travelling studio in 1927 and 1929, and played guitar as a session musician as well. Jones was also a member of The Satisfied Five, which broadcast live from Baker Hotel and radio station WFAA. The Dallas String Band evolved into the Coley Jones String Band, with T-Bone Walker, "father" of the West Coast blues, as a member. These bands played dance and popular tunes, blues, and rags at local parks, "white barbecues," ball games, and anywhere they could draw a crowd. Sadly, Jones faded into obscurity, and, after the thirties, nothing is known of this exciting musician. In Mandolin Blues, Rich Del Grosso teaches "Dallas Rag" in Jones's style (p.20-21). This is an old tune which the Dallas String Band recorded, made memorable by Jones's frenetic mandolin playing.

    (Information from: "Coley Jones," Wikipedia; Del Grosso, Rich, Mandolin Blues,p.19; and Cherry, Dr. Richard, notes from Rags, Breakdowns, Stomps & Blues CD.)


    Here's Jones's thrilling rendition of Dallas Blues. If the links don't work, search YouTube for "Dallas Rag (1927) -- Dallas String Band".

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8wz6vUzkHU




    And here's another fine example of Jones's mandolin playing. The verbal exchange at the beginning illustrates that these men were not only musicians but all-round "entertainers". (I damaged my voice through pneumonia, and still can't sing well, so if someone asks me to sing, I use Coley's corny line.) If the links don't work, search YouTube for "Hokum Blues- Coley Jones".

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMmo...RVfpRCHa4Qido5

    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

  2. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Ranald For This Useful Post:


  3. #2
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    27,572

    Default Re: #31 Coley Jones

    Great stuff! I used to play Dallas Rag on my little Weymann mandolin-banjo (the only ones of that ilk that didn't hurt my ears. I just fixed the bridge on it and was playing it the other day. I have to see if I can remember Dallas Rag. Have to relearn it. Thanks, Ranald!
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  4. The following members say thank you to Jim Garber for this post:

    Ranald 

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •