- Jimmy Jones (singer)
Jones joined a
doo-wopgroup named The Berliners in 1954. They later changed their name to Sparks Of Rhythm. In 1955 he wrote " Handy Man" which was recorded by the Sparks Of Rhythm in 1956 (after Jones left the group).
After recording with other groups, he went solo and in 1959 he teamed up with
Otis Blackwellwho reworked "Handy Man" which Jones recorded on the MGM record label, Cub subsidiary. When the fluteplayer did not show up for the session, Blackwell whistled on the recording. "Handy Man" went to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100in 1960.
In 1959 the
songwas released, and Jimmy Jones had his first U.S. and UK hit single with the free-running, and all-time classic track. Later, in 1960 his recording "Good Timin'", went to Number 1 on the UK Singles Chartand #3 in the U.S. His subsequent career was low key, although it included three more UK chart entries in the following twelve months. The song, "Handy Man", which introduced a rock falsettosinging style to the British audience, provided later hits for Del Shannonand James Taylor.
Although Jones had but two
Top 40hits, both smash million sellers, he was able to keep active in the music industryas both a songwriterand recording artist, making personal appearances when he wanted to. His importance on singing can not be overstated as Del Shannon has cited both Jones and The Ink Spotsas an influence. Other singers who later used falsetto included Lou Christieand Barry Gibb, the latter who has cited Shannon in turn as an influence for his discovocalizations with the Bee Gees.
Jones released "Grandma's Rock & Roll Party" in the 1990s on CD, perhaps in part to his popularity in the UK
Northern Soulmusic circle, which included new versions of "Handy Man" and "Good Timin'".
* [http://home.att.net/~marvy42/Jimmyjones/jjones.html The Jimmy Jones Story]
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