January 31, 1894 - October 19, 1956
Leader of outstanding dance band, saxophonist, bassist and songwriter. Jones was born in Coalton, Ohio, to a musical and mining family, and grew up in Saginaw, Michigan, where he started his first band. In 1915 Isham Jones, Isham, pronounced "eye- sham," moved to Chicago, Illinois, played tenor sax and led a trio. Established his reputation by the early 20s, and made a series of popular records for Brunswick. His first successful recording was Wabash Blues in 1921.
Jones was reportedly a tough disciplinarian. In 1931 he recorded Star Dust and that pushed the band higher in popularity. Also in 1931 You're Just a Dream Come True became the bands theme. In 1932, Jones signed with Victor records, these are generally considered among the best arranged and performed commercial dance band records of the Depression era. In 1934 he signed with Decca records. He did radio shows in the 30s and in 1936 he disbanded and his orchestra was taken over by Woody Herman. In 1937 he formed a new band with vocalists Eddie Stone and Joe Martin and recorded a handful of sessions under the ARC, Melotone, Perfect and Banner labels.
Jones disbanded about 1942, thereafter led bands at intervals. He moved to Hollywood, Florida in 1955, and died there of cancer in 1956. In 1989, Isham Jones was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Say It 1934
I'll See You in My Dreams 1924
Swinging Down the Lane 1923
Wabash Blues 1921
It Had To Be You 1924
Not a Cloud in the Sky 1930
Follow the Leader Paramount 1935
Medley 1932 Early LP record