Isham Jones (Coalton31 January 1894 - HollywoodFloridaOctober 19, 1956) was an American big bandleader, saxophonistbassist and composer. In the twenties and early thirties, he led one of the most popular dance orchestras. He composed among other things "It Had To Be You" and "The One I Love Belongs to Somebody Else".


Jones worked as a child in the coal mines, where he binnenleidde the blind donkeys mines. After to have caused an accident, he decided to enter the music. He could play the violin as a boy and wrote all songs. When he was eighteen, he had his own band. In 1915 he went to Chicago, which was its home for many years. After a short service time during the first world war he became a saxophone player in a local dance Orchestra and at one point, he was also the leader. In Chicago, he played in Rainbow Gardens and, from 1922 to 1925, in College Inn in the Sherman Hotel. During this period he also made plates. From 1920 he took on for Brunswick Records, including the big hit Wabash Blues that 6 weeks at number 1 in the u.s. charts was. His record had a lot of success and confirmed the reputation of his Orchestra as one of the most popular bands of that time. Also during recordings he accompanied Al Jolson and Marion Harris.

[1][2]Isham Jones and his Orchestra, twenties

In the period October 1927-June 1929 took Jones not on, inter alia, because of a reorganization of his group, but then he was back with plates. This often had unusual arrangements, including by Gordon Jenkins. In those years he had different singers in his Orchestra, such as Eddie Stone, Frank Sylvano and, from 1932, violinist Joe Martin. Also made some recordings with his band in april 1932 a young Bing Crosby, who was ' jazz ' sang.

In August 1932 changed Jones of record company: he went now record for Victor (later RCA), including the Three X Sisterssinging trio. These plates let hear a combination of jazz and early swing-music, according to critics they belong with their package deals to the best commercial dance records of the time of the Depression. In July 1934 he signed with Decca, where he would remain until 1936. He belonged to the first ones recorded for that label. In 1936 stopped Isham with leading the band, mainly for health reasons, and his Orchestra was ' taken over ' by band member Woody Herman-this group would be known as Woody Herman's Herd. In the period 1937-1938 Jones had yet another new band, with which he recorded for small record labels. In the 1940s Jones stayed on his chicken farm, but he still made occasional short tours with occasional groups. In 1955 he moved to Hollywood in the State of Florida, where he died a year later of cancer.

Jones wrote more than 100 songs, some of which as standard , such as "I'll See You In My Dreams" (1924), "Swinging Down the Lane" and "There Is No Greater Love" (1936).

In his bands played, among others, Roy BargyPee Wee ErwinAl GallodoroJoe BishopJack JenneyFrankie TrumbauerBenny Goodman (only very short) and Bix Beiderbecke (as a student).


  • Isham Jones was one of the first who wrote a song with the word "jazz" in the title ("that's Jaz!", composed with Ole Olsen)
  • Jones described his music as ' dance music ' and not as ' jazz '
  • Its theme song was "you're Just A Dream Come True"

Discography (selection)[Edit]Edit

  • Swingin' Down The Lane, ASV/Living Era, 2005
  • 1922-1926Timeless, 2000
  • Song of the Blues 1923-1932Rivermont, 2008
  • 1929-1934Jazz Oracle, 2008

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