|Floyd Jones||Stockyard Blues||Floyd Jones 1948-1953|
|Floyd Jones||Keep What You Got||Floyd Jones 1948-1953|
|Floyd Jones||Hard Times||Floyd Jones 1948-1953|
|Floyd Jones||School Days||Floyd Jones 1948-1953|
|Sunnyland Slim||Devil is a Busy Man||Sunnyland Slim 1952-1955|
|Sunnyland Slim||Going Back To Memphis||Sunnyland Slim 1952-1955|
|Floyd Jones||Dark Road||Floyd Jones 1948-1953|
|Floyd Jones||Playhouse||Floyd Jones 1948-1953|
|Floyd Jones||Big World||Floyd Jones 1948-1953|
|Little Willie Foster||Falling Rain Blues||Chicago Blues: The Early 1950s|
|Little Willie Foster||Four Day Jump||Hand Me Down Blues|
|Floyd Jones||Overseas||Floyd Jones 1948-1953|
|Floyd Jones||Early Morning||Floyd Jones 1948-1953|
|Floyd Jones||You Can't Live Long||Floyd Jones 1948-1953|
|Sunnyland Slim||I Done You Wrong||Sunnyland Slim 1952-1955|
|Sunnyland Slim||Be My Baby||Sunnyland Slim 1952-1955|
|Floyd Jones||On The Road Again||Floyd Jones 1948-1953|
|Floyd Jones||Skinny Mama||Floyd Jones 1948-1953|
|Snooky Pryor||Someone To Love Me||Vee Jay, The Chicago Black Musi|
|Snooky Pryor||Judgement Day||Chicago Blues: The Vee Jay Era|
|Snooky Pryor||You Tried To Ruin Me Baby||Chicago Blues: The Vee Jay Era|
|Floyd Jones||Rising Wind||Floyd Jones 1948-1953|
|Floyd Jones||I Lost A Good Woman||Floyd Jones 1948-1953|
|Floyd Jones||Any Old Lonesome Day||Floyd Jones 1948-1953|
|Little Willie Foster||Crying Blues||King Cobras: Chicago Kings Of The Harmonica|
|Little Willie Foster||Little Woman||King Cobras: Chicago Kings Of The Harmonica|
|Floyd Jones||Schooldays On My Mind||Floyd Jones 1948-1953|
|Floyd Jones||Ain't Times Hard||Floyd Jones 1948-1953|
|Floyd Jones||Floyd's Blues||Floyd Jones 1948-1953|
|Sunnyland Slim||Troubles Of My Own||Sunnyland Slim 1952-1955|
|Sunnyland Slim||Worried About My Baby||Sunnyland Slim 1952-1955|
|Floyd Jones||M&O Blues||Masters of Modern Blues Vol. 3|
|Floyd Jones & Walter Horton||Mr. Freddy's Blues||Big Walter Horton: King of The Harmonica Players|
|Floyd Jones & Walter Horton||Take A Little Walk||Big Walter Horton: King of The Harmonica Players|
|Floyd Jones c. 1944|
Guitarist Floyd Jones specialized in well crafted, dark, brooding topical blues songs. He was born on July 21, 1917, in Marianna, Arkansas. He recalled that his Mother was a fine pianist but died when he was young. Moving to Mississippi with his father, where he came into contact with Charlie Patton, Robert Johnson and Tommy Johnson. After several years of dabbling with the guitar began playing it in earnest after Howlin’ Wolf gave him an instrument. Through much of the 1930's and early 1940's he worked the South as an itinerant musician. After visiting Chicago a couple of times, Jones moved to the city permanently in 1945, settling in the Maxwell Street neighborhood. In the city, the blues became more electrified, and Floyd Jones, who had been playing an acoustic guitar with an electric pickup, switched to a Gibson electric. He began playing on Maxwell Street and in non-union venues with such artists as Little Walter, John Henry Barbee, and Sunnyland Slim. In the fall of 1946, Jones teamed up with Snooky Pryor, soon joined by his cousin Moody Jones. Throughout the late 1940's and early 1950's, Jones recorded over a dozen songs for Marvel, JOB, Chess, and Vee-Jay, including the Chicago blues classics "Stockyard Blues," "Hard Times," and "Dark Road." His powerful but somber writing style dealt mainly with social and economic hardships, such as poverty, disenchantment, and unemployment. Jones also appeared on recordings throughout the 1950's by Eddie Taylor, Little Willie Foster, and Sunnyland Slim, and continued to play in clubs and on Maxwell Street into the 1970's, often with Big Walter Horton. In the 1960's and 70's he recorded more sparingly, cutting sides for Testament and some intimate sides with Walter Horton.
Floyd Jones, Snooky Pryor and Moody Jones were playing in a club on Sedgwick, when Chester Scales, owner of Marvel Records, happened by and offered to record the trio, having remembered seeing Snooky playing on the street sometime earlier. However, on the day of the session, Floyd Jones missed out on recording "Telephone Blues" and "Boogie," because he could not be located. Scales made up for it by recording the trio with Floyd Jones as the leader on "Stockyard Blues" and "Keep What You Got," two classics of postwar Chicago blues written by Jones. Much to Jones’s everlasting distress, when the record was released, Scales put Snooky and Moody down on the label as the main artists, and listed Floyd as mere vocalist. He also claimed composition credit on both titles. These sides were reissued on the Old Swing-Master label in 1949. In May 1949, Floyd Jones went on to record with Sunnyland Slim for Tempo-Tone, making another classic "Hard Times" backed by “School Days." Jones' next recording opportunity would come with Joe Brown’s J.O.B. label in March 1951, when he made "Dark Road" with Sunnyland Slim and Moody Jones. "Dark Road" was considered a hit, though its sales were not high enough to make Billboard's R&B charts. By the end of the year, Floyd Jones had moved to Chess, where he recorded two sessions. Jones' second rendition of "Dark Road," cut for Chess in December 1951 was in direct competition with his J.O.B. version, and became his most successful record and the most enduring part of his recorded legacy. Jones returned to J.O.B. for a session in January 1953, recording another standout, "On the Road Again." In 1954 he moved to Vee-Jay, where he made "School Days On My Mind b/w Ain’t Times Hard" and "Floyd's Blues b/w Any Old Lonesome Day."
Floyd Jones appeared on a number of records as a backing guitarist including sessions by Sunnyland Slim, Little Willie Foster, Snooky Pryor and Eddie Taylor (those tracks are left off as Eddie Taylor will be feature in an upcoming show). Featured on Sunnyland Slim's first single, Blue Lake 105, was "Going Back to Memphis." "Going Back to Memphis" is a chaotic sounding version of "Rollin' and Tumblin'" backed with “Troubles of My Own.” Deejay Sam Evans, who owned several shops, told blues historian Mike Rowe that he "just couldn't stock enough" of "Going Back to Memphis." Floyd Jones also backed Sunnyland on several sides for Vee-Jay in 1954, some went unissued at the time.
Jones appears on all four sides by Little Willie Foster. Foster moved from Mississippi to Chicago in the early 40's and fell in playing harmonica with Floyd Jones, Lazy Bill Lucas and cousin "Baby Face" Leroy Foster. Foster was probably from Belzoni and Johnny Williams remembers giving him first job when, with Willie and his cousin Robert, he played the 520 Club, 520 E. 63rd Street. Foster ran with the same group of musicians much of the time, playing at the Jamboree with Homesick James and Lazy Bill or with Floyd Jones. He waxed two sides for Blue Lake in 1951 and two for Cobra in 1956. Both sessions feature backing from Lazy Bill Lucas and Floyd Jones, with Eddie Taylor on guitar on the earlier session. Shortly after this last session he was seriously wounded by a gunshot which ended his career. Foster passed in 1987. Foster was described by Snooky Pryor as "a good harmonica player, but kind of a terrible rough little guy."
Jones appears on several sides by Snooky Pryor recorded for Vee-Jay in 1956. In his obituary for the Guardian, Tony Russell wrote: "Snooky Pryor, who has died aged 85, was the last of the group of harmonica players who distinguished the Chicago blues scene of the 1940's and 50's. If not quite the equal of men like Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, Walter "Shakey" Horton or Junior Wells, he was none the less a player with a distinctive sound, and his contributions to the early development of the Chicago blues-band idiom are held in high regard. In particular, the recordings he made in the late 40's, both in his own name and accompanying the singers Floyd Jones and Johnny Young, established him among blues enthusiasts of the 1960's as one of the defining figures of the primeval Chicago scene."
A new White audience created a market for the pioneers of Chicago blues, and in 1966 Pete Welding recruited Floyd Jones to record an LP with Eddie Taylor for his Testament label. Jones' was also featured in Harley Cokliss's 1970 film Chicago Blues. Jones subsequently recorded for the Swedish Magnolia label (with Big Walter Horton in 1970 and 1975) and Earwig (with Honey Boy Edwards, Sunnyland Slim, and Kansas City Red in 1979, and with Big Walter in 1980). As Dave Whiteis wrote: "Floyd gave his last performance,a quavering version of his 1952 Chess Recording 'Early Morning', on June 7, 1986 on a gray and drizzly Saturday afternoon at the 1986 Chicago Blues Festival." Floyd Jones died in Chicago on December 19, 1989. He was buried on December 26 and his old friend Sunnyland Slim organized a benefit at B.L.U.E.S. to pay the funeral cost.
-Whiteis, Dave. "Floyd Jones, 1917-1989." Juke Blues no. 20 (Summer 1990): 20-21.
-Whiteis, Dave. "Floyd Jones, 1917-1989." Juke Blues no. 20 (Summer 1990): 20-21.