Linda Jones Biography

14 January 1944, Newark, New Jersey, USA, d. 14 March 1972, New York City, New York, USA. This soulful song stylist started in her family’s gospel group the Jones Singers at the age of six. Her first recording was ‘Lonely Teardrops’ under the name Linda Lane, on Cub Records in 1963, and she had unsuccessful singles on Atco Records in 1964 and Blue Cat the following year. In 1967, she worked with writer/producer George Kerr and signed to Russ Regan’s Loma label in 1967. This resulted in her biggest hit, ‘Hypnotized’, which narrowly missed the US Top 20. She later had releases on Warner 7-Arts, Cotique and Gamble And Huff’s Neptune label before joining Sylvia Robinson’s Turbo Records in 1971. A sufferer of diabetes, Jones collapsed backstage at the Apollo in New York on 14 March 1972 and died shortly afterwards in hospital. She was way ahead of her time and made melisma (spreading a syllable over several notes) an art form. This unique singer, who has influenced scores of R&B artists, was aptly described in Black Music magazine as ‘perhaps the most soulful singer in the history of R&B music’.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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