A rising star in soul music, New Jersey native Linda Jones would be a part of several labels before her untimely death at 27.
Early Career and Hits
She was born December 14, 1944, in Newark to a gospel family called the Jones Singers. Young Jones would begin her music career at six when she began singing with the group. By 19, she had recorded her first song on the Cub Records label under the name Linda Lane.
Months later, she was scouted by Jerry Harris, a songwriter who worked with music producer George Kerr. The trio released content on Atco and Blue Cat between 1964 and 1965 but it would be until Kerr and Linda Jones joined Loma Records in 1967. Loma was the R&B wing of the much larger Warner Bros. Records. With financial and PR muscle behind her career, Jones’ first single with Loma–“Hypnotized”–became a charting hit. It would peak at #4 on the R&B chart and #21 on the Hot 100.
Linda Jones became a hit machine for Loma Records with “What’ve I Done (To Make You Mad)” which peaked at #8 on the R&B charts and #61 on the Pop charts. There was also a charting LP, “Hypnotized,” which peaked at #26 on the R&B Albums charts. Despite the hits Jones delivered, Warner Bros shuttered Loma Records in 1968. As a result, she would be moved to the main label. By 1970 she had joined Turbo Records, a sub-label of All Platinum.
Late Career and Death
With Turbo, Linda Jones released three albums and managed several charting hits. Her last hit, “Your Precious Love” was a Jerry Butler cover which peaked at #14 on the R&B charts. It was also her second and last hit to make the Pop chart at #74 in 1972.
That same year she passed at 27 on March 14, 1972, as a result of a diabetic coma. She had just finished a big tour and was performing at the Apollo. In dying so young, it’s unknown how big she would’ve become. Her death came just prior to when many soul performers became megastars via disco.
In the decades following Linda Jones’ death, a wealth of unreleased content was found. Her daughter Terry Jones and artist/producer Helen Bruner would team up to release “Soul Talkin” in 2008. The album featured one tune that received a Grammy nomination: “Baby I Know.”
-For Your Precious Love: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZY7fZ95XfMY