RANDY JONES

Born Randall Jones, 20 May 1936, probably Los Angeles, California
Died 24 June 2002, Los Angeles, California

Bass vocalist Randy Jones was an early member of such L.A. doo-wop groups as The Meadowlarks, The Penguins and The Flairs. In his late teens he joined the Meadowlarks, led by Don Julian, who were all a couple of years younger than he was, and recorded with them on their first two recordings for RPM Records before the group went to Dootone in late 1954. He also wrote one of their songs, "L.F.M.S.T". Randy left the Meadowlarks because he was eighteen years old and married, while the other members were still in high school. Though he wasn't there to enjoy The Meadowlarks' success on Dootone, Randy soon found his own place in the company stable when owner Dootsie Williams called him in to replace Bruce Tate, the bass singer in The Penguins, after Tate was involved in a fatal hit-and-run accident in late 1954. He sang lead on one Penguins song, "Kiss A Fool Goodbye", and appeared on their later Mercury, Atlantic and Dootone sides. He also replaced Richard Berry in The Flairs and appeared on two of the group's singles, "Love Me, Love Me, Love Me" (Flair 1051), which was credited to The Chimes, and "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Chill Me' (Flair 1056). With another group called The Jac-O-Lacs - with former Flairs Cornel Gunter and Young Jessie, along with Fred Romain and Thomas Fox - he appeared on "Cindy Lou"/"Sha-Ba-Da-Ba-Do", and sang background on several Oscar McLollie tracks. Randy later sang with The Flares, who had a # 25 hit in 1961 with "Foot Stomping, Part 1" on Felsted. In more recent years, Randy Jones worked as an extra and bit player in Hollywood films. He also performed as the bass singer with The Jacks/ Cadets, Penguins and Medallions, all of whom he visited the UK with. He was rehearsing with The Jacks / Cadets for a May 2001 Southern California Doo-Wop Society show when he had the stroke that left him in a near coma, Thirteen months later he died at an LA convalescent home.

Adapted from Jim Dawson's obituary in Now Dig This 233, August 2002. The full version, with an added discography, can be found at: http://www.electricearl.com/dws/randyjones.html

 
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