Mr. Jones carried out largely with the Younger Bucks rhythm-and-blues band and the Legendary Orioles doo-wop group, and he obtained rapturous evaluations.
“They’ve every acquired a microphone in entrance of them, and their sound is mesmerizing,” Washington Publish music author Eric Brace wrote of the Younger Bucks in 1996. “Soul music such as you nearly by no means hear anymore.”
Brace, who noticed the Younger Bucks in a small D.C. membership, added, “And it may be solely a slight exaggeration to say that you simply don’t know a factor in regards to the human situation till you’ve heard Eddie sing ‘Human’ by Tommy Hunt: ‘I chuckle, I cry, I gotta stay.’ … His vocal agility is all the time obvious, however by no means overstated, a expertise matched by his guitar enjoying. … He by no means appears to be like at his arms, and the notes glide below and over his vocal traces seamlessly.”
Self-taught and left-handed, Mr. Jones performed a right-handed mannequin the other way up and as soon as turned down the provide of a left-handed guitar from his dad and mom.
He backed Roberta Flack, who grew up in Arlington, Va., on a few of her earliest reveals on the Capitol Hill bar Mr. Henry’s, toured with Bobby Womack and Carla Thomas, and, whereas main the Younger Bucks all through the Eighties and ’90s, sang lead tenor with the Legendary Orioles.
Edward McKinley Jones was born in Washington on June 11, 1953. His father labored in development, and his mom labored for the Commerce Division. He attended the previous Spingarn Excessive Faculty in D.C.
He began acting at age 7, singing along with his 4 siblings in a household gospel group, the Jones Gospel 5.
“All of it comes from the church,” Mr. Jones advised The Washington Publish. “My grandfather was a minister, and singing in church was the start of my musical coaching. We’d sit on the dinner desk and sing. We’d depart the dinner desk and sing. Sit in our bedrooms and sing.”
In line with Hatchett, the Jones Gospel 5 carried out on reveals sponsored by native gospel station WUST. “When the Mighty Clouds of Pleasure or Shirley Caesar got here to city, we’d open the applications and signify D.C.,” she stated.
By his teenagers, Mr. Jones was moonlighting in secular music circles. Within the late Sixties, he joined the Younger Bucks and took over the band when founder and pianist Earl Simpson stopped performing within the Nineteen Seventies.
“Mother’s rule was you are able to do the secular music so long as you understand that your place is within the church,” Hatchett stated.
Mr. Jones didn’t use a set listing — he known as the tune or generally simply began it — however the Younger Bucks’ seemingly limitless repertoire of rhythm-and-blues prolonged from doo-wop balladry to funk and even the occasional songbook normal. In more moderen years, Mr. Jones put his guitar down to focus entirely on his vocals.
Whereas their résumé included inaugural balls for the Clinton and Obama presidencies and lots of non-public occasions, their bread-and-butter work was in Black golf equipment and cabarets — the time period utilized by Black musicians for BYOB occasions in rented halls — that catered primarily to professionals and authorities employees within the period earlier than gentrification.
Mr. Jones was married and divorced 3 times. Survivors embrace three kids; two sisters; two brothers; 12 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
“It’s been extra good instances than dangerous instances,” Mr. Jones told Type Weekly, a information and humanities publication in Richmond. “I’d say I’m fairly blessed. Most guys [are] on a job they hate. I’m not worrying about payments.”