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Jones, Quincy - Overview, Personal Life, Career Details, Chronology: Quincy Jones, Social and Economic Impact

music american african jazz

(1933-)
Quincy Jones Entertainment
Company

Overview

After beginning his career as a teenage jazz trumpeter of note, Quincy Delight Jones, Jr., has gone on to become a virtual one-man musical entertainment powerhouse. He boasts a string of stellar credits not only as a musician but also as a composer, arranger, producer, and entrepreneur. And as one of the first African American executives of a major recording company, Jones helped bring jazz into the mainstream by successfully fusing it with the musical traditions of many different cultures. In the process, he broke down many of the barriers that had previously excluded African Americans from certain segments of the music industry.

Personal Life

Quincy Delight Jones, Jr., was born on March 14, 1933, in Chicago, Illinois. His father, Quincy Delight Jones, Sr., worked as a carpenter to support his family during the Great Depression, a period of tough economic times that lasted throughout the entire 1930s. His mother, Sarah Jones, was in and out of mental hospitals during most of her son Quincy’s formative years, and it was not until he was an adult that he developed a close relationship with her.

Jones’ parents divorced soon after his younger brother, Lloyd, was born, and both boys ended up being raised by their father and his new wife. Jones’ stepmother already had three children of her own prior to marrying Jones’ father and gave birth to three more during the marriage.

When Jones (or “Q” as his friends called him) was 10 years old, the family moved to Bremerton, Washington, a suburb of Seattle. By this time, World War II was raging in both Europe and Asia, and Bremerton was filled with soldiers and sailors waiting to be shipped off to fight somewhere across the ocean. This rather chaotic environment and the small town’s busy night life helped foster Jones’ early love of music.

Jones has been married and divorced three times, including a liaison (1974-86) with actress Peggy Lipton, best known for her roles in the television series The Mod Squad and Twin Peaks. He has five children: Jolie, Martina-Lisa, Quincy III, Kidada, and Rashida. But Jones’ workaholic lifestyle has made him somewhat of a stranger to his family. Only recently has he begun to set aside time to spend with his children.

Career Details

Even as a boy, Jones displayed a special talent for music. At only 13, he met up with a group of other young musicians in the Seattle area who were interested in jazz and began playing the trumpet. He also dreamed of one day composing and arranging his own pieces. His first teacher was a 15-year-old fellow musician named Ray Charles. He explained the basics to his eager pupil, including how a group of musicians could observe the same rhythm while playing different notes. “From that moment on I was permanently hooked on music,” Jones remarked years later. The two soon became friends and formed a jazz combo that performed at nightclubs and weddings in the Seattle area. Before long, Jones was composing and arranging their music.

After graduating from high school, Jones studied at Seattle University and then won a music scholarship to attend the famous Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. Once he completed his course work at Berklee, he headed to New York City to try his hand at creating recording arrangements for jazz musicians.

It was around this same time (the mid-1950s) that Jones began touring with the big bands of Dizzy Gillespie and Lionel Hampton. His travels took him across the globe, and while playing in Europe, he decided to make his home in Paris. There Jones studied with Nadia Boulanger and Olivier Messiaen and served as the musical director at Barclay Disques. He also composed music for Harry Arnold’s Swedish All-Stars in Stockholm and directed the music for Harold Arlen’s production “Free And Easy” during its three-month swing through Europe in the early 1960.

While living in Paris, Jones also became acquainted with a number of African American writers who had more or less gone into exile to escape racism at home. Among those he counted as friends were Richard Wright and James Baldwin. They helped raise his consciousness on the subject of race and race relations and made him more keenly aware of his African American roots.

Jones returned to the United States in 1960. After taking part in an unsuccessful American tour with 18 musicians from the “Free And Easy” production, he hired on as the musical director for Mercury Records in New York City.

In 1964, Jones became the first African American executive in a white-owned recording company when Mercury Records named him vice-president. In addition to his administrative responsibilities, he sat in on recording sessions with the Mercury orchestra and wrote and arranged music for popular performers such as Sammy Davis, Jr., Andy Williams, Sarah Vaughan, Peggy Lee, and Aretha Franklin. He also arranged and conducted the music for It Might As Well Be Swing, an album featuring the Count Basie Band and Frank Sinatra.

Jones was a pioneer at Mercury in another important way. Never a purist, he liked to experiment with creative fusions of jazz (which was itself a blend of African rhythms, European traditions, quadrilles, blues, country, and marches) and other musical forms, including pop, classical, and rock and roll. Through his composing and producing, Jones was able to integrate jazz into American culture (specifically the entertainment industry) like no one else before him.

In 1965, Jones became the first African American composer of a motion picture soundtrack upon the release of Sidney Lumet’s The Pawn Broker. This film was his first foray into Hollywood and garnered much praise for its music. Two years later, Jones composed the music for both In Cold Blood and In the Heat of the Night. Both were nominated for an Academy Award, but Jones was advised not to compete with himself and chose In Cold Blood to represent him. While he did not win an Oscar that year, he has continued to compose for motion pictures and has more than 50 film musical scores to his credit.

On several occasions since 1971, Jones has exercised his creativity on the small screen as well. He wrote the theme songs for the television series “Ironside,” “Sanford and Son,” and “The Bill Cosby Show,” and in 1977 he composed the musical score for the hugely successful miniseries “Roots.”

In 1973, Jones co-produced a special program for the CBS network entitled “Duke Ellington, We Love You Madly.” It was a project of the Institute for Black American Music, a foundation established by Jones, Isaac Hayes, Roberta Flack, and others involved in the music business to promote recognition of black contributions to American music in general. The show featured performances by Peggy Lee, Count Basie, Aretha Franklin, Joe Williams, Sarah Vaughan, and a 48-piece orchestra conducted by Jones.

Feeling somewhat burned out by the mid-1970s, Jones took a bit of a break from composing to explore his talents as a vocalist. He made his singing debut on the 1973 Valerie Simpson album You’ve Got It Bad. The title track remained on the music charts for most of that summer. The following summer, Jones released his very own album, Body Heat, which stayed at the top of the charts for over six months and sold over one million copies. It contained the hit songs “If I Ever Lose This Heaven,” “Soul Saga,” and “Everything Must Change.”

Just weeks apart in 1974, Jones suffered two near-fatal cerebral aneurysms (a bursting of blood vessels in the brain) and underwent surgery to repair the damage. He was back at work within six months touring with a 15-member band. But his close brush with death profoundly changed Jones’ attitude about life. He emerged from his ordeal with a renewed sense of purpose and a philosophy that emphasized balance. As he put it, “Now, I just do exactly what I love.”

Energized by this change of outlook, Jones teamed up with his band to record an album entitled Mellow Madness that featured Stevie Wonder and other notables on vocals. He also became involved in additional projects that reflected his interest in fusing jazz with other forms of music. One such attempt was The Wiz, an African American version of the classic story The Wizard of Oz. Released in 1978, it starred Diana Ross and Michael Jackson. Then, in 1980 Jones made the album The Dude featuring an all-star lineup of musical talent. It earned him 12 Grammy Award nominations, five of which he won.

Not long after The Dude came out, Jones signed a deal with Warner Brothers Records to start up his own label, Qwest Records. It released Jones’ own recordings (1989’s Back on the Block was the first) as well as several albums by others that he produced. The company even branched out into television station ownership.

During much of the 1980s, Jones kept very busy as a producer for some of the biggest names in the music business, including Frank Sinatra, Donna Summer, and James Ingram. He also produced and wrote the music for Michael Jackson music videos and albums, including the 1982 mega-hit Thriller, which sold over 40 million copies and still ranks as the best-selling album of all time. Jones won three Grammy Awards for his work on that particular project.

In 1985, Jones scored another success in Hollywood with his compositions for the soundtrack to The Color Purple. This motion picture by famed director Steven Speilberg was an adaptation of the Alice Walker novel of the same title.

Jones turned his attention to other matters in 1986, when a devastating famine in east Africa became the subject of global concern. In an effort to help the victims, he wrote a song entitled “We Are the World” and gathered together a huge star-studded chorus to perform it. Sales of the resulting single raised $50 million for famine relief.

Chronology: Quincy Jones

1933: Born.

1946: Began playing trumpet.

1964: Became vice-president of Mercury Records.

1965: Composed soundtrack for The Pawn Broker.

1967: Composed soundtracks for In Cold Blood and In the Heat of the Night.

1977: Composed theme for Roots

1980: Established Qwest Records and released The Dude.

1982: Produced Michael Jackson’s Thriller album.

1990: Founded Quincy Jones Entertainment Company.

1993: Established QDE (entertainment company) and started publishing Vibe magazine.

1998: Dissolved QDE.

The 1990s saw Jones establish the Quincy Jones Entertainment Company, which marked his return to television. It produced the series “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” for NBC as well as a series of syndicated talk shows hosted by Jones’ friend, civil rights leader Jesse Jackson.

In 1993, Jones branched out in yet another direction as the founder of Vibe, a magazine devoted to the African American music scene. Later that same year, he signed a deal with David Salzman to form a joint venture called QDE (Quincy Jones/David Salzman Entertainment). Its goal is to provide entertainment on the Internet and various types of multimedia and interactive programming. QDE proved to be very successful and even expanded into film and television production before the partners split in 1998.

Despite his moves into other forms of entertainment, Jones had not abandoned music. In 1995, for example, he released an album entitled Q’s Jook Joint. It featured collaborations with Stevie Wonder, Sonny Bono, and his old friend Ray Charles. The next year, Jones released an album of instrumental music called Cocktail Mix.

Social and Economic Impact

Jones’ unique sound, a fusion of jazz and other musical forms, has left an indelible imprint on American culture. His original compositions for movies and television, coupled with his many contributions as both song-writer and producer to the worlds of jazz, pop, rock, and rap, all testify to the depth of his talent. So, too, do the more than two dozen Grammy Awards he has received in recognition of his expertise. Equally notable is his commitment to bringing African American music and musicians to the forefront and underscoring their influence and accomplishments.

Throughout his long career, Jones has avoided stereo-typing himself or his music. Instead, he has strategically marketed a certain approach to music—one tinged with his longtime love of jazz—that appeals to the widely varying styles and tastes of the mainstream as opposed to a specialized audience. Jones has been able to savor his success from his position at the helm of an ever—widening entertainment empire that reaches people not only through music but also via television, films, and videos.

One of the biggest challenges Jones has had to face along the way is racism. It has figured in his roles as a business executive, record producer, and aggressive advocate of African American musical projects. He has also been the target of criticism from those who claim that he compromises true jazz by fusing it with other forms of music in his search for mass-market appeal at a time when pop, rock, and rap dominate the airwaves.

As Jones remarked in the early 1990s, however, “My lifetime project…involves putting this whole African-American thing together into a single cohesive musical expression. I’ve been working on it for twenty years, and I may need another twenty to get through It’s keeping me up, invading my dreams.”

Jones, Quincy (1933–) [next] [back] Jones, John(1816–1879) - Chronology

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Dear one in Christ,
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PLEASE THIS IS MY ADDRESS THAT YOU CAN USE TO SEND US.
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still please i have general problems i will like to discuss with you. if i discuss with you, you will help me very much as you can. please i told you that i did not request nothing from you but what you feel to send me i will be much happy. but this time a lot of people still discouraging me that i am wasting my time and energy on you. please do something for to surprise them. and i have financial problems like magazines, and shirts. that will help us very much. because i am woman so help me very much. and also i am poor woman i did not have anyone to help us. i see that you are only person to help us very much. because the bible said forgive and it shall be given into you. please try much as possible to help me because i needed help from you. please take me as your friend because i like you very much. please anything that you waste your time and energy on me. almighty god will double it for you. and your company will go forward for you. please try much as possible to help me because i pray for you and your company. almighty god will bless you and give you everlasting life. please this Monday i will come and check on my inbox that you have do something for us i trust you that you will do something for us on Monday and surprise people who are discouraging me that i am wasting my time and energy on you. please i remember you again i beg you do something for us. please i want to end here with peace and greetings to you, friends, family, and your workers. thank you very much. good bye.
PLEASE THIS IS MY ADDRESS THAT YOU CAN USE TO SEND US.
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Dear one in Christ,
still please i have general problems i will like to discuss with you. if i discuss with you, you will help me very much as you can. please i told you that i did not request nothing from you but what you feel to send me i will be much happy. but this time a lot of people still discouraging me that i am wasting my time and energy on you. please do something for to surprise them. and i have financial problems like magazines, and shirts. that will help us very much. because i am woman so help me very much. and also i am poor woman i did not have anyone to help us. i see that you are only person to help us very much. because the bible said forgive and it shall be given into you. please try much as possible to help me because i needed help from you. please take me as your friend because i like you very much. please anything that you waste your time and energy on me. almighty god will double it for you. and your company will go forward for you. please try much as possible to help me because i pray for you and your company. almighty god will bless you and give you everlasting life. please this Monday i will come and check on my inbox that you have do something for us i trust you that you will do something for us on Monday and surprise people who are discouraging me that i am wasting my time and energy on you. please i remember you again i beg you do something for us. please i want to end here with peace and greetings to you, friends, family, and your workers. thank you very much. good bye.
PLEASE THIS IS MY ADDRESS THAT YOU CAN USE TO SEND US.
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almost 5 years ago

Dear one in Christ,
still please i have general problems i will like to discuss with you. if i discuss with you, you will help me very much as you can. please i told you that i did not request nothing from you but what you feel to send me i will be much happy. but this time a lot of people still discouraging me that i am wasting my time and energy on you. please do something for to surprise them. and i have financial problems like magazines, and shirts. that will help us very much. because i am woman so help me very much. and also i am poor woman i did not have anyone to help us. i see that you are only person to help us very much. because the bible said forgive and it shall be given into you. please try much as possible to help me because i needed help from you. please take me as your friend because i like you very much. please anything that you waste your time and energy on me. almighty god will double it for you. and your company will go forward for you. please try much as possible to help me because i pray for you and your company. almighty god will bless you and give you everlasting life. please this Monday i will come and check on my inbox that you have do something for us i trust you that you will do something for us on Monday and surprise people who are discouraging me that i am wasting my time and energy on you. please i remember you again i beg you do something for us. please i want to end here with peace and greetings to you, friends, family, and your workers. thank you very much. good bye.
PLEASE THIS IS MY ADDRESS THAT YOU CAN USE TO SEND US.
VIDA NYARKOA.
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.
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GHANA WEST, AFRICA. THANKS FOR TAKING YOUR TIME TO HELP US.

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almost 5 years ago

Dear one in Christ,
still please i have general problems i will like to discuss with you. if i discuss with you, you will help me very much as you can. please i told you that i did not request nothing from you but what you feel to send me i will be much happy. but this time a lot of people still discouraging me that i am wasting my time and energy on you. please do something for to surprise them. and i have financial problems like magazines, and shirts. that will help us very much. because i am woman so help me very much. and also i am poor woman i did not have anyone to help us. i see that you are only person to help us very much. because the bible said forgive and it shall be given into you. please try much as possible to help me because i needed help from you. please take me as your friend because i like you very much. please anything that you waste your time and energy on me. almighty god will double it for you. and your company will go forward for you. please try much as possible to help me because i pray for you and your company. almighty god will bless you and give you everlasting life. please this Monday i will come and check on my inbox that you have do something for us i trust you that you will do something for us on Monday and surprise people who are discouraging me that i am wasting my time and energy on you. please i remember you again i beg you do something for us. please i want to end here with peace and greetings to you, friends, family, and your workers. thank you very much. good bye.
PLEASE THIS IS MY ADDRESS THAT YOU CAN USE TO SEND US.
VIDA NYARKOA.
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.
P.O. BOX. 6, JUASO ASANTE AKIM SOUTH.
GHANA WEST, AFRICA. THANKS FOR TAKING YOUR TIME TO HELP US.

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almost 5 years ago

Dear one in Christ,
still please i have general problems i will like to discuss with you. if i discuss with you, you will help me very much as you can. please i told you that i did not request nothing from you but what you feel to send me i will be much happy. but this time a lot of people still discouraging me that i am wasting my time and energy on you. please do something for to surprise them. and i have financial problems like magazines, and shirts. that will help us very much. because i am woman so help me very much. and also i am poor woman i did not have anyone to help us. i see that you are only person to help us very much. because the bible said forgive and it shall be given into you. please try much as possible to help me because i needed help from you. please take me as your friend because i like you very much. please anything that you waste your time and energy on me. almighty god will double it for you. and your company will go forward for you. please try much as possible to help me because i pray for you and your company. almighty god will bless you and give you everlasting life. please this Monday i will come and check on my inbox that you have do something for us i trust you that you will do something for us on Monday and surprise people who are discouraging me that i am wasting my time and energy on you. please i remember you again i beg you do something for us. please i want to end here with peace and greetings to you, friends, family, and your workers. thank you very much. good bye.
PLEASE THIS IS MY ADDRESS THAT YOU CAN USE TO SEND US.
VIDA NYARKOA.
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.
P.O. BOX. 6, JUASO ASANTE AKIM SOUTH.
GHANA WEST, AFRICA. THANKS FOR TAKING YOUR TIME TO HELP US.

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almost 5 years ago

Dear one in Christ,
still please i have general problems i will like to discuss with you. if i discuss with you, you will help me very much as you can. please i told you that i did not request nothing from you but what you feel to send me i will be much happy. but this time a lot of people still discouraging me that i am wasting my time and energy on you. please do something for to surprise them. and i have financial problems like magazines, and shirts. that will help us very much. because i am woman so help me very much. and also i am poor woman i did not have anyone to help us. i see that you are only person to help us very much. because the bible said forgive and it shall be given into you. please try much as possible to help me because i needed help from you. please take me as your friend because i like you very much. please anything that you waste your time and energy on me. almighty god will double it for you. and your company will go forward for you. please try much as possible to help me because i pray for you and your company. almighty god will bless you and give you everlasting life. please this Monday i will come and check on my inbox that you have do something for us i trust you that you will do something for us on Monday and surprise people who are discouraging me that i am wasting my time and energy on you. please i remember you again i beg you do something for us. please i want to end here with peace and greetings to you, friends, family, and your workers. thank you very much. good bye.
PLEASE THIS IS MY ADDRESS THAT YOU CAN USE TO SEND US.
VIDA NYARKOA.
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.
P.O. BOX. 6, JUASO ASANTE AKIM SOUTH.
GHANA WEST, AFRICA. THANKS FOR TAKING YOUR TIME TO HELP US.

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almost 5 years ago

Dear one in Christ,
still please i have general problems i will like to discuss with you. if i discuss with you, you will help me very much as you can. please i told you that i did not request nothing from you but what you feel to send me i will be much happy. but this time a lot of people still discouraging me that i am wasting my time and energy on you. please do something for to surprise them. and i have financial problems like magazines, and shirts. that will help us very much. because i am woman so help me very much. and also i am poor woman i did not have anyone to help us. i see that you are only person to help us very much. because the bible said forgive and it shall be given into you. please try much as possible to help me because i needed help from you. please take me as your friend because i like you very much. please anything that you waste your time and energy on me. almighty god will double it for you. and your company will go forward for you. please try much as possible to help me because i pray for you and your company. almighty god will bless you and give you everlasting life. please this Monday i will come and check on my inbox that you have do something for us i trust you that you will do something for us on Monday and surprise people who are discouraging me that i am wasting my time and energy on you. please i remember you again i beg you do something for us. please i want to end here with peace and greetings to you, friends, family, and your workers. thank you very much. good bye.
PLEASE THIS IS MY ADDRESS THAT YOU CAN USE TO SEND US.
VIDA NYARKOA.
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.
P.O. BOX. 6, JUASO ASANTE AKIM SOUTH.
GHANA WEST, AFRICA. THANKS FOR TAKING YOUR TIME TO HELP US.