Maggie Jones (c.1900—unknown) was an American blues singer and pianist, who recorded thirty-eight songs between 1923 and 1926. She was billed as "The Texas Nightingale." Jones is best remembered for her songs, "Single Woman's Blues," "Undertaker's Blues," and "Northbound Blues."
She was born Fae Barnes in
. Her year of birth is most regularly
cited as 1900, although this has not been proven. She relocated to Hillsboro,
York in 1922, where she performed in local
nightclubs. She appeared at the Princess Theater in in 1922, and toured the TOBA
theater circuit until ca. 1926. Harrisburg,
Her debut recording session was on
July 26, 1923, for Black Swan Records, where she
became the first singer from Texas
to record a side. Her recording career saw Jones appear on several record
labels including Black Swan, Victor, Pathé and Paramount,
although the bulk of her work was released by Columbia.
On Black Swan and Paramount she was
billed as Fae (or Faye) Barnes; on Pathé and Columbia
she recorded as Maggie Jones. It is unknown whether marriage played any part in
her name change.
Over a three year period, her accompaniment was variously supplied by notables such as Louis Armstrong, Fletcher Henderson, Charlie Green, and Elmer Snowden. Jones is especially noted for her six sides on which she was backed by Fletcher Henderson and Louis Armstrong; author Derrick Stewart-Baxter singled out "Good Time Flat Blues" as "her masterpiece". With Fletcher Henderson and Charlie Green she recorded "North Bound Blues", which contained trenchant references to the South's Jim Crow laws that are unusual for a classic female blues singer. By October 3, 1926, Jones had cut her final disc. In 1927 she performed with the Clarence Muse Vaudeville Company and sang in Hall Johnson's choir at the Roxy Theater in
New York City.
In 1928–1929 Jones appeared with Bill Robinson in the Broadway production of Lew Leslie's revue, Blackbirds of 1928, which toured the
US and Canada.
She often worked outside the music industry, including co-owning a clothes
store in New York. By the early 1930s Jones moved on to , and ran her own revue troupe which
performed in Dallas,
In 1934 she appeared in the All American Cabaret in Fort Worth, Texas Fort
Worth. She subsequently disappeared from the public
Charlie Green was an American jazz musician, who was born in
in circa 1900, and died in 1936 in Omaha, Nebraska New York.
He was one of the early jazz trombonists, and the soloist in the Fletcher
Henderson orchestra (joining slightly before Louis Armstrong).
He played locally in
between 1920 and 1923, before his two stints with Henderson
(July 1924 and April 1926; and late 1928 to early 1929). Described as "A
superior blues player who could also swing fairly early", Green played on
several Bessie Smith recordings, (including one called "Trombone
Cholly"), recorded in the 1920s with several other blues singers, and also
worked with the bands of Benny Carter (1929–1931 and 1933), Chick Webb (several
times during 1930-1934), Jimmie Noone (1931), Don Redman (1932), and at the end
with Kaiser Marshall. In 1928 Green played in the orchestra of the revue Keep
Shufflin' together with Fats Waller and James P. Johnson.
Maggie Jones v / Louis Armstrong c / Fletcher Henderson p.
Recorded in New York on December 10, 1924.
Maggie Jones v / Charlie Green tb / Fletcher Henderson p.
Recorded in New York on December 18, 1924.