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Isham Jones

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Biography

Isham Jones led and broke up several bands during the 1920s and '30s, but his greatest legacy is as a songwriter, having composed "It Had to Be You," "On the Alamo," "I'll See You in My Dreams," "The One I Love Belongs to Somebody Else," and "There Is No Greater Love," among others. Although he was originally a saxophonist and pianist, Isham Jones did not take any real solos with his bands. In the early '20s, his outfit featured trumpeter Louis Panico, a pretty good soloist for 1921. Jones recorded prolifically during 1920-1927, with most selections being jazz-oriented dance band performances. While his 1929-1932 recordings are more commercial, the musicianship is high and the melodic renditions are not without interest. Jones' 1932-1936 big band became the nucleus of the first Woody Herman Orchestra when Isham Jones decided to temporarily retire. He had another band in 1937 and recorded as late as 1947, but it is for his songs that he will always be remembered. ~ Scott Yanow

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