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Isham Jones

Composer, Bandleader, Violinist, Saxophonist, Pianist

(1894 - 1956)

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Big Bands Database


CD--"Swingin' Down the Lane" at ...


Songs at wikipedia.org


Filmography at imdb.com
Isham Jones became a prolific songwriter but not until his orchestra was already established as one of the most popular dance bands of the ‘20s and early ‘30s. Although his band sometimes played music in the “jazz” style, it was generally known for its “sweet” music. Jones hired the best musicians. His band at times featured Pee Wee Erwin, Jack Jenny, Woody Herman, and arranger Gordon Jenkins.

The band’s initial success was in Chicago where they recorded exclusively and frequently for the Brunswick label over a ten-year period. Their first hit was “Wabash Blues” in 1921, the same year that they appeared in Ziegfeld’s Midnight Frolic. They toured in the U.S. and England in 1924, settling in New York the following year. Isham apparently had an ear for great songs and was responsible for introducing and recording many tunes that were to become standards.

As a composer Jones wrote his first hit, “On the Alamo,” in 1922 with Gilbert Keyes and Joe Lyons. Then followed a long list of successes with Gus Kahn: “Broken Hearted Melody”(1922), “Swingin’ Down the Lane” (1923), “I’ll See You in My Dreams,” “The One I Love Belongs to Somebody Else,” and “It Had to Be You” (1924). He also wrote “Indiana Moon” with Benny Davis (1923), “You’ve Got Me Crying Again” with Charles Newman (1933), and “(There Is) No Greater Love” (1936) with Marty Symes.

When Jones retired in 1936, the band decided to stay together under the direction of its vocalist/saxophonist Woody Herman, eventually becoming known in 1943 as Herman’s Herd. Jones came out of retirement in the ‘40s but never regained the success he had had with earlier bands.

- Sandra Burlingame

Swinging Down the Lane

Isham Jones

Centennial Album

Isham Jones

Ill See You in My Dreams

Kenny Davern

Songs That Won the War: I'll See You in My Dreams

Various Artists

I'll See You in My Dreams

Tommy Dorsey

It Had to Be You

Dick Haymes

There Is No Greater Love

Ben Webster

Plays His Own Composition

Isham Jones
Reading and Viewing

At Amazon.com you can often buy used for a fraction of the new price

Charles Garrod

Isham Jones and his orchestra

Joyce Record Club Publication

George Thomas Simon

The Big Bands

Schirmer Books

(Includes numerous references to Jones and a three-page biography with a photo of Jones and His Orchestra.)

Isham Jones, Gus Kahn

At the End of a Winding Lane

Milton Weil Music Co

Lyrics by Gus Kahn; Music by Isham Jones.

Swingin' Down The Lane. An Old Fashioned Song With a Fox Trot Swing.

Leo Feist Inc.

Hy Anzell, Colleen Dewhurst, Shelley Duvall, Russell Horton, Carol Kane

Annie Hall

MGM (Video & DVD)

DVD - Keaton sings "It Had to Be You"

Rod Stewart

Rod Stewart - It Had To Be You



Betty Grable, Dan Dailey, Mona Freeman

Mother Wore Tights

Fox Home Entertainme

VHS Features "Swingin' Down the Lane"

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