Maggie Jones

Maggie Jones

From Wikipedia
Maggie Jones
Birth name Fae Barnes
Also known as The Texas Nightingale
Born c.1900
HillsboroTexasUnited States
Died Unknown
Genres Blues
Occupations Singerpianist
Instruments Vocalspiano
Years active 1922—1933

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 HillsboroTexas.  Her year of birth is most regularly cited as 1900, although this has not been proven. She relocated to New York in 1922, where she performed in local nightclubs. She appeared at the Princess Theater in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 1922, and toured the TOBA theater circuit until ca. 1926.

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, VictorPathé 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 ArmstrongFletcher HendersonCharlie 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 revueBlackbirds 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 Dallas, Texas, and ran her own revue troupe which performed inFort Worth, Texas. In 1934 she appeared in the All American Cabaret in Fort Worth. She subsequently disappeared from the public eye.


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