Being one of the original members of The Ravens was just the first chapter in Ollie Jones' story. The Philadelphia-born tenor was also the first to leave the group, but he hit the ground running, initially joining the 4 Notes before forming The Blenders in 1948 with another ex-Note, Tommy Adams, as baritone; tenor Abel DeCosta, and bass James DeLoach. Clearly, there were no hard feelings between Jones and The Ravens; their mighty bass singer, Jimmy Ricks, helped get The Blenders a contract with Al Green's National Records in '49.
Their only National release didn't hit, but they did acquire a manager while there, A&R man Lee Magid. Lee left National, and so did The Blenders: he got them a deal at Decca in 1950 (Gone [My Baby's Gone], half of their Decca debut, resides on our previous volume). On October 4, 1950, The Blenders waxed four sides for Decca, including the Jones-led Little Small Town Girl (With The Big Town Dreams). They probably got the idea from The Delta Rhythm Boys' 1947 rendition for RCA Victor. There had been some changes in The Blenders' ranks, tenor Dick Palmer and bass Raymond Johnson, both formerly with The Beavers, replaced Adams and DeLoach.
With a few personnel changes along the way, The Blenders remained on Decca into mid-1952. Their next stop was with veteran label owner/composer Joe Davis, who sold a couple of their singles to MGM in '53. Davis also released their You'll Never Be Mine Again, with Ollie up front, on his own Jay-Dee logo. Somebody's Lyin', their last release in 1955, came out under the name of The Millionaires, which clearly The Blenders never became: they broke up the year before.
Jones proved more successful as a composer than he'd ever been as lead tenor of The Blenders. And he benefitted greatly from arranger Jesse Stone's brainstorm to assemble an all-purpose group of background vocalists for studio work. The versatile quartet appeared on many mid-'50s records under many names and cut their own singles for Capitol as The Cues, DeCosta joining Jones in the venture.