Joe Jones: You Talk Too Much - California Sun (7inch, 45rpm)
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You Talk Too Much
You Talk Too Much
Separating truth from fiction is never easy in the music business and Joe Jones’ proclivity for embroidering his biography makes the job no easier. Born Ivan Joseph Jones on August 12, 1926 in New Orleans, Joe Jones worked the road with Roy Brown, B.B. King, and others, and began recording in 1954 for Capitol. Sylvia Vanderpool of Mickey & Sylvia landed Joe a deal with Roulette Records in New York in 1958. Joe had a song, or more precisely a New Orleans pianist named Reggie Hall had a song, You Talk Too Much, that Joe either bought or hustled from him. John Broven found a 'Cashbox'item from May 1960 stating that Jones had apparently disregarded his Roulette contract, and recorded You Talk Too Much for Flame Records (owned by film director John English and Catalino Aguda).
It was also mentioned that the song would be performed in an upcoming movie, 'The Dead One'(which was actually made, but, as far as we can tell, without the song, which didn’t see release on Flame, either). Meanwhile Harold Battiste produced a version that appeared on Ric Records around August 1960. It had a delightful, loping New Orleans rhythm but there was no disguising the fact that Jones made it on personality rather than singing chops. Battiste borrowed the Ric Records station wagon and promoted the record throughout the South (as a promotional stunt, they sent a copy to Fidel Castro, who was renowned for his lengthy speeches). The Ric record broke wide open in October, and that was when Roulette Records’ boss Morris Levy realized that he had Jones under contract, and that he had a prior recording of You Talk Too Much in his vault. The music publishing was shared between a Roulette affiliate, Nom Music, and Sylvia Vanderpool’s Ben Ghazi Music.
Ric Records, therefore, had done all the work, but reaped few of the rewards. This was Jones’ only hit of any substance, although he later produced some hits for Leiber and Stoller’s Blue Cat and Red Bird Records, and sang the original version of the Rivieras’ pop hit California Sun. And sadly, as this set went into production, we heard that Joe Jones died of complications resulting from bypass surgery on November 27, 2005.
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