One-Hit Wonders: Joe Jones


Joe Jones was an American R&B singer-songwriter, who was responsible with forming the all-girl group The Dixie Cups.  His only major hit was “You Talk Too Much” during the 60s music era.  He figured in some legal issues as well, concerning claims that he took the credit for the songs he didn’t actually write. For instance, the Court of Appeals dictated that Jones didn’t compose “Iko, Iko” as he previously claimed, and that his former wards The Dixie Cups were the real creators of the song. He died in 2005, aged 79.


Life and music career

Joe Jones was an American R&B singer-songwriter, musician and arranger. He was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on August 12, 1926.

Jones was an alumnus of the prestigious Juilliard Conservatory of Music (now Juilliard School) in New York City. He had also served for the US Navy.

He became a pianist and arranger for B.B. King before landing a deal with Capitol Records. His first single there was 1954’s “Will Call.” The following single, “You Talk Too Much,” was written by Jones and Reggie Hall (as Reginald Hall). It became Jones’ most successful single, peaking at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100, and #9 on the R&B singles chart in 1960. However, it would be his only successful hit. His only other charting single, “California Sun,” was only a minor Hot 100 hit in 1961; another group the Rivieras would make it into a big hit.

Jones is also widely credited as the person who discovered the all-girl pop/R&B group the Dixie Cups. Later in his life Jones was engaged in production, and in 1973 established his own publishing firm.  Jones also advocated the rights for the African-American artists.

Legal issues

Jones took credit for the many songs which included the song “Iko Iko,” which he claimed to have written. However, the Court of Appeals ruled that he didn’t write the song, and arrived at the decision that the real creators of “Iko Iko” were the Dixie Cups, the group Jones managed.

Jones also failed to claim ownership rights over other songs such as “Carnival Time.”


Jones passed away in Los Angeles, California on November 27, 2005, following a quadruple bypass surgery. He was 79 years old.