Clarence M. Jones

Clarence M. Jones (born 1889, Wilmington, Ohio – June 1, 1949, New York City) was an American pianist and composer, who worked in jazz, ragtime, and other popular music idioms.

Jones studied at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and published his first tune, "Lightning Rag", in 1908. In the early 1910s he moved to Chicago and set up his own publishing studio, writing compositions and creating piano rolls.

He founded his own ensemble, the Select Orchestra, in 1917, which held a residency at Chicago's Owl Theater until 1922. He then moved the show to the Avenue Theater and changed the marquee name to the Wonderful Orchestra, then the Wonder Orchestra, playing at both the Avenue and the Moulin Rouge Cafe, but by 1924 had returned to playing at the Owl. In 1927, the group moved to the Metropolitan Theater and took the names Syncopators and Hot Papas; while resident here, his soloists included Louis Armstrong and J. Wright Smith. In 1928 he moved once again, to the Grand Theater, where he remained until 1932.

Jones recorded jazz between 1923 and 1928, including as a solo pianist for Autograph and backing Monette Moore and Ollie Powers on Paramount. He recorded with his band for Okeh Records in 1926 and with Laura Smith in 1927 on Victor.

He moved to New York in 1932, where he worked in the publishing house of Clarence Williams. In 1933, he assembled a vocal harmony group called the Southernaires, which recorded in 1939 and 1941 and regularly sang on radio in the 1930s.

Birth and Death Data: Born August 15th, 1889 (Wilmington), Died June 1st, 1949

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1912 - 1927

Roles Represented in DAHR: composer, piano, songwriter, leader

Recordings (Results 26-30 of 30 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
OKeh 9759 10-in. 6/21/1926 The arm-breaker Clarence Jones and his Wonder Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
OKeh 9760 Not documented 6/21/1926 [Unknown title(s)] Clarence Jones and his Wonder Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
OKeh S-71076 10-in. Dec. 1922 Trot along Herbert Berger ; St. Louis Club Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Edison 3362 10-in. Oct. 1914 One wonderful night Marie De Kyser ; Emory B. Randolph Vocal duet (soprano and tenor), with orchestra composer  
Edison 8376 10-in. 3/9/1922 Love days Broadway Dance Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
(Results 26-30 of 30 records)


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Jones, Clarence M.," accessed November 30, 2020,

Jones, Clarence M.. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved November 30, 2020, from

"Jones, Clarence M.." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 30 November 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier



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