Quincy Delight Jones, Jr. [March 14, 1933] was born in Chicago,
but raised primarily in Seattle. He took up the trumpet in junior
high school and by his college years, was performing with Lionel
Hampton's band. In the early 50s, his reputation as an arranger
earned him work with artists ranging from Ray Charles, Count
Basie and Duke Ellington, to Dinah Washington, Peggy Lee and
Cannonball Adderly. The mid-60s saw the start of a long association
as conductor and arranger for Frank Sinatra.
Jones soon branched out into the film and TV world, doing scores
for movies including In Cold Blood, In the Heat
of the Night and The Color Purple and TV shows
like Roots, The Cosby Show and Sanford
and Son. His theme to the TV classic "Ironsides" was the
first synthesizer-based theme song.
The 80s were a period of extraordinary commercial and creative
success, as he helmed Michael Jackson's Off the Wall, Thriller
and Bad albums, and produced the historic "We Are The
World" (the best-selling single of all time).
Music is not Jones' only area of expertise: as executive producer
of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, he helped launch
the acting career of Will Smith.
Among his numerous accolades, Quincy Jones has earned a record
79 Grammy nominations [with 27 wins]; won Emmys, Oscars, the
French Legion of Honor award and is a 2001 Kennedy Center honoree.
Jones arrangement of Sinatra's "Fly Me to the Moon" was
the first song played during the Apollo 11 moon landing.
never learned to drive, after being involved in a serious
car accident at 14.
He discovered 60s pop star Lesley Gore
and produced her hit, "It's My Party."
He is godfather to
singer Patti Austin.
- He attended Berklee College of Music
for one year; his application is displayed there in a glass
"I was inspired by a lot of people when I was young. Every
band that came through town, to the theater, or the dance
hall. I was at every dance, every night club, listened to
every band that came through, because in those days we didn't
have MTV, we didn't have television."
"Imagine what a harmonious world
it could be if every single person, both young and old shared
a little of what he is good at doing."
"Just blow in it and
sound bad for about a year and then make it sound a little
bit better, and you get a little band together, and then you
get a few jobs. You take four guys that sound half bad, but
if they're 25 percent each, they can give 100 percent, you
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