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Famous Like Me > Composer > J > Quincy Jones

Profile of Quincy Jones on Famous Like Me

Name: Quincy Jones  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 14th March 1933
Place of Birth: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Profession: Composer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Quincy Delight Jones II (born March 14, 1933 in Chicago, Illinois) is an United States record, television and film producer, musician, arranger and songwriter. Jones is especially well known for his work with Michael Jackson as the co-producer of Jackson's most famous albums (Off the Wall, Thriller, Bad).


Jones got his start playing along with the slightly older Ray Charles in the jazz clubs of what is now known as the Pioneer Square district of Seattle, Washington. He got his first break as a trumpeter for the Lionel Hampton Orchestra in 1951. Throughout the 1950s, he became a skilled arranger and led many small bands.

In 1957, he began a career as a record producer at Barclay Records in Paris where he also performed at the famous Paris Olympia.


In 1960, he was hired by Mercury Records as the first black vice president of a major record label. When jazz became less popular, he was asked to produce some pop singles; his first was the hit It's My Party by Lesley Gore.

In 1962 he wrote Soul Bossa Nova, an easy listening tune which became famous decades later as the Austin Powers Theme.

He moved to Los Angeles in the mid-1960s where he began writing film scores. Jones scored many films, including In Cold Blood, The Pawnbroker, In the Eyes of Love, and Mirage.

He has also composed several television theme songs, for shows such as Ironside (which featured the early use of a synthesizer), and Sanford and Son.

(The Ironside theme, from Jones' album Smackwater Jack, was also used by Quentin Tarantino for the soundtrack of Kill Bill, Vol. 1.)

In wrote the score for the 1967 Oscar-winning Sidney Poitier film In the Heat of the Night, and its 1970 sequel They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!.

In 1969, he recorded Walking In Space, an early jazz fusion record.

Also in 1969, he scored the Michael Caine film The Italian Job.


During the 1970s Quincy began producing more pop and less jazz. This drew criticism that he was "selling out".

In 1971, he composed the theme to the NBC Wednesday Mystery Movie.

In 1977, Sidney Lumet asked Jones to score The Wiz, an updated Wizard of Oz. It was there that he met Michael Jackson and they soon agreed that Jones would produce Jackson's solo albums.

During 1976-1980, Quincy Jones produced 4 albums 2 with Bobby Martin as co-producer, of Brothers Johnson, all of which got in to Top 20 US.

Other accomplishments

Jones also produced the "We Are The World" single in the mid 1980s. During the recording session for the album, which featured a myriad of successful artists, Jones memorably put a sign on the wall of the recording studio which read, "Please check your egos at the door."

In 1989 Jones produced "Back On The Block", which included stars Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, George Benson, Ella Fitzgerald, and Sarah Vaughan, as well as Big Daddy Kane and other hip-hop stars.

His television production credits include The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and his film production credits include The Color Purple. He has won 26 Grammy Awards and received Kennedy Center Honors in 2001.

Jones is also the owner of VIBE magazine, the most popular hip-hop/R&B monthly magazine in the United States.

Since May 2005 he's been a contributing blogger at The Huffington Post.

Career Retrospective

In January 2005, Jones was honored by the United Negro College Fund for his more than forty years in the music industry. At the annual "Evening of Stars" event, founded in 1980 by soul and jazz crooner Lou Rawls, Jones was given the seat of honor and celebrated by his performing colleagues, including Stevie Wonder, song stylist Nancy Wilson, The O'Jays, Gerald Levert, Ashanti, and many others.

Jones' musical ability is widely celebrated by musicians of all genres and backgrounds. Rapper/Actor Ludacris acknowledged this with the inclusion of Quincy Jones in the music video for his 2005 single, Number One Spot, which sampled Jones' "Soul Bossa Nova", also known as the theme music for the Austin Powers film series.

Even in Japan, popstar BoA released a single called Quincy in 2004 that was a "soul disco" song in homage to his legacy. (The single made it to #4 on the Japanese Oricon Charts.)

Personal life

Jones married Jeri Caldwell (1957 - 1966), model Ulla Andersson (1967 - 1974), and actress Peggy Lipton (1974 - 1990). He lived with actress Nastassja Kinski from 1991 until 1997. He has seven children, including two daughters with Peggy Lipton: style icon Kidada Nash and actress Rashida Jones. His son with Ulla Andersson, Quincy Jones III, is a well known music producer who participated in the creation of the Swedish hip hop scene in the early 1980s.

Quincy is the godfather of Gloria Estefan and Emilio Estefan's daughter, Emily.



  • 1964: Big Band Bossa Nova (#112 US)
  • 1970: Gula Matari (#63 US, #2 Jazz US)
  • 1970: Walking in Space (#56 US, #2 Jazz US)
  • 1971: Smackwater Jack (#56 US, #1 Jazz US)
  • 1973: You've Got It Bad, Girl (#94 US, #1 Jazz US)
  • 1974: Body Heat (#6 US, #1 Jazz US)
  • 1975: Mellow Madness (#16 US, #1 Jazz US)
  • 1976: I Heard That! (#43 US, #1 Jazz US)
  • 1977: Roots (#24 US, #4 Jazz US)
  • 1978: Sounds...And Stuff Like That!! (#15 US, #1 Jazz US)
  • 1981: The Dude (#10 US, #1 Jazz US)
  • 1984: The Birth of a Band, Vol. 1 (reissue 1959)(#21 Jazz US)
  • 1989: Back on the Block (#9 US, #1 Jazz US)
  • 1995: Q's Jook Joint (#32 US, #1 Jazz US)
  • 2000: Basie and Beyond (#10 Jazz US)
  • 2004: Original Jam Sessions 1969 (#12 Jazz US)

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Quincy Jones