J.J. Malone

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J.J. MaloneJ.J. Malone born John Jacob  (August 20, 1935 February 20, 2004) was an American West Coast blues, electric blues and soul blues guitarist, singer and keyboardist. His best known recordings were 'It's a Shame' and 'Danger Zone'. Malone was a member of The Rhythm Rockers, and variously worked with musicians such as Troyce Key, Jill Baxter, Al Green, Joe Simon, Etta James, Scott McKenzie and Frankie Lee.

Biography

Malone was born in Pete's Corner, Alabama, United States. He sang in his local church, and learned to play the harmonica, guitar and piano. After moving to California, he found more regular employment in the music industry, and had localised hit singles with 'It's a Shame', 'One Step Away', and 'Danger Zone'. Malone met the record producer, Ray Shanklin, and was subsequently employed as a record company executive at Fantasy Records (and it's subsidiary Galaxy) in the late 1960s and early 1970s. At Galaxy, Malone worked alongside Little Johnny Taylor, Big Mama Thornton, Sonny Rhodes and Creedence Clearwater Revival. With the singer and guitarist, Troyce Key, he bought a club near to Oakland, California, 'The Eli's Mile', which in the 1970s acquired a reputation for supporting West Coast blues artists. In 1980, the duo appeared at the San Francisco Blues Festival.

Malone appeared in conjunction with Key on the albums, I've Gotta a New Car (1980, Red Lightnin' Records), and Younger Than Yesterday (1981, Red Lightnin'). Malone returned to performing as a solo artist in the 1980s, and continued to record until 2001. He released three solo albums, including Highway 99 (1997).

Malone died from cancer in Hawaii, in February 2004 at the age of 68. He was buried next to his father on March 2, 2004, at Ragland Cemetery in Limestone County, Alabama.

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