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Gloria Richetta Jones (October 19, 1945, Cincinnati, Ohio) is an African-American singer and songwriter based in Los Angeles. In 1964 he recorded the first version of the song “Tainted Love”, popularized years later by the British synthpop duo, Soft Cell. He was sentimental partner of Marc Bolan, leader of the glam rock band, T. Rex until the death of this in 1977.
Jones was born in Cincinnati, although he moved to Los Angeles at the age of seven. He started singing when he was very young and with only fourteen years he founded with Frankie Kahrl and Billy Preston a successful gospel group known as the Cogic Singers, with whom he recorded album It’s a Blessing. Although she stayed with the group for four years, she was soon attracted to the Los Angeles pop scene.
In 1964, Jones, was discovered by the composer Ed Cobb. He released “Heartbeat Pts 1 & 2”, his first solo album, produced and written by Cobb that same year and was a success, touring throughout the United States and participating in numerous television programs. “Heartbeat” became a classic of rhythm and blues and was later versioned by artists like Dusty Springfield or Spencer Davis among many others.
One of the Cobb songs that Jones recorded for Uptown Records, Capitol / EMI’s subsidiary record label, was “Tainted Love.” Years later, Marc Almond, member of the Soft Cell duo, heard the song in a club in Northern Ireland and decided to record a version. The single from Soft Cell became a worldwide hit, reaching No. 1 in 17 countries, and Jones’ recordings for Uptown Records were recorded on the album Come Go with Me, published in 1966. In 1968, he joined the cast of Catch My Soul, a rock and soul version of Othello, along with Jerry Lee Lewis, The Blossoms and Dr. John. Later he joined the cast of the musical Hair, in Los Angeles.
Jones started working as a composer under the pseudonym LaVerne Ware on Motown Records, where she wrote songs for artists like The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Gladys Knight & amp; the Pips, Commodores, The Four Tops or The Jackson 5.
In 1970 he made choruses for Ry Cooder’s debut album. The greatest success written by Jones was “If I Were Your Woman” for Gladys Knight and the Pips, nominated for a Grammy in 1971. Jones left Motown in 1973, after publishing the album Share My Love.
Relationship with Marc Bolan
Jones met Marc Bolan of T. Rex in 1969 during the performance of the musical Hair in Los Angeles. In 1972, they met again when Jones was hired to perform choruses at a band concert at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco.
Shortly after joining the band, Jones and Bolan began a relationship, the result of which was born their son, Rolan Bolan (born September 26, 1975). Gloria Jones was part of T.Rex as a chorister between 1973 and 1977. One of her renditions of “Dock of the Bay” appears as a bonus track on T.Rex’s album, Bolan’s Zip Gun. Jones published the Vixen album in 1976, performing several songs written and produced by Bolan.
In 1977, Jones worked with the Gonzales group, producing several of his singles and writing “Have not Stopped Dancing Yet” for them.
Early on the morning of September 16, 1977, Jones was driving a Mini 1275 GT in the London Borough of Barnes, when the vehicle suffered a serious accident that cost Marc Bolan his life. She broke her jaw and was found On the hood of the car while Bolan was fired and was found on the road. Months later Jones appeared before a London court to answer for the accident.
After the death of Bolan
After Bolan’s death, Jones returned with his son to Los Angeles where he settled with his family.
In 1978, he published the album Windstorm, in whose back cover the dedication was included “in memory of my son’s father, Marc Bolan, whom we miss a lot.” The single “Bring on the Love” was a hit on the US R & B lists.
Jones continued in the music industry for several more years. In 1981 he published Reunited, produced by Ed Cobb. He also collaborated with Billy Preston on the album reunion of the Cogic group in 1984.
In September 1984 he joined as a chorister in the Jerry Garcia Band, where he remained until the last concert of the band on April 23, 1995.
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