Along Came Jones

Album: The Ultimate Coasters (1959)
Charted: 9

Songfacts®:

  • The Coasters were produced by the team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. They started working together in 1956; by the time they got to "Along Came Jones" in 1959, the group had wandered quite far from their blues roots and very nearly approached inventing their own genre. The Coasters were more of a Greek chorus telling stories with music, and the stories were humorous and even satirical.

    This song is a parody of the Western-style silent film melodrama - the kind which had damsels in distress, mustache-twirling villains, and "Dudley Do-Right"-type heroes. Example: The Perils of Pauline. All of the tropes typical of this genre are present: The damsel is threatened with dismembering by power-saw, being blown up with dynamite, and being tied to railroad tracks. The villain is after the deed to a ranch. And like a good short film serial, it even leaves you hanging in suspense.
  • The inspiration for this song was a film, Along Came Jones, a 1945 comedy-Western starring Gary Cooper and Loretta Young. As is the case with "Charlie Brown," the two have nothing to do with each other but the title. As Jerry Leiber sagely pointed out, you can't copyright a title.
  • Leiber and Stoller had a give-and-take collaboration with The Coasters by then. They'd get together in the studio and first The Coasters would show them the choreography they'd come up with from the last batch of songs. Then Leiber and Stoller would show them the new songs they'd written. Each was entertained by the other, which led Mike Stoller to remark that rehearsal was more like a party than work.

Comments: 4

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 10th 1965, the Coasters performed "Along Came Jones" on the ABC-TV program 'Shindig!'...
    Six years earlier on May 12th, 1959 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; eventually it peaked at #9 and spent 12 weeks on the Top 100...
    It was the third of four straight Top 10 records by the group; starting with "Yakety Yak" (#1 for 1 week in 1958), then "Charlie Brown" (#2 for 3 weeks in 1959), this one, and finally "Poison Ivy" (#7 in 1959)...
    R.I.P. bass singer Will 'Dub' Jones (1928 - 2000) and Jimmy O'Neill (Shindig's host, 1940 -2013).
  • Neal from Hooterville, MiThe song "Shaving Cream" by Benny Bell was released in the '40s and didn't chart until 1975.... I believe this is the longest time between release and chart.
  • Robert from Topeka, KsHow old is the song "Shaving Cream?"
  • John from Lakeland, Fl"The concept of 'novelty songs' hadn't even occurred to anyone in 1959"
    You have GOT to be kidding! Does the name "Spike Jones" ring a bell???
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