Mose Jones

Steve McRay, Randy Lewis, Marvin Taylor, Chris Seymour - Mose Jones - Champagne Jam - 1979

My first exposure was an album my Uncle had given me.  He was the program director at WSLC, a Country radio station in Salem, Va.  He would give me albums that they would never play.  He gave me Blackbird by Mose Jones.  I was knocked out!

I began to listen to the recording non-stop!  I drove all my friends, family, and band members crazy feeling the need to foist this music upon them.  No one complained!  I earned the nickname "Tonearm Tom" during this period.  I Bought 10 copies and gave them as presents.  I literally wore copies out and I was a vinyl freak anal about taking care of my records.  I watched for a follow-up but none came.  I moved to Minnesota and started the whole thing again with new people.  Finally, my last copy would no longer play.  I had made some cassettes but they were way shot.  I was devistated.

Years passed.

I was in search of a Korg C3 and made a long distance call to a fellow I had found on the Internet.  We dickered but he wanted too much.  He told me he was going to put it in E-Bay.  I ask what that was.  After a breif explanation I began to check E-Bay out.  I searched for Mose Jones...  BINGO!  I'm back in business.  I had a new wife, new friends, and new band members.  It was sweet. 

I keep one unopened copy at all times.  I made a CD copy I keep in my car.  Crazy?  You bet your ass!  Crazy over a walk down memory lane... like an audio scrapbook that can never be replaced!

Producer-performer Al Kooper had been visiting Atlanta since he played the first Atlanta Pop Festival in 1969. The southern rock scene was exploding, and Kooper had noticed the abundance of talent in and about Atlanta. With the backing of MCA Records, he launched the Sounds Of The South label with the initial deal calling for four new artists-three of which returned out to be Los Angeles funk band Elijah, Kooper's own reformed Blues Project, and the Atlanta bar band Mose Jones. It was on Mose Jones' recommendation that the final spot was filled by Skynyrd. Kooper jammed with the group at Funochio's, and after some initial hesitancy, Lynyrd Skynyrd signed on.

Steve McRay, Randy Lewis, Marvin Taylor, Chris Seymour - Mose Jones 1979


Steve McRay, Randy Lewis, Marvin Taylor...                          Chris Seymour

"What ever happened to Mose Jones"

     There were actually 2 Mose Jones groups.  The 1972-75 (2 albums on MCA/Sounds of the South Records, Al Kooper producing) and the 1978-1981 (2 albums on RCA Records, Buddy Buie producing).

     Randy Lewis had been living and playing in Key West for some time, but in February of 2001, he had a massive heart attack and passed away about a week later.  He lived life pretty hard, so it was not totally unexpected, but very tragic none the less.

    The very next day, Bryan Cole, the drummer in Mose #1, and the drummer in Java Monkey, had a massive heart attack, and his aorta ruptured as well... totally unexpected!  After 4 operations in 5 days, Bryan survived, but had to have his right leg amputated, from lack of blood flow.  He is in good shape now, and is working on staying in good health, and mastering his new age of mobility, his prosthetic leg... he's  playing with Java Monkey again, singing background vocals and playing  percussion along with current drummer, John Holder.

     Immediately after Bryan started to heal, Jimmy O'Neill, Mose #1 guitar player, was diagnosed with Brain cancer!  It wasn't good.  It was one of the most progressive types of cancer.  After 6 months of surgery's and therapy's, Jimmy passed away is September of 2001.

     Jimmy was one of the nicest guys I've ever known, and one of the most talented... he will be missed dearly...  Steve McRay

Jimmy O'Neill

  Mose Jones Family with Al Kooper