1. Handy Man/ Cub 9049/ 1/18/60/ # 2 Billboard
2. Good Timin’/ Cub 9067/ 5/9/60/ # 3 Billboard
Jimmy Jones (born June 2, 1937, Birmingham, Alabama) is an African American, singer-songwriter, who moved to New York while a teenager. According to Allmusic journalist, Steve Huey, “best known for his 1960 R&B smash, Handy Man, Jones sang in a smooth yet soulful falsetto modeled on the likes of Clyde McPhatter and Sam Cooke.”
Starting his entertainment career as a tap dancer, Jones joined a doo-wop group named The Berliners in 1954. They later changed their name to Sparks Of Rhythm. In 1955 Jones co-wrote “Handy Man”, which was recorded by the Sparks Of Rhythm in 1956 (after Jones left the group).
After recording with other groups, Jones went solo and, in 1959, teamed up with Otis Blackwell who reworked “Handy Man” which Jones recorded on the subsidiary MGM record label, Cub. When the flute player did not show up for the session, Blackwell famously whistled on the recording. “Handy Man,” released in 1959, gave Jones his first U.S. and UK hit single. “Handy Man” went to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1960. Later in that same year, Jones’ recording of “Good Timin” shot to #1 on the UK Singles Chart and #3 in the U.S. Both “Handy Man” and “Good Timin” were million sellers, earning Jones two gold discs.
Jones’ subsequent career was low key although it included three more UK chart entries in the following twelve months. “Handy Man”, which introduced a rock falsetto singing style to the British audience, later scored hits for Del Shannon and James Taylor who both covered it. (lastfm)