Johnny Jones and the King Casuals were a Nashville, Tennessee, rhythm and blues group active in the 1960s. They were regular performers at the North Nashville club district, Printer's Alley clubs, as well as often serving as the house band for the local television program, Night Train. The band, which was originally named 'The King Kasuals', was founded in 1962 by Jimi Hendrix and bassist Billy Cox in Clarksville, Tennessee, United States, after the two were discharged from the adjacent Fort Campbell Army post, and eventually relocated to Nashville. Johnny Jones (born John Albert Jones, August 17, 1936, Eads, Tennessee) moved to Chicago where he practised the blues with Junior Wells and others. He moved back to Nashville in the early 1960s to become a session musician, and eventually assumed leadership of the King Casuals, circa 1964, replacing Hendrix. The band recorded a portfolio of singles in later years. The final recording featuring Jones was his 2001 solo release, Blues Is In the House. "Purple Haze" by Johnny Jones and the King Casuals was a popular R&B single, played in the Northern soul clubs of the Midlands and the North of England during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Johnny Jones died on October 14, 2009, at age 73.
In 1967, a group called Five By Five, from Magnolia, Arkansas, signed with Paula. They were typical of the "cover bands" that played in clubs, doing the R&B dance songs popular at the time. Their first single was "Shake a Tail Feather" [Paula 261], issued in early 1967. They followed that with "Harlem Shuffle" [Paula 283] later that year. Although they were probably able to sell a number of copies to the folks who saw them appear live, there wasn't much interest outside the region. But in the summer of 1968, they covered a song, "Fire," off the Jimi Hendrix album Are You Experienced?. Since Hendrix' record company, Reprise, did not put the song out as a single, Five By Five was in luck. Theirs was the single version that was available when kids went to the store and asked for the song. The single entered the national charts in November, 1968 and made it up to #52.
Jimi Hendrix was scheduled to record with Gil Evans' Orchestra but died
before the session could take place. A few years later, Evans explored
ten of Hendrix's compositions with his unique 19-piece unit, an
orchestra that included two French horns, the tuba of Howard Johnson,
three guitars, two basses, two percussionists and such soloists as
altoist David Sanborn, trumpeter Marvin "Hannibal" Peterson, Billy
Harper on tenor, and guitarists Ryo Kawasaki and John Abercrombie.
Evans' arrangements uplift many of Hendrix's more blues-oriented
compositions and create a memorable set that is rock-oriented but
retains the improvisation and personality of jazz.