(December 14, 1944 – March 14, 1972) was an American soul singer with a strong gospel-influenced style.
Jones was born in Newark, New Jersey. She started singing in her family’s gospel group, the Jones Singers at the age of six. Her first recording was “Lonely Teardrops” under the name of Linda Lane on Cub Records in 1963. She was found performing at a local club by songwriter Jerry Harris who introduced her to producer George Kerr. After unsuccessful singles on Atco Records in 1964 and Blue Cat Records the following year, Kerr took her to Warner Bros. Records’ R&B subsidiary, Loma Records in 1967. The first Loma release proved to be her biggest success, the ballad, “Hypnotized” reached #4 on the Billboard R&B chart and #21 on the Hot 100. This proved to be the label’s best-selling record and it was followed by two further hits, including “What’ve I Done (To Make You Mad)” (#8 R&B, #61 pop), and an album.
After Loma closed in late 1968, Linda had a final single on the main Warner label before joining Neptune Records, run by Philadelphia producers, Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. Two singles, both produced by Kerr, saw some R&B success before she signed for All Platinum subsidiary, Turbo Records, in New Jersey in 1971. A powerful revamped version of the former Jerry Butler hit, “For Your Precious Love” reached both the R&B (#15) and pop (#74) charts in 1972 and saw her career take off again.
Soon after this at the end of a national tour, she died at her mother’s home at the age of 27 while resting between matinee and evening shows at New York City’s Apollo Theater in Harlem. She had been a diabetic for most of her life and slipped into a coma while sleeping.