David Lynn Jones
began performing in clubs around his Arkansas hometown while still a teenager. For a while during the late '60s, he worked as a car salesman, but he quit in 1970 to become the bass player for Freddy Morrison & the Bandana Blues Band and to hone his songwriting skills. Jones
tried to sell his songs in Music City, but he wasn't successful; by 1975, he was barely making a living as a session musician in Houston, TX. Matters improved in 1976 when he provided Randy Corner
with "Heart Don't Fail Me Now," which became a Top 40 hit. Later, with the help of producer Ritchie Albright
made a demo tape for Mercury Records. He played every instrument but the saxophone on the tape, which eventually made its way to Willie Nelson
, who recorded Jones
' song "Living in the Promiseland" in 1986. The song went straight to number one on the country charts.
then released his debut album, Hard Times on Easy Street
(Mercury, 1980). Albright
produced the album and also helmed 1989's glossier, pop-oriented follow-up, Wood, Wind and Stone
jumped to Liberty for 1992's Mixed Emotions
, which he recorded in the studio at his home in Bexar, AR. With the Nashville sheen of the first two records removed, Jones
could concentrate on his songs and let his personal style show through. He followed the album with Play by Ear
in 1994. Since 1985, Jones
had written songs for the Nashville publishing house Blue Water Music. He stayed with the company until 1998. He continued to worked as a producer for other artists at his Alamo Studios in Bexar.