Raymond Jones, a keyboardist, songwriter and producer who played in disco group Chic and composed songs for films by Spike Lee, died on July 1 from pneumonia in East Point, Ga. He was 52.
A native of Queens, N.Y., Jones joined fledgling group Chic as a keyboardist when he was 19 and recorded on several of the band’s hits — most notably “Le Freak” and “Good Times” — as well as playing on Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family” and Diana Ross’ “Upside Down.” In the early 1980s, Jones toured with Talking Heads, the Tom Tom Club and Chaka Khan, and he wrote Jeffrey Osborne’s 1983 hit “Stay With Me Tonight.”
Jones’ forays into movies came via a relationship with Lee, who enlisted him as a songwriter and producer for four of his films — “School Daze,” “Get on the Bus,” “Clockers” and “Do the Right Thing.” “Do the Right Thing” boasted three of Jones’ compositions on the soundtrack, which, thanks to Public Enemy single “Fight the Power,” became an iconic document of the era’s urban music landscape.
Jones also served as musical director for Fox’s “The Keenen Ivory Wayans Show” in 1997.