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Music


Quincy Jones

Quincy Jones: Love makes the world go 'round

Web posted on:
Friday, February 12, 1999 1:51:59 PM EST

By Jamie Allen
CNN Interactive Senior Writer

ATLANTA (CNN) -- Quincy Jones started out as an eager teen-age musician and singer playing the streets of Seattle with his pal, Ray Charles. Today, he is one of the most powerful figures in the entertainment industry.

When he's not hanging out with the likes of James Cameron and George Lucas, Paul Allen and Bill Gates, he's producing records for some of the hottest artists in the music industry, plugging the soon-to-be-released interactive CD "Encarta Africana" (W.E.B. Dubois' vision -- a definitive database on African-American history), or helping create works for television and the silver screen.

And now, in time for Valentine's Day, Jones has released a new 25-song double-CD entitled "From Q, With Love," a collection of his favorite love songs that he has produced since 1966.

Jones said the CD originally was something he carried with him to listen to for his own personal enjoyment. But when he hosted Oprah Winfrey's 40th birthday party, he made copies of his CD with Oprah's picture on it and handed it out to party guests.

"Everybody kept calling and calling and calling, asking 'Where can we get more of these?'" Jones says. "And so we decided to record four fabulous new songs ... and it all came together nicely."

Songs classic and new

Along with classic love songs from music legends like Michael Jackson and Aretha Franklin, the CD features new material from Tevin Campbell, Patti Austin, Siedah Garrett and El DeBarge.

MULTIMEDIA

Jones on "From Q, With Love"
[460k WAV] or [1.8Mb QuickTime]

His favorite songs of all time
[520k WAV] or [2Mb QuickTime]

Jones recently visited CNN and talked about the excitement of winning a Grammy, the career advice he received from Count Basie, and why love makes the world go 'round.

Q: How did you get started in music?

QUINCY JONES: It was during World War II ... I started as a singer in a little gospel street-corner group. I started at 12 years old, or so. Seattle was very hot because everybody went to Japan from there during the war.

I met Ray Charles when I was 14, he was 16, so we came up together. And we'd work three different clubs a night. We'd do the tennis clubs with the society music and all that stuff, and classical music, then we'd do some rhythm and blues clubs, with strip dancers, and comics and everything. Then at three o'clock in the morning we'd go down to Jackson Street, where we'd play bebop for nothing. It just never stopped. It was around the clock. We'd rehearse all day and then start the cycle all over again. It was a fantastic spawning ground.

Q: How did you get your "big break"?

JONES: I got a couple of scholarships to Seattle University ... and Lionel Hampton asked me to go on the road with him, and it was like a rocket from there, ups and downs, hills and valleys. That's what it's about. Count Basie told me when I was very young, if I could learn to deal with the valleys, then the hills would take care of themselves, and he was right. I had a choice of having a career that goes up for five years and burns out, or just take your time and get better and go until you're 60, 70, 80 ... and I chose the latter.

Q: You've been nominated for 77 Grammys, and you've won 26. Do you ever get tired of winning?

JONES: The reality is I won 26 and I was nominated 77 times, so that means I had to lose 51. The 26 that you win make up for all those times when you're sweating out the night and wondering what's gonna happen -- it's a very emotional process and that's why it's still exciting when you win. You never get so jaded that you don't care. It's like a child, each time it's something brand new.

Q: A good deal of controversy has erupted over MP3 technology, which allows online computer users to download CD-quality music files. Is this the future of the music business?

JONES: It's inevitable that we arrive at electronic distribution. It's more efficient. I'm experimenting with (online marketing and sales) now .. It's amazing, (the Internet) just keeps growing. But it's an absolute. It's the perfect prologue to the 21st century. You know, the industrial revolution is officially over. (LAUGHS)

Q: "From Q, With Love" covers favorite love songs you have produced since 1966. Why are love songs so popular?

JONES: After occupation and sleeping and everything else, love is what everybody is dealing with, I'd say, the majority of their life. Either getting in or wanting to be in love or falling out of love, unrequited love ... and then there's the category of "the only thing worse than being alone is wishing that you were." (LAUGHS)

And love is a very powerful dynamic. It literally drives the world. All the time, people are dealing with some type of relationship, either enjoying it or not enjoying it or wishing for it. You're probably involved in a relationship right now.


RELATED STORIES:
1999 Grammy Awards Ray Charles loyal to his bebop roots
October 29, 1998
Quincy Jones protege Tamia jumping into music fame
August 7, 1998

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