‘If You Love Music, I’m Your Buddy’

Little Montie Jones was billed as one of the youngest disc jockeys in the nation when he presented his Saturday radio show on Siloam Springs (Benton County) station KUOA in the 1950s.

Little Montie Jones
Little Montie Jones

By the time he was a teenager, he was getting press in Billboard magazine and appearing in a number of musical variety shows in the region that were either broadcast or televised nationally. They included the Big D Jamboree in Dallas, Texas; Red River Jamboree in Paris, Texas; and, more closer to home, the Ozark Jubilee in Springfield, Missouri, where he made regular appearances. Not much is known about Jones, such as his hometown, which could have been Siloam Springs given that he also also recorded on the Jemm record label based there. Even his entry on the Rockabilly Hall of Fame website is vague about many things, like his whereabouts now. Perhaps his success was part of the trend of “kid acts” coming into play, most notably that of The Collins Kids, featuring Lorrie and Larry Collins. They gained fame after pulling up stakes from their hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma, to start a music career in California. They could rock out just as hard as the grownups and moved to The Golden State at the urging of Western swing musician Leon McAuliffe, formerly with Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys, who saw potential in the duo.

Montie Jones also went to Tulsa for his break after auditioning for Johnnie Lee Wills, also formerly with The Texas Playboys, who had a radio show on KVOO in Tulsa. Impressed, Wills invited Jones to appear regularly on the show. It was musician Little Jimmy Dickens, however, who gave Jones the stage name of “Little Montie Jones.” Jones shared the stage with many country music legends from Patsy Cline to Johnny Cash and had the slogan, “If you love music, I’m your buddy.”

As Jones got older, he eventually dropped the “Little” from his name and continued to perform and record songs geared more toward the adult market, such as “Moonshine.” By the age of 24, he dropped out of the music business, never to return.

Little Montie Jones, performing at Ernest Tubb’s Midnite Jamboree in Nashville during the late 1950s. Ernest Tubb is standing on the far left.

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