'Dub' Jones; Sang Bass in the Coasters
Will "Dub" Jones, 71, the bass vocalist for the Coasters who
delivered signature lines in rollicking rock 'n' roll hits such as
"Yakety Yak," "Charlie Brown" and "Along Came Jones." The
longtime Long Beach resident and native of Shreveport, La., sang
the familiar deep-voiced hook line "Don't talk back" in the 1958
No. 1 hit "Yakety Yak" and the playfully forlorn line "Why's
everybody always picking on me?" in the 1959 tune "Charlie
Brown," which reached No. 2 on the U.S. pop charts. Jones, an
Army veteran, came to prominence in another Los Angeles-based
R&B vocal group, the Cadets, which began in the late 1940s as a
gospel act and scored a hit with "Stranded in the Jungle" in 1956.
The Coasters, who first assembled in 1955 and had already
scored hits such as "Searchin' " and "Young Blood," selected
Jones to replace original bass singer Bobby Nunn in their lineup in
1958. The Coasters' series of sly, upbeat Top 10 hits--all written
by seminal songwriting duo Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller--ended
with "Poison Ivy" in 1959, but their influence landed them in the
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, the hall's second year of
inductions. Jones turned his career back to gospel in the 1970s
and performed with groups such as the Mighty Travelers. He died .
on January 16 in Long Beach after a prolonged battle with diabetes.