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70's - 80's Southern Rock Band

In memory of...Randy Lewis, Jimmy O'Neill, and Bryan Cole


Mose Jones #1 1972 - 1975


Randy Lewis, Bryan Cole, Jimmy O'Neill, Steve McRay

Mose Jones formed in 1972, with core members from the Florida band "Stonehenge". The band's name derived from jazz great "Mose Allison' and a family dog named "Jones". Initially the band was created with Clay Watkins on keys, then during the recording of their first album, Clay was replaced by long-time friend Steve McRay (keys and vocals), who had just returned from his stint with the US ARMY and serving in Vietnam.

In 1972 Mose Jones was the first band signed by Al Kooper for his startup Atlanta label "Sounds of the South" on MCA Records. Al's "Blues Project" was chosen, and a band named "Elijah". The last band signed was a little band from Jacksonville that had been playing in Atlanta - that band's name was "Lynyrd Skynyrd".



Mose Jones #1 1973

1973 Mose Jones - Steve McRay, Jimmy O'Neill, Randy Lewis, and Bryan Cole




Producer - Performer Al Kooper had been visiting Atlanta since he played the first Atlanta Pop Festival in 1969. The southern rock scene was exploding, and Kooper had noticed the abundance of talent in and about Atlanta. With the backing of MCA Records, he launched the "Sounds Of The South" label with the initial deal calling for four new artists - three of which turned out to be: the Atlanta band Mose Jones, Los Angeles funk band Elijah, and Kooper's own reformed Blues Project. It was on Mose Jones' recommendation that the final spot was filled by Lynyrd Skynyrd. Kooper jammed with the group at Funochios, and after some initial hesitancy from the band, Lynyrd Skynyrd signed on.



Lynyrd Skynyrd at Funochios in Atlanta GA  Lynyrd Skynyrd at Funochios in Atlanta GA

Early photo's of Lynyrd Skynyrd at the Atlanta bar "Funochios"


1973 Mose Jones with Al Kooper




Answering E-mail about "What ever happened to Mose Jones?" (2003)

We had a special sound back then, and enjoyed playing just about any place we could play...lot's of memories. I get many e-mails these days about Mose Jones, so I'm creating a Web site for that very reason; to update what happened to the band. Unfortunately, not all updated news is good news.

There were actually 2 Mose Jones groups. The 1972-75 (2 albums on MCA/Sounds of the South Records, Al Kooper producing) and the 1977-1980 (2 albums on RCA Records, Buddy Buie producing). Randy Lewis and I were in both bands. (Here is where the bad news starts...)

Randy had been living and playing in Key West for some time, but last Feb.(2001), he had a massive heart attack and passed away about a week later. He lived life pretty hard, so it was not totally unexpected, but very tragic none the less. The very next day, Bryan Cole, the drummer in Mose #1, and our drummer in Java Monkey, had a massive heart attack, and his aorta ruptured as well...totally unexpected! After 4 operations in 5 days, Bryan survived, but had to have his right leg amputated, from lack of blood flow. He is in good shape now, and is working on staying in good health, and mastering his new age of mobility, his prosthetic leg...he's  playing with us again, singing background vocals and playing percussion along with our current drummer, John Holder. (...the trilogy of bad news)

Immediately after Bryan started to heal, Jimmy O'Neill, Mose #1 guitar player, was diagnosed with Brain cancer; it wasn't good. It was one of the most progressive types of cancer. After 6 months of surgery's and therapy's, Jimmy passed away last September (2001). Jimmy was one of the nicest guys I've ever known, and one of the most talented...he will be missed dearly. (Steve McRay)


Footnote: Unfortunately, we lost our good friend, brother, and Mose Jones alumni Bryan Cole on December 9, 2012 - Bryan passed away from complications of his second surgery of 2012, to repair the on-going damage to his aorta; his body and internal organs just could not maintain any longer. His mind and spirit, although, were indeed intact until the very end.

In his honor, and along with his loving wife Lisa Cole and Bryan's family members, an all day "Celebration of Life Day" was held on January 13, 2013 at Smith's Ole Bar in Atlanta, GA - with Bands and Musicians playing to an over-flowing flood of friends and well-wishers from 2pm until after midnight...Bryan's spirit still lives on! (Steve McRay)

Bryan Cole (RIP)

Remembering Bryan Cole



Bryan Cole Celebration of Life 1-13-13


"Celebration of Life Day" (Jan 13, 2013) for Bryan Cole - on stage, the Ichiban All Star Band - Bryan was staff producer and drummer for Ichiban Records for over 10 years.



Click Here to View More Celebration of Life Photos





Mose Jones #1 1973





Jimmy O'Neill (RIP)




Randy Lewis (RIP)


Mose Jones #1 - Two LP's and One Live CD


"Get Right" 1973

Sounds of the South / MCA Records

Produced by Al Kooper


"Mose Knows" 1974

Sounds of the South / MCA Records

Produced by Al Kooper and Charles Calello


"Live at Richard's" Atlanta, GA 1974


Big Coffee Records

*released Aug 10, 2010



Mose Jones - "Does Your Mama Know About Me"


More Mose Jones Music on Mose Jones on YouTube



Mose Jones - Does Your Mama Know About Me 45


Mose Jones single - 45rpm - released off the MOSE KNOWS LP, the song "Does Your Mama Know About Me". A Motown song co-written by Tommy Chong, of Cheech and Chong, and recorded be Bobby Taylor and the Vancouver's.


Mose Jones Live at Richard's 1974 CD Cover


"Mose Jones - Live at Richard's - Atlanta, Ga. 1974"

Released Aug. 2010

This long-awaited and once thought to be lost LIVE RECORDING is NOW available!


Check out the story behind the "Live at Richard's" 1974 CD/Project

Go to Big Coffee Records for CD - Also available on CD BABY, iTunes, Amazon, and in many local record stores!



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More Info and Pictures


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"Remembering Mose Jones" with discussion, old memories, pictures, music, and on going dialog.




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Mose Jones Music Available