Todd Jones

Mark Austin found this old glass negative at a swap meet one day in Virginia in the 70s. Tim Duffy was stunned by this image when he met Mark at an art show one afternoon. Years later when Music Maker ran this photo on the cover of a newsletter, it was simply titled, “Man with Harp Guitar.” Soon after, Perlista Henry of Warm Springs, Virginia, gave Music Maker a call. This man was her grandfather. An African-American photographer who documented black life in their small town took the photograph. Perlista explained, “Todd Jones was born March 7, 1898 in Warm Springs, Virginia. He was the sixth of eleven children born to Albert Sidney Jones and Eliza Brooks. Todd inherited his musical ability from his mother’s side of the family. He and his brother, Bernard and older sister Beulah all played instruments. In 1918, Todd married Alice Bolden, (1899-1997), who also lived in Warm Springs. He served in the armed services during World War I. The couple had three children. Todd worked as a waiter at the Homestead Hotel at Hot Springs. He also played with a local music group, which included his brother, Bernard and other men from his community. Todd and Alice were divorced during the 1920’s. Todd relocated to Washington, D.C., where he married and lived there until his death on July 13th, 1956. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.”

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