R.I.P. "Mr. Chicago," Dedry Jones

(July 26, 2018) There are times it is difficult to pick up the pen, and this is one of those times. Dedry Jones, a shining light in the independent soul music world who, for me, was “Mr. Chicago,” has died suddenly, causes unknown.

A University of Illinois-Chicago graduate, Dedry had recently made a splash around the music world with his wonderful television show The Experience, which filmed in Chicago, but was shown on PBS stations in several markets. The show was a throwback to television of old, where an artist like Will Downing or Avery Sunshine could combine an intimate performance with an equally intimate and fun conversation with the amiable host, Dedry Jones.

(July 26, 2018) There are times it is difficult to pick up the pen, and this is one of those times. Dedry Jones, a shining light in the independent soul music world who, for me, was “Mr. Chicago,” has died suddenly, causes unknown.

A University of Illinois-Chicago graduate, Dedry had recently made a splash around the music world with his wonderful television show The Experience, which filmed in Chicago, but was shown on PBS stations in several markets. The show was a throwback to television of old, where an artist like Will Downing or Avery Sunshine could combine an intimate performance with an equally intimate and fun conversation with the amiable host, Dedry Jones.

Before his television foray, Dedry was perhaps best known for his popular store, The Music Experience, a Chicago institution for more than a quarter century, and a rarity in the current world of music streaming and online sales. Through his time there, Dedry became one of the most important independent retailers in the United States, and a man who seemed to know just about everybody.

Dedry’s creativity, his kindness, and his absolute dedication to making the music world better garnered for him great admiration among those of us in the music business, and made him a legend in his hometown.

I write this as someone who knew Dedry, but not like many of you reading this piece did. I would welcome your reflections in the comment section below. It’s always a shame when a musical comrade dies. It’s doubly a shame when they die young. But it is worst of all to lose someone who spent his entire young life consistently lifting others up, as Dedry Jones did. Rest in peace, my friend. You will be greatly missed.

By Chris Rizik

Click Here to see Memorial Tribute Fundraiser

 

Leave a comment!