Rusty Jones began his professional career as a founding member of '80s one-hit wonders the Monroes, who had a national hit with “What Do All the People Know.”
“When I was really young, I wanted to be a stand-up comic like George Burns, Jack Benny, and Johnny Carson. Come out in a tuxedo and some prop like a cigar or a violin or a golf club and just tell jokes. Music came a little later for me.”
“‘What Do All the People Know’ was a fun song, and I still enjoy listening to it,” says Jones, who played the song on tour with Rick Springfield, Toto, and Greg Kihn in the early ’80s. At their one-hit-wonder peak, the Monroes performed their best-known single on The Merv Griffin Show.
“Sometimes we were a really great band, too,” says Jones. “But, sadly, fighting through the fragile egos and drug problems, just to play my music, became too much.”
Today, Jones often performs around North County with Monroes singer Jesus Ortiz, and he’s reconnected with Monroes drummer Jonnie Gilstrap. Regarding the new music, he says, “It’s roots music with a twist. I mash up the blues, pop, Motown, rock, and folk, processing it all through the blender of my heart and soul and forcing it out through voice and guitar.”