The Small Faces' Kenney Jones

Drummer Kenney Jones was a founder of the Small Faces, one of the most

popular bands in the UK in the '60s. In the U.S., however, Jones is

best known for his stint with the Who, as a replacement for the late

Keith Moon.

The Who's choice of Jones had a certain symmetry. In the mid-'60s, the

Small Faces became famous around East London for their "mod" style in

clothing, just as the Who were the embodiment of "mod" hipness in

London's West End.

Born 51 years ago today in London, Jones studied drumming as a youth.

He met bassist Ronnie Lane in the army.

In 1965 singer/guitarist and former child actor Steve Marriott,

keyboardist Jimmy Winston (soon replaced by Ian McLagan), Lane and

Jones formed the Small Faces ("small" for their height and "faces"

because of the Who song "I'm the Face," meaning "I'm hip") in London.

The band's rowdy club performances and its debut single "Whatcha Gonna

Do About It?" brought the Small Faces near-instant popularity. The

group continued its success in its home country, charting with such

top-10 singles as "Sha La La La Lee," "Hey Girl," "Itchycoo Park,"

"Tin Soldier" and "Lazy Sunday." Of those singles, only

"Itchycoo Park" had chart success in the U.S.

Frustrated with their lack of progress, Marriott quit to form

Humble Pie in 1969. Jones, Lane and McLagan regrouped with singer

Rod Stewart and guitarist Ron Wood, renaming themselves the Faces

since the new members were quite tall. Although the Faces had hits

with "Stay With Me" and "Cindy Incidentally," their recognition was

eclipsed by Stewart's burgeoning solo career.

As the '70s wore on, various Faces left the group, which disbanded

officially in 1976. Jones and Marriott re-formed the Small Faces for

a few years at that point. But when Moon died in 1978, Jones was

tapped by the Who as their new drummer. Officially becoming a band

member the following year, he toured with the superstar band for

years.

Jones was present on such Who records as 1981's Face Dances,

featuring the hit "You Better You Bet"

(RealAudio excerpt)

and the following year's It's Hard, including "Athena."

In 1989 the three original members of the Who elected to tour

without Jones, who joined Bad Company singer Paul Rodgers on the 1991

LP The Law.

Last year Cleopatra Records released the Small Faces'

Masters collection. This year Rhino Records issued the Faces

retrospective The Best of Faces: Good Boys ... When They're Asleep.

Also in 1999, Jones put together a 50-track Small Faces anthology

titled The Darlings of Wapping Wharf Launderette, distributed

only in the UK.

Other birthdays: B.B. King, 74; Bernard Calvert (Hollies), 56; Betty Kelly (Martha and the Vandellas), 55; Ron Blair (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), 47; Peter Zaremba (Fleshtones), 45; and Richard Marx, 36.