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Fantasy EVP Phil Jones Dies at 71

Phil Jones, executive vice president of Fantasy Records and a 50-year record industry veteran, died of lung cancer May 16 at his home in Walnut Creek, Calif. He was 71.

Jones was born in 1931 in Detroit, where he started working at Angott’s One-Stop in 1952, rising from stock boy to general manager. In 1962 he entered the music business, joining Motown Records as album sales director. In three years he was Motown’s Director of Marketing and Promotion, working with such artists as Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles and the Temptations.

In 1972 Jones moved to L.A. with Motown, and left two years later to start his own label, Raintree Records. He moved to the Bay Area in ’78 to join Fantasy, starting as Marketing Director and becoming Executive Vice President in ’84. Jones was active in industry trade associations, and was named NARM’s Man of the Year in ’88 for outstanding contributions to the Independent Distributing Network.

Jones is survived by his wife of 48 years, Minta, and their four children and eight grandchildren. Services will be held Wed., May 22 at 1 p.m. at the Tri-City Church of Religious Science in Fremont, Calif. The family requests that donations be made to the Hospice Foundation of Contra Costa County in Concord, Calif.

Originally Published