He was born Andrew Jones in Dallas, Texas, United States. The son of a big band singer, Jones acquired his moniker from his grandmother. Jones learned to play the guitar at a young age, and he joined Freddie King's backing band, the Thunderbirds, at the age of seventeen and toured with them for a couple of years. In 1967, Jones became part of Bobby Patterson's backing band, the Mustangs, playing on a number of Patterson's single releases. By the early 1970s, Jones had regular work in Dallas backing many musicians, plus he was tutored further in his guitar playing by Cornell Dupree.