Jones was born in Coalton, Ohio, grew up in Saginaw, Michigan, where he started his first band. In 1915 he moved to Chicago, Illinois, which remained his base through 1924. After that he toured England before reestablishing himself in New York City.
The Isham Jones band made a series of popular phonograph records for Brunswick Records throughout the 1920s. Isham Jones led one of the most popular dance bands in the 1920s and 1930s. Noted musicians who played in Jones' band included Louis Panico, Benny Goodman, Woody Herman and Roy Bargy.
Jones' popular compositions included "I'll See You in My Dreams", "The One I Love Belongs to Somebody Else", "Swinging Down the Lane", "On the Alamo", and "It Had to be You".
Isham Jones died in Hollywood, California.