Dr. Bobby Jones is Mr. Gospel himself, credited with taking Gospel Music to mainstream airwaves via cable television. Dr. Jones has been a mainstay and creative force behind the country’s most unique and original musical genre. Bobby Jones Gospel, for which he is best known as host and executive producer, has been seen on BET since November 1980 and is one of the network's most popular shows. Jones along with the New Life Singing Aggregation and The Nashville Super Choir performs all styles of gospel music and welcomes an array of gospel artist. The Bobby Jones Gospel Radio Show and The Bobby Jones Gospel Countdown, airs on The Sheridan Radio Network, has become a favorite of Gospel Music lovers from coast to coast.
Dr. Jones has revolutionized the gospel music industry. Bobby Jones Gospel is the first and only nationally network televised black gospel television show and Video Gospel, which debuted in 1989, is the only nationally network television outlet gospel artists have to showcase their videos. Born in Henry County, Tenn., Jones always dreamt of a career in music. He excelled academically throughout school, graduating from high school at 15 and Tennessee State University at 19 with a bachelor's degree in elementary education. Jones continued his education by pursuing a master's degree at Tennessee State and a doctorate from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee. Jones taught elementary students in the Missouri and Tennessee educational systems.
In his teaching days, Jones helped develop the idea for a Black Expo in Nashville, Tenn. Jones introduced the pilot for what is now Bobby Jones Gospel to WSM-TV in Nashville. WSM-TV picked up the show that Jones created, co-produced and hosted. It ran in Nashville, Tennessee from 1976-1982.
During this period, Jones also created, produced and hosted Bobby Jones’ World, a magazine-style show that incorporated gospel music with world-renowned authors, entertainers and national leaders. Bobby Jones’ World ran from 1978-1984. Jones has extended his talents into the television and movie arena. In 1982, Jones made his television movie debut in NBC's Sister, Sister starring Diahann Carroll, Paul Winfield, Roslyn Cash and Irene Cara. In 1980 he wrote and performed in Make A Joyful Noise, a black gospel opera which aired on PBS; and in 1983, he was a guest on country music star Ronnie Milsap's television special, In Celebration.
In 1980, Jones received The Gabriel Award and an International Film Festival Award for writing and performing Make A Joyful Noise. He and his group, New Life, were nominated for a Grammy Award in 1982 for "Best Performance by a Black Contemporary Gospel Group" for the album Soul Set Free. In 1984, he received the Gospel Music Association's (GMA) Dove Award for “Black Contemporary Album of the Year,” a Grammy Award for "Best Vocal Duo for a Soul/Gospel Performance" for the single; “I'm So Glad I'm Standing Here Today” performed with country music star Barbara Mandrell, and a local NAACP Image Award. In 1990, he received the Gospel Music Association's Commonwealth Award for Outstanding Contribution to Gospel Music. In 1994, Jones was nominated for the Cable ACE Award. He resides in Nashville, TN and Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
For 24 seasons, “The Dr. Bobby Jones International Gospel Industry Retreat” was one of the most anticipated Gospel Music conferences in the country. With support from Gospel artists, industry executives, and music fans, the conference has influenced all with the desire to take God’s Music into the mainstream and make a mark that cannot be erased.
Dr. Bobby Jones Achievements
Elementary & High School - Henry and Paris, Tennessee, completed at age 15
Bachelor of Science Degree - Tennessee State University, completed at age 19
Masters of Education - Tennessee State University
Doctorate of Education - Vanderbilt University
Doctor of Theology - Payne's Theological Seminary
National Reading Textbook Consultant, McGraw Hill Publishers, New York, NY
Teacher, St. Louis Public Schools, 1959-1965
Teacher, Nashville Metropolitan Schools, 1966-1968
Instructor, Tennessee State University, Reading Department, 1974-1986
Instructor, Nova Southeastern University, 2007 - current
Methodist (CME) Cole's Chapel, Henry, Tennessee 1940-1956
Baptist (Missionary) Temple Church, Nashville, Tennessee 1956-Current
Tennessee State University Alumni Association
American Heart Association
American Diabetics Association
100 Black Men of America
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity
National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame, Board of Directors
Black Entertainment Television, "Bobby Jones Gospel”, highest rated show on the network, The longest running show in the history of cable television, host and performer, 1980-current
Black Entertainment Television Network, "Video Gospel", second highest rated show on the network for eighteen years, the second longest running show in the history of cable television producer & host, 1986-Current
The Word Television Network, "Bobby Jones Gospel Classics" and "Bobby Jones Presents", 2001-current, producer & host
The Gospel Channel, "Gospel Vignettes", 2006
Bobby Jones Next Generation 2008-current, host
The BET Gospel Network, "Let's Talk Church", 2002-current, producer & host
Outstanding Awards & Honors
President Bush citation, "Revolutionized the Gospel Music Industry" 2001
The Gabriel Award, "Make a Joyful Noise" first Black Gospel Opera, 1980
The International Film Festival Award, 1980, "Make a Joyful Noise"
The Grammy Awards, "I'm So Glad I'm Standing Here Today",1983
The Dove Awards, "I'm So Glad I'm Standing Here Today", 1983
The Stellar Awards, "Outstanding Achievement Award", 1996
The Stellar Award, "The James Cleveland Award", 1998
The Stellar Awards, "The Living Legend Award", 2005
The Sally Martin Award, (Mother of Gospel Music), 1987
The Thomas A. Dorsey Award, (Father of Gospel Music), 1987
Tom Joyner,"Hardest Working Man Award", 2003
Bob Johnson's "Chairman Award", BET-TV, 2002
The Full Gospel Baptist Convention, "Trailblazer Award", 2003
The Trumpet Awards, “Spiritual Award”, 2003, 2004, 2006
Congressman Al Edwards, "Unsung Hero Award", 2003
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, “Outstanding Service Award", 2003
Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, archived the "Master Works" of Dr. Bobby Jones, 1998
Special International Recognitions Dr. Jones traveled to all countries
Beijing, China, attended the 2008 Olympics on behalf of Dominica
Bahamas, "Golden Vision Award", 2005
Dominica , appointed "Ambassador at Large", 2005
Perusia, Italy,The Umbria Jazz Festival, "Gospel at it's Best", toured entire nation, 1995-
Fez, Morocco,The World Sacred Music Festival, 2000
Tokyo, Japan, The Japan Gospel Star Tour, and fifteen cities, 2001
Barbados Gospel Television Production (2 years), 1995-1996
De Den Hag, Holland The Holland Experience, (eight years), 1980-1988
Vienna, France, The French Connection, 2000
Barcelona, Madrid, Spain, The Spanish Gospel Special, 2001
Turks and Caicos Islands, Goodwill Recognition, 2002
Tobago, British West Indies, "Contribution to the Music Industry", 2004
Cape Town, Johannesburg, South Africa, "Christians Against Apartheid", 1984
London, England, BET Television Special, 1991
Melbourne, Australia, Umbria Jazz Festival, 2005
The Ivory Coast, Africa, Gospel Music Tour, 1992 and 1993
Anguilla, British West Indies, "Gospel Radio Live", 2005
Jerusalem, Israel, International Television Promotions for Israel for 96 countries, featuring twenty-six Holy sites.
Israel, Traveled with Senator Albert Gore on a "fact finding mission" of the Jewish Nation, baptized Tipper Gore in the River of Jordan.
The Sheridan Gospel Network, "The Bobby Jones Gospel Countdown",
The Sheridan Gospel Network, The Light, "Bobby Jones Radio Show"
Touched By God, Simon/Schuster, Pocket Books, 1998
Make A Joyful Noise, My Twenty Five Years In Gospel Music, St. Martin's Press, 2000
Movie & Stage Play
Sister, Sister, Movie written by Dr. Maya Angelou, starring Diahann Carroll, Paul Winfield, Irene Cara and Roslyn Cash, 1984,
Joyful Noel, Stage play written and directed by Walter Rutledge, starring Tramaine Hawkins and Ricky Dillard, 2005
Dirty Laundry, Movie written by Maurice Jamal, starring Rockmond Dunbar, Loretta Devine and Jenifer Lewis
"Sooner or Later" Benson Music Group, 1978
"There's Hope for This World", Nashboro Creed Records, 1979
"Caught Up", Nashboro Creed Records, 1980
"Soul Set Free", Word Records, 1982
"Come Together", Word Records, 1984.....Grammy Award, Dove Award
"Tin Gladje" Stockholm, Sweden, 1985
"I'll Never Forget", Malaco Records, 1989
"Another Time", Light Records, 1990
"Bring It To Jesus", Tyscot Records, 1995
"Just Churchin", Gospocentric Records, 1998
"Live In Perusia, Italy, Liquid 8 Records, 2004
“Faith Unscripted” 2007
“The Ambassador”, Zomba Music Group, 2007
Gospel Educational Components
Bobby Jones Gospel Explosions, Training for television production, 1990-current
International Gospel Industry Retreat, Training, Association and Informing for the gospel industry, 1995-current
So many people filled crucial roles in the life and career of Bobby Jones, it would take a book to list them all. However, some very special ones must be mentioned.
Jim and Augusta Jones (parents), Lula and James Jones (brother and sister), Ethel Williams, Robert Johnson, Dr. Maya Angelou, Mrs. Eva Childress, Johnny Tharpe, Barbara Mandrell, Louis Farrakhan, Jessie Jackson, Dr. Ruby Martin, Gerry Jones, Derrick Lee, Richard Manson, Lewis Gibbs, Albertina Walker, Ron Davenport, Jr., Xernona Clayton, Azell Futrell, Thomas Dortch, and Rudolph King, are just a few.
Bobby Jones comes from a rural poor background, he worked unyieldingly to bring his love for gospel music to the world. It could be said that, he is a simple country boy that loves the Lord, his family, his friends, his fans, and his supporters. One that has a tremendous love for gospel music, television, radio and stage. One that has sought to unite a part of this world in peace and love and will always do whatever he can to contribute to the betterment of humanity.