Born in Henry County, Tennessee, Dr. Bobby Jones always dreamed 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 also went on to earn a master’s degree from Tennessee State and a doctorate from Vanderbilt University. While pursuing his master’s, Jones taught elementary school in the Missouri and Tennessee education systems.
During his teaching days, Jones helped develop an idea for this local community, a pilot for what is now “Bobby Jones Gospel.” First airing in 1976 on a local Nashville station, BET picked up the show for national syndication in 1980, where it has remained to this day.
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 also starred in the 1982 made-for-television NBC movie “Sisters, Sisters,” alongside Diahann Carroll, Paul Winfield and Irene Cara.
In 1980, Jones received The Gabriel Award and an International Film Festival Award for writing and performing the black gospel opera, “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 GMA Dove Award for Black Contemporary Album of the Year for Come Together, a Grammy Award for “Best Vocal Duo for a Soul/Gospel Performance” for the single, “I’m So Glad I’m Standing Here Today,” which he performed with country music star Barbara Mandrell, and an NAACP Image Award.
Today, Jones is a constant on BET’s Sunday programming, serving as the host and executive producer of “Bobby Jones Gospel,” and producer of “Video Gospel.”
Tennessee State University (bachelor’s and master’s)
Vanderbilt University (doctorate)
“Bobby Jones World”
“Bobby Jones Gospel”
Elementary School Teacher
Dr. Bobby Jones singing “God Has Smiled On Me”