Bessie Jones

Bessie Jones (February 8, 1902 - July 17, 1984) was an American gospel singer from Smithville, GA. She learned her songs from her grandfather, a former slave born in Africa. She was a founding member of the Georgia Sea Island Singers. Alan Lomax first encountered Bessie Jones on a southern trip in 1959, Jones made her way up to New York City two years later and asked Lomax to record both her music and biography. Jones told an interviewer in Alachua, Florida in the early 1980s, that she was born in Lacrosse, Florida, (Alachua County), when that area was a tung oil production area. Jones also said she hadn't been to a doctor since 1925 and that she wore many copper bracelets which protected her from disease. Jones' 1960 song Sometimes was heavily sampled in American electronica musician Moby's 1998 single Honey. Partial discography Southern Journey Recordings, V. 12, Georgia Sea Islands: Songs and Spirituals (Rounder 1712) Southern Journey Recordings, V. 13, Earliest Times: Georgia Sea Island: Songs for Everyday Living (Rounder 1713). Put Your Hand On Your Hip, and Let Your Backbone Slip: Songs and Games from the Georgia Sea Islands (Rounder 11587) 2001 Step It Down (Rounder) 1979 So Glad I'm Here (Rounder 2015) 1974 Additional Reading: Although closely associated with the unique music of the Georgia Sea Islands, singer Bessie Jones was not actually born on the islands, but in a small mainland Georgia town. As a young woman she moved to the islands and became an intrinsic pa...

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