NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A documentary for Black Entertainment Television is being done on the life of gospel legend Dr. Bobby Jones.
Jones, an alumnus of Tennessee State University, and a BET production crew visited TSU’s campus on June 21 to shoot scenes for the documentary.
“This is my school,” Jones said. “This is where I came when I was 15 years old, and left … when I was 19.”
Jones said the documentary will highlight his 35 years in gospel music for BET. In 1980, Jones started “Bobby Jones Gospel.” The show ended last year, making it the longest running series on BET.
“A documentary on the life of gospel legend Dr. Bobby Jones is long overdue,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “It’s a fitting tribute to a man whose contributions to gospel music have benefited countless people.”
Along with programming on the BET network, Jones has also established relationships with The World Television Network, which airs “Bobby Jones Gospel Classics” and “Bobby Jones Presents.” “Let’s Talk Church” appears weekly on the BET Gospel network, and “Bobby Jones Next Generation” on the Gospel Channel.
The documentary will also highlight Jones’ donation to TSU of gospel music, memorabilia and tapings from his popular “Bobby Jones Gospel” show – appraised at $6 million. It’s the largest in-kind gift in the university’s history.
“It means an awful lot to me that it’s somewhere it can live on,” said Jones, who spent 17 of his 32 years as an educator teaching at TSU in the College of Education. “For your preservation to be submitted somewhere and it’s going to be available to people who want to study it, that’s a very, very good thing.”
“Tennessee State University is fortunate to be the recipient of music, memorabilia and tapings from such an illustrious alum. Jones’ gift will inspire generations to come.”
Dr. Robert Elliott, head of TSU’s Department of Music, said Jones is a “true icon in music” and he’s glad the university has the relationship that it does with Jones.
“We look forward to working with him for many more years,” Elliott said.
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With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.