He’s the face of gospel music entertainment, a fixture on television for 35 years. He’s credited with the longest running original programming on cable television, an entertainment legend for sure. He’s Bobby Jones and this is his final season on Black Entertainment Television, or maybe not. Though Dr. Jones seems resigned to going without his beloved show for the first time in 35 years, there may be a plan to let the show ‘go on’.
Not quite ready to face the music about Bobby Jones Gospel not quite jumping the shark, gospel music producer Stan Jones (Mississippi Mass Choir, The Williams Brothers, Clout Music Group) has drafted a petition on Change.org in support of bringing back Bobby Jones Gospel for yet another season and hopefully beyond next year.
People who are lost and confused, in nursing homes or bed ridden, the broken, hurt and depressed should all have the opportunity to tune into the inspiration that Dr. Jones and his musical guests offer every Sunday. –Stan Jones, Clout Music
Bobby Jones Gospel has been the conduit through which many careers were launched and even bolstered. In gospel music, there is no better, proven method of an instant efflux of fans, listeners or uptick in sales than a Bobby Jones Gospel appearance. Long before the days of the digital age, artists suffered in obscurity without a national television appearance. The same as it was before, an appearance on Bobby Jones Gospel is a boon for any artist; and Jones’ Nashville Superchoir has been a launch pad for a number of today’s top gospel artists, the likes of: Beverly Crawford, Everett Drake and Kyla Jade.
The digital age has brought with it an unnerving depreciation for pioneers. As swiftly as the gospel music industry now moves, it’s hard for some to truly measure Dr. Jones and his show’s true impact. What valuation is there for a single entity responsible for countless artists’ existence in the gospel music marketplace? Jones makes great points in his appeal worth consideration with gospel fans and casual television viewers. The show has shifted with the times and even though headliners are nationally known artists, Jones’ production still includes new and little known artists.
The microcosm of gospel music simply can’t go without a show like Bobby Jones Gospel. Sunday morning on cable television is largely ministry broadcasts with little consideration to music. This is where the BJG phenomenon comes into play. While BET can pass with re-broadcasts, what is available for new and emerging artists?
As you ponder the possibilities, consider also signing the Change.org petition to keep Bobby Jones Gospel on the air!
There will be rules! Viewers will have to actually tune in and enjoy the show. No complaining about who’s on each week or not providing return on investment to companies that advertise during the show. You’ll actually have to get active and let the network know you appreciate the show, interact with the network on social media and appreciate the many moving parts that make the show happen each week.
Yes, it requires more work than simply watching television as you prepare for church on Sunday morning. Here’s another great idea, purchase the music of the artists you see on the show and reach out to them via social media. When BET cancelled “Celebration of Gospel” viewers spoke out and got one more production of the show. You can do the same with Bobby Jones Gospel but be prepared to do more than watch this next go-round!
Bring back the sparkly suits, slightly tinted glasses and “welcome back” Bobby Jones Gospel (as only he can say it)! Sign the petition, today!