Bessie Jones (February 8, 1902 - July 17, 1984), 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.