Gospel singer Barbara Jones dies at 62

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

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SINGER Barbara Jones, who died last Friday at age 62, was among the second generation of Jamaican female performers who emerged during the 1970s.

Jones, who died from pneumonia at the University Hospital of the West Indies, came of age in that decade along with Judy Mowatt, Sonya Spence, Joy White and Pam Hall.

Jones (given name Barbara Nation) began her career in 1971, cutting a cover of American country singer Sue Thompson's Sad Movies with the Soul Syndicate Band for Randy's Records.

Most of her popular songs were also covers: Evie Sands' Angel in The Morning and Walk Through This World With Me, originally done by Englebert Humperdinck.

The Kingston-born, Manchester-reared Jones toured with Jimmy Cliff as a backup singer, before giving up secular music in the early 1980s. She became a Christian and eventually recorded four gospel albums.

In May, Jones returned to her reggae roots by doing two shows in Brazil along with bassist/singer Lloyd Parks.

They did shows in the cities of Teresina and Belem.

Her husband, Hector Lewis, told the Jamaica Observer that Jones was diagnosed with leukemia in February. She was in London in September for shows when she became ill.

Barbara Jones is survived by her husband, three children and three grandchildren. The thanksgiving service for her life is scheduled for the Gregory Park Baptist Church on January 10.

-- Howard Campbell

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