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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.
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