Dr. Robert Spurgeon “Dr. Bobby” Jones
October 13, 2012 (Posthumous)
Family Physician and Family Man.
Supported musicians professional to amateur especially youth.
Played mandolin and recorded with Horace Scruggs in River Bend, New River,
FlintHill, New Plowed Ground and others.
The Art of Sound Family has been saddened this year by the loss of longtime Shelby Physician and musician Dr. Bobby Jones. Known to many as Dr. B. or Dr. Bobby, he was at home in the examining room, the jam session or concert stage, church band, and relaxing at home with his family. Dr. Bobby began to play Bluegrass music in medical school for fellowship and stress relief and that continued throughout his life. As an advocate and fan of local, regional and national artists he helped to raise the profile and understanding of this “simple mountain music”. He was a family and community minded man who was open and honest with all.
Soon after coming back to Shelby to practice medicine, he befriended Horace Scruggs, Earl's brother, who was still a strong rhythm guitarist. Together they played in bands with some of Cleveland County's finest pickers and singers. He wrote the Heritage Bridge Award summary for Horace Scruggs that can be found on the Art of Sound web site. Dr. Bobby called himself a semi-professional musician but several CD's with New River and FlintHill as well as projects with Darin Aldridge and Al and Karen Dunkleman (New Plowed Ground) attest to the fact that the music was solid and even now is holding up well as time moves along.
Al said that Dr. Bobby: “...was also a prolific music promoter. He encouraged other musicians young and old by the CDs he bought, the hands he shook, the friends he made and the concerts and festivals he attended and supported.”
Art was something that Dr. Bobby believed in as a way of life, having said that it doesn't take much skill or talent to be wicked, but it takes art and creativity to be a decent person. He even put that sentiment into the mouth of one of the characters in his novel, “The Mandolin Case.” Calling himself the world's only physician bluegrass novelist he took Dr. Tom Bibey as his pen name (a play on Dr. B and Dr. Bobby). He always gave special credit to his mother and his other great teachers for their invaluable influence. He loved bluegrass music and bluegrass music people, but his interests extended to many other genres. His daily blog and Facebook postings were followed by people all over the country and beyond.
Dr. Bobby Jones served faithfully on the Art of Sound committee from its inception. He was always a good resource for local, or regional talent and it excited him greatly to be part of bringing someone of the caliber of Mike Marshall or Jack Lawrence to play in his home town. He seemed to treasure the opportunity to play music with folks whether world famous or not. He prided himself as basing his medical practice on the standard of his own father, Dr. Robert Jones, Sr. and the idea of a “country doctor.” That his faith was his ultimate guiding principle was pretty easy to see. He is and will be deeply missed by all who knew him.