He was a mentor, a band mate, a teacher and my friend. He always called me his 3rd youngin.
He looked after my physical wellbeing as part of what he called his “Doctor Gig”. He helped shape me as a person by showing me that you can be successful and still be a good person.
Dr. Bobby always cared about others as much or more than he cared about himself. His initial reaction to having a brain tumor was that he needed to make sure that his patients would be well taken care of while he was undergoing treatment. When he would go for his chemotherapy sessions he would take his mandolin and play for the other patients. I think he wanted to show them his determination as well as entertain them.
I always loved pickin’ with Bobby and just being around him. He was as well known as a mandolin player as he was as a physician and that is a testament to the progress he made as a musician.
He immersed himself in the technical aspects and was always trying to find ways to make himself a better player. But what really drew Bobby to the music was the people. People who created it, played it, promoted it, and those who just enjoyed listening to music that was about real people and real life.
I think that is also what made Bobby want to write. He wanted to touch people by writing about things they could identify with.
Dr. Bobby Jones was a great man. He stood for good things. Our little community is a better place because he chose to live among us and share his wisdom, courage, strength and kindness with us.
He was a blessing to know and love.
He will be missed.
Darin Aldridge is a former touring and recording member of the Country Gentlemen. He and his wife Brooke now have their own band. They record on Crossroads Records.