TIR 82: Regina Jones Tells How She Poured Her Soul Into ‘SOUL’

Regina Jones (left) and Stevie Wonder celebrating Minnie Ripperton’s sales record award.


Brought to you by FUNKNSTUFF.NET and hosted by Scott Goldfine — musicologist and author of “Everything Is on THE ONE: The First Guide of Funk” ― “TRUTH IN RHYTHM” is the interview show that gets DEEP into the pocket with contemporary music’s foremost masters of the groove.

Featured in TIR Episode 82 (2 Parts): One of America’s most important publishing figures, the trailblazing Regina Jones, whose Los Angeles-based SOUL Newspaper she co-founded with her husband and oversaw was the first periodical of its time to spotlight black music acts and entertainers.

Launched in 1966 in the shadow of the Watts Riots, SOUL quickly rose to become the preeminent R&B and funk publication until it ceased operation in the early 1980s. This was during the heyday of some of the greatest music was produced by some of the greatest singers and musicians of all time — from James Brown and Aretha Franklin to Motown and Stax stars to Sly Stone and Stevie Wonder to Earth, Wind and Fire and the Ohio Players to Parliament-Funkadelic and Cameo to Chaka Khan and Donna Summer to Prince and Rick James. All of them were covered in the pages of SOUL, where talented young writers, editors and photographers developed into some of media’s top success stories in their own rights.

Jones lays bare her incredible story of rising up as a teenage wife and mother of five, learning publishing, management and how to navigate the sometimes savage world of music and entertainment to shatter barriers for both blacks and women while producing a newspaper that now stands as one of the most important documents of black music. As if that was not enough, she shares how she overcame a middle-age crisis once SOUL was shuttered to rise up once again in record publicity, award show and television production, and charitable pursuits. Oh yeah, and she also went to Neverland Ranch for an exclusive interview with Michael Jackson, who had specifically requested her, for Vibe Magazine in 1995.

Here is the tale of the incredible soul that stood behind SOUL.