The Ebell of Los Angeles Women’s Club, which began in 1894, honored Regina Jones, as their Member Spotlight for Black History Month.
Regina and her then-husband, Ken Jones, the first Black television news anchor in Los Angeles, launched SOUL Newspaper in 1966, the first national Black newspaper dedicated to the coverage of Black entertainment when the country was just discovering soul music.
SOUL wrote about Black music artists including, but not limited to, James Brown, The Supremes, Jackson 5, Isaac Hayes, Al Green, Little Richard, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Lou Rawls and many more.
Los Angeles Sentinel columnist Wendy Gladney, also an Ebell member, interviewed Regina about the many aspects of her long career. They discussed what it was like as a young mother of five children to start a new business with no previous experience.
They also talked about how when SOUL stopped publishing after 16 years, her mother died and her 20-year marriage ended, how another door opened, and Regina became vice president of Dick Griffey Productions (DGP) and SOLAR Records. There, she worked with Shalamar, Howard Hewett, the Whispers, Midnight Star, Lakeside, The Deele and many other acts.
DGP was the west coast manager of the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s campaign to become president of the United States in 1984, and had him appear on Saturday Night Live as the very first presidential candidate ever.
Three years into her publicity career, Regina began her own publicity firm, Regina Jones & Associates. Her firm handled press, public relations, event planning, and crisis management for diverse clients that included Geffen Records, Black Women’s Forum, Orchid Communications, Capitol Records and a number of individual clients that included Cicely Tyson and Tavis Smiley.
Her major client was the NAACP Image Awards shows for a total of 13 years. She knew it was time for a change the year Michael Jackson was honored, and she and the producers had to deal with all of the uncredentialed press that were hiding in the bushes and all over the area surrounding the auditorium.
It was around the same time that Congresswoman Maxine Waters called and asked Regina to get media out to cover the opening of a Crystal Stairs created childcare center opening in Nickerson Gardens. Shortly after Crystal Stairs, the largest childcare development agency on the west coast invited Regina to become a part of their staff.
This was an opportunity for Regina to marry her entertainment relationships with nonprofit. She understood the critical need for childcare for working parents and was ever so grateful that her mother had taken care of all five of her children while she was working during the early years of her career.
Regina helped to make Crystal Stairs a household name during the 12 years she worked there. She also coordinated the Crystal Stairs Awards in 1996, created annual reports, training videos and helped to raise more than $7.5 million.
While enjoying retirement, Regina is writing her memoir and wants women to get one thing from her story, “No matter how many times you fall or get knocked down, keep getting up.”
For more information go to: SoulPublications.co; ebellofla.com/friends/ or https://www.crystalstairs.org/