Published Nov 03, 2020The late, great Sharon Jones is getting memorialized in a big way, as an outdoor amphitheatre in South Carolina is being named in her honour.
On Monday night (November 2), the city council of North Augusta, SC, voted unanimously to rename a venue after Jones. Going forward, the Riverside Village Amphitheater will now be known as the Sharon Jones Amphitheater.
Gabe Roth — who helped the soul singer rise up from obscurity by signing her to his Daptones label — told Rolling Stone, "This is so cool. No one was able to lift the room like she could. It's great to have a place where people will hit the stage and think of her. She would have been thrilled."
Jones died in 2016 of pancreatic cancer, and members of her family were at the meeting last night.
"She would be flabbergasted right now," Jones' sister Willia Stringer told Rolling Stone. "We didn't live far from there. My father used to walk down with us down to the river. Back then, there was nothing there but trees and the river."
While Jones spent the majority of her life around New York, she was born in Augusta, GA, and lived with her family North Augusta for the first few years of her life. Over the years, she would often return to the town to relax and rewind.
"She could be herself here," Stringer said. "She would come back and go fishing. She found that relaxation here."
The idea to rename the venue after Jones was first brought up by Augusta Chronicle columnist and journalist Don Rhodes, who was friends with Jones.
"In North Augusta, there's no public park or building named after a Black citizen, and I said it was the right thing to do," Rhodes said of his efforts to petition the town's mayor, Robert Pettit. "And who else should be it named for? There's nobody else from North Augusta who had that kind of worldwide fame."
Right now, the plan is to hold a dedication ceremony for the venue in March, ideally with a full day of live music. However, that plan may change due to the ongoing pandemic.
Last month, a newly assembled collection of covers done by Jones was released as Just Dropped In (to See What Condition My Rendition Was In).