The Donnie Simpson Show Pays Tribute To Helen Jones Woods, the mother of media legend Cathy Hughes, who launched Urban One, the largest African-American owned and operated broadcast company in the nation.
Helen Jones Woods was a founding member of The Sweethearts of Rhythm, the first integrated, all-women jazz band. The band was founded by Dr. Laurence Jones in 1937 at The Piney Woods School and toured extensively throughout the United States to raise money for the school. The Sweethearts became professionals and played in theaters across the country, including the Apollo Theater and Howard Theater in Washington, DC where they set a box office record of 35,000 patrons in 1941. They also toured war-torn Europe with the USO, making a place for themselves in a world ruled by gender and racial prejudice. At one time, Helen was known as one of the top two trombonists in the country.
After her music career concluded, Helen returned to college earning a degree in Nursing and a Masters in Social Work. She stayed in the medical field for over 30 plus years at Douglas County Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska.