Singer’s family looks back on Paducah’s past



PADUCAH, KY. –  Do you remember the area of Paducah that used to be called “the set”? Paducah Police said it’s been many years since this area of town was trouble.

The clean up was lead by The Voice’s Shi’Ann Jones’ family.

Her mom and dad remembered when this vacant quiet lot next to the McCracken County Jail used to be full. “Where I’m standing now used to be a hotel. Now it’s vacant land with trees,” said Marilyn Jones, mom. “I look over to my right and it’s a new jail for rehabilitation.”

“I’ve seen some things on “the set” that that were beyond us as humans,” said Ricky Jones, a former pastor in Paducah.

The area of Paducah that used to be known as “the set” was from 7th and Adams street. It used to have a high crime rate, as well and no one really knows it as that anymore.

“The set was a beautiful place, but darkness fell upon it,” said Ricky. “When it fell it came with drugs, alcohol, crime, murder.”

When Ricky’s son was killed in 2003, he turned his grieving into inspiration. “My job was to make sure that that didn’t happen to nobody else’s kid so God spoke to me and told me to take a club and turn it in to a church,” Ricky said.

“It was something he was adamant about doing,” said Marilyn about Ricky’s drive to change the area. “It was something that he believed in his heart.”

“It really wasn’t a church. It was an outreach where we reached out to the people,” Ricky said. He said he wanted to turn Paducah into a better place.

Many would argue that they did just that – lowering crime and leaving behind a legacy with a voice of her own.

Shi’Ann Jones is now soaking up the national spotlight on NBC’s The Voice. “It’s new to me. I’m used to singing in a small town not up on big stages,” she said.

Her family said they are very proud. “It is so surreal. I have to take a deep breath. I have to stay grounded,” said Marilyn. Coming back to this spot has done that.

You can watch Shi’Ann sing on Mondays and Tuesdays at 7 p.m. on NBC.

You can find out more information about this story and others by following Leah Shields on Facebook and Twitter.

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