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Eric "Ricky" McKinnie

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Information about Eric "Ricky" McKinnie

Profile image of Eric "Ricky" McKinnie

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Drummer
Singer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Australia
Favorite Quote:
I'm Not Blind. I Just Can't See.

Birthplace

Born:
7/12/1952
Birth Location:
Atlanta, Georgia

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Drummer
Singer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Australia
Favorite Quote:
I'm Not Blind. I Just Can't See.

Birthplace

Born:
7/12/1952
Birth Location:
Atlanta
See how Eric "Ricky" McKinnie is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Music arranger, drummer, and vocalist Eric “Ricky” McKinnie was born on July 12, 1952, in Atlanta, Georgia, to Sarah Frances McKinnie Shivers and Ed Lee McKinnie. He attended Crogman Elementary School and graduated from Murphy High School in 1970. McKinnie and his brother were compared to Sam and Dave. Drawn to music, McKinnie joined Troy Ramey and the Soul Searchers in 1970. As a member of the Gospel Keynotes in 1972, McKinnie made a gold record, Jesus, You Been Good To Me. Losing his eyesight to glaucoma in 1975, McKinnie continued to perform, often serving as road manager. He formed the Ricky McKinnie Singers with his mother and brother in 1978. They went on to produce two radio programs that are still broadcast on Atlanta’s WYZE 1480 AM.

In 1989, McKinnie was invited by Clarence Fountain of the world-renowned Blind Boys of Alabama to join the group as a drummer, vocalist and tour manager. McKinnie’s success with the Blind Boys of Alabama includes four Grammy Awards for Best Traditional Gospel Album; the Alabama’s Governor’s Achievement Award; the 2000 induction into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame; the Gospel Quartet Hall of Fame in Birmingham, Alabama, and the 2002 Dove Award. McKinnie has been recognized by Atlanta’s Mayor Shirley Franklin for his contribution to Atlanta’s new anthem and has received an Honorary Doctorate degree from Atlanta’s Carver Bible College. McKinnie, a talented music arranger, is known as the only known blind gospel drummer and has received endorsements from Sabien Cymbol and Taye Drum Companies.

As a member of the Blind Boys of Alabama, he is a spokesperson for the Feed The Hungry Campaign, and supports the Glaucoma Foundation and the Diabetes Foundation. McKinnie and his family founded the Family and Friends Organization of Atlanta.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Eric "Ricky" McKinnie's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Eric "Ricky" McKinnie lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Eric "Ricky" McKinnie describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Eric "Ricky" McKinnie describes his mother's childhood in McDonough, Georgia
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Eric "Ricky" McKinnie describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Eric "Ricky" McKinnie describes his siblings and how his parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Eric "Ricky" McKinnie describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Eric "Ricky" McKinnie describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Eric "Ricky" McKinnie describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Eric "Ricky" McKinnie describes his mother's singing career
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Eric "Ricky" McKinnie recalls his early interest in the drums
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Eric "Ricky" McKinnie recalls losing his eyesight at twenty-three years old
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Eric "Ricky" McKinnie describes his favorite subjects in school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Eric "Ricky" McKinnie reflects upon the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Eric "Ricky" McKinnie describes his foster sister
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Eric "Ricky" McKinnie recalls attending church and singing in the choir
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Eric "Ricky" McKinnie recalls forming a band in high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Eric "Ricky" McKinnie recalls performing with Troy Ramey and the Soul Searchers
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Eric "Ricky" McKinnie recalls his glaucoma surgery and pursuing a music career
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Eric "Ricky" McKinnie recalls Willie Neal Johnson and The Gospel Keynotes
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Eric "Ricky" McKinnie describes his phantom sight
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Eric "Ricky" McKinnie talks about society's perception of people who are blind
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Eric "Ricky" McKinnie describes his independent personality
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Eric "Ricky" McKinnie describes his radio show with the Ricky McKinnie Singers
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Eric "Ricky" McKinnie compares gospel music and blues music
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Eric "Ricky" McKinnie lists The Ricky McKinney Singers' albums
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Eric "Ricky" McKinnie details the history of The Blind Boys of Alabama
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Eric McKinnie recalls joining The Blind Boys of Alabama and becoming their road manager
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Eric "Ricky" McKinnie describes his responsibilities as road manager
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Eric "Ricky" McKinnie talks about The Blind Boys of Alabama's Grammy Awards
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Eric "Ricky" McKinnie describes his favorite songs by The Ricky McKinnie Singers and The Blind Boys of Alabama
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Eric "Ricky" McKinnie reflects upon his career
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Eric "Ricky" McKinnie lists the awards he won with The Blind Boys of Alabama
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Eric "Ricky" McKinnie describes his drum equipment
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Eric "Ricky" McKinnie describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Eric "Ricky" McKinnie talks about money management in African American churches
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Eric "Ricky" McKinnie talks about his family
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Eric "Ricky" McKinnie reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Eric "Ricky" McKinnie describes the screen reader software he uses
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Eric "Ricky" McKinnie describes his community involvement and honorary degree
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Eric "Ricky" McKinnie talks about the genre of gospel music