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Rickey Payton, Sr.

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Information about Rickey Payton, Sr.

Profile image of Rickey Payton, Sr.

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Nonprofit Chief Executive
Music Composer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Beige, Blue, Brown
Favorite Food:
Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Christmas
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Switzerland
Favorite Quote:
Unbelievable.

Birthplace

Born:
6/16/1959
Birth Location:
Washington, District of Columbia

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Nonprofit Chief Executive
Music Composer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Beige, Blue, Brown
Favorite Food:
Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Christmas
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Switzerland
Favorite Quote:
Unbelievable.

Birthplace

Born:
6/16/1959
Birth Location:
Washington
See how Rickey Payton, Sr. is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Urban Nation Music founder and CEO Rickey Payton was born June 16, 1959 in Washington, D.C., the son of Dazelle Inez Mourning Payton and William Lee Payton, Sr. He started taking piano lessons in kindergarten at Parkview Elementary School. Inspired by Rance Allen, Al Green and Stevie Wonder, Payton played “Walk Him Up” from Purlie, by ear, for his 5th grade assembly at Raymond Elementary School and continued to excel in music through Lincoln Junior High School. In 1972, he composed music for NBC’s The Sunshine Store. While at Cardoza High School, Payton scored the Emmy Award winning documentary New Cotton Club Review before he graduated in 1977. Attending Howard University, Payton majored in music, business administration, and studied entertainment law. Payton was selected to study and perform in Galen, Switzerland in his freshman year. Payton also attended music conservatories in Paris and in Switzerland. At Howard, Payton met the Honorable Walter Fauntroy, who he collaborated with on a musical tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Payton, as a performer, has toured Europe, Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. He has appeared at the International Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland, and has given command performances at the White House, the Vatican and performed for President Mitterand of France, Queen Elizabeth and the British Royal Family, and Mikhail Gorbachev of the former Soviet Union. Payton composes music for the annual Christmas production of the Washington, D.C. Department of Recreation and Howard’s PBS WHUT Channel 32. In 1994, Payton was co-founder and former board member of City at Peace, a diverse youth theatrical group promoting ethnic understanding. The organization was featured by Ted Koppel on ABC’s Nightline in 1995. Payton’s song, “Let’s Build a Bridge All Across America” was featured at President Clinton’s second inauguration in 1996. In 1997, Payton co-founded Urban Nation, Inc. with Sheila Crump and serves as its president and CEO. He is also the artistic director of the Urban Nation H.I.P. – H.O.P. (Hope, Integrity, Power – Helping Our People) Choir. In 1998 Payton was featured in the documentary film, City at Peace directed by Susan Koch and with Barbara Streisand as executive producer.

Payton serves as minister of music for New Bethel Church of God in Christ and for over 15 years he has taught choral at Sidwell Friends School. In 2000, Payton received the Distinguished Service Award from Dr. Dorothy Height and the National Council of Negro Women. He produced and coordinated the 2002 Get Out the Vote Rally at the Lincoln Theatre and was artistic director and conductor for Coca-Cola’s This is Our World at the Library of Congress. A 2004 Linowes Leadership Award recipient, Payton is an official voting member of the Grammy Awards.

See how Rickey Payton, Sr. is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Rickey Payton, Sr.'s interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Rickey Payton, Sr. lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Rickey Payton, Sr. describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Rickey Payton, Sr. describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Rickey Payton, Sr. recounts how his parents met and settled in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Rickey Payton, Sr. lists his siblings and describes his neighborhood in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Rickey Payton, Sr. describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Rickey Payton, Sr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Rickey Payton, Sr. describes how music influenced him as a child
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Rickey Payton, Sr. describes his church and its influence on his musical development
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Rickey Payton, Sr. recalls how popular music influenced him as a child
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Rickey Payton, Sr. remembers his elementary school experiences
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Rickey Payton, Sr. recalls the riots in Washington, D.C. after Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Rickey Payton, Sr. remembers teachers that nurtured his musical talent
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Rickey Payton, Sr. talks about influential musicians from Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Rickey Payton, Sr. talks about his favorite subjects in school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Rickey Payton, Sr. describes playing music part-time while a student at Francis L. Cardozo Senior High School in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Rickey Payton, Sr. describes memorable high school teachers
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Rickey Payton, Sr. describes his experience at Francis L. Cardozo Senior High School in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Rickey Payton, Sr. talks about attending Howard University in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Rickey Payton, Sr. remembers his early musical career
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Rickey Payton, Sr. recalls his first recording experience
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Rickey Payton, Sr. talks about scoring the television shows 'The Sunshine Store' and 'New Cotton Club Review'
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Rickey Payton, Sr. remembers touring and performing music in the 1980s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Rickey Payton, Sr. describes the conflict between secular and church music
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Rickey Payton, Sr. shares his thoughts about hip hop and rap music
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Rickey Payton, Sr. talks about the organization Peace Child Foundation
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Rickey Payton, Sr. recalls founding City at Peace
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Rickey Payton, Sr. talks about the documentary 'City at Peace,' pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Rickey Payton, Sr. talks about the documentary 'City at Peace,' pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Rickey Payton, Sr. remembers performing at President William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton's 1996 inauguration
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Rickey Payton, Sr. recounts his high profile performances
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Rickey Payton, Sr. describes his tenure as a Smithsonian scholar
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Rickey Payton, Sr. talks about founding Urban Nation
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Rickey Payton, Sr. talks about his honorary doctorate from Breakthrough Bible College & Theological Seminary in Temple Hills, Maryland
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Rickey Payton, Sr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Rickey Payton, Sr. reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Rickey Payton, Sr. talks about his parents witnessing his success
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Rickey Payton, Sr. talks about his family
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Rickey Payton, Sr. reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Rickey Payton, Sr. describes his personality and his beliefs
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Rickey Payton, Sr. describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Rickey Payton, Sr. sings his original song 'Voices for Peace'