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Cedric R.
Democrat LA 2

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  • Honoring the Life of Larry McKinley

    by Representative Cedric L. Richmond

    Posted on 2013-12-12

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    RICHMOND of louisiana in the house of representatives Thursday, December 12, 2013 Mr. RICHMOND. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the life and legacy of Larry McKinley, a New Orleans radio personality and music promoter who for decades tirelessly promoted our city's cherished Jazz music. Mr. McKinley recently passed away and while today I am saddened by his passing, I wish to pay tribute to Mr. McKinley and his passion towards a beautiful and beloved art form.

    Born in Chicago, Illinois, Mr. McKinley attended the Columbia College of Broadcasting before moving to New Orleans in 1954. By the end of his first decade in New Orleans, he became one of the most influential deejays in the city. During the formative years of his illustrious career, he earned national notoriety for his distinguished musical taste. Atlantic Records' executives credit Mr. McKinley for the success of Ray Charles 1959 hit ``What'd I Say'' the label's best-performing song of the era.

    In 1959, Mr. McKinley founded Minit Records alongside Joe Banashak, a local record-business veteran. He also promoted local concerts by such musical superstars as James Brown, Sam Cooke, and the Jackson 5. Whenever possible, he shined a spotlight on the talented New Orleans musicians broadening their exposure and helping them ascend in the music business.

    For these and countless other achievements Mr. McKinley was introduced into the Black Radio Hall of Fame, the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame, and awarded an OffBeat Magazine Best of the Beat Music Business Award. The passion and commitment Mr. McKinley dedicated to the national treasure that is R&B and Jazz Music inspires us all. I want to join his family, the people of New Orleans, and the music industry in celebrating the life of this exceptional citizen.


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