Saluting Kenny Ray DeWalt: Memphis Trombone Player for Rev. Al Green, The Bar-Kays
Once upon a time, I was a beginning saxophone student and my cousin, Kenneth "Kenny Ray" DeWalt, (right) was learning to play the trombone under the direction of Emerson Able Jr., at the famed Manassas High School in Memphis, Tennessee.
Cuz taught me to use a broom to help learn the keys on the sax. Then he worked with me on breathing correctly. All of that coupled with Band Director Kurl McKinney's instruction came in handy when the Lincoln Junior High School Band went to the Strawberry Festival in Humboldt, Tenn., back in the day. (See my band photo in the slideshow below).
Kenny Ray went on to become a professional horn player, performing with Rev. Al Green and The Bar-Kays, thanks in part to my mom, Mrs. Rowena Whiting, who bought him his first horn. She also prophesied that he would perform on "The Tonight Show." He didn't believe her and laughed. Years later he called my mom from "The Tonight Show" just before he performed!!
Meanwhile, in high school and college, I put the saxophone down and picked up a microphone, video camera, and other journalist’s tools. This is my Black History Month salute to my 54-year-old cousin, Kenny DeWalt, who shared insights with me about his amazing professional career during an interview Jan. 5, 2013, in Memphis.
© 2013 Harvest Reapers Communications; All Rights Reserved.
2/11/2013 06:28:53 am
Very nice work. Glad to see it. We need to talk soon. Saw your old frito-Lay friend in BE mag a while back.
2/11/2013 07:00:40 am
7/18/2015 03:35:09 pm
Congratulations to your cousin, and also to you Regina. I am proud of you and your accomplishments as well as your cousin. A very interesting and informative article.
7/18/2015 03:42:08 pm
Thank you so much Sis. Barnett for your kind words.
1/9/2022 01:13:51 pm
Thank you for taking the time to write a great post!
1/9/2022 08:49:13 pm
I appreciate your compliment!
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About the Author:
Regina L. Burns, M.A., Project+, is an award-winning multimedia editor and journalist, specializing in Black history and African American stories at Harvest Reapers Communications. Her work has been published in Texas Highways magazine, WFAA-TV, The Dallas Morning News, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram as well as The Commercial Appeal, the Tri-State Defender and The Flyer, among others.