In 1945 Eddie Ray arrived in California staying at a motel in Skid row of downtown Los Angeles. He eventually moved south to 32nd street where his neighborhood invited him to check out All Peoples Christian Church and Community Center. Eddie was 19 years old and his neighbor felt he would meet other young people. Eddie was surprised that there were young people of all races; Asians, Latinx, Caucasians and African Americans. It was unusual to have this type of integration in the 40’s even in Los Angeles.
Eddie explains in his book “Against All Odds” the remarkable life story of Eddie Ray a music pioneer. “All Peoples Christian Church and Community Center happened at a crucial point in my young life. It was subconscious at the time, but looking back on it, I now realize I was searching for three things.“ Those three things being stability, a wholesome social outlet and finding a way to help others. Eddie’s quest led him to be involved in programs that made a difference in the lives of others. Whether it was the summer camping programs, classes for pregnant teens, or sports programs he was able to serve. He became an Elder in the church and at 21 the youngest Board Chair in the history of All Peoples.
He was not a musician, yet spent some 60 years in the commercial music business beginning as a stock boy and rising to become the nation’s first African American Executive of a major record company. Starting as a stock boy in Decca records in Milwaukee, Wisconsin when he was 18 years old, Ray eventually became the Vice President of Capitol-Tower Records in Hollywood California.
In 1981, he was appointed and confirmed by Congress to serve as Commissioner of the U.S. Copyright Royalty Tribunal in Washington DC. He served in this position for seven years.
In October 2009, Ray was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame as a non-performing artist, originally from the State of North Carolina.
Eddie Ray is a consultant and former Operation Director and Vice Chairman of the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame Museum.
About All Peoples Community Center
All Peoples Community Center (All Peoples) is an all-encompassing neighborhood center whose mission is to provide social services and programs that empower individuals and promote community, respect, and self-determination for all.
Founded in 1942, All Peoples has served as a true safe haven and trusted place for low-income children and families in South Los Angeles. Today, All Peoples provides a myriad of social and educational services to more than 6,600 people per year in its 20,000-square-foot center located in a residential area of South LA’s Vernon-Central neighborhood, immediately south of downtown Los Angeles. Services are designed to achieve the following goals: to help children succeed at each stage of development; to strengthen and support individuals and families and build community; to prevent violence and crime in the community and the home; to address the root causes of gang involvement; to provide job training and create job opportunities; and to help seniors stay active and engaged.
All Peoples is a vibrant hub of activity for children, youth, and families six days a week, year-round. Services include licensed extended day childcare, after school programs, academic tutoring, a computer lab, summer camp, summer jobs, an alternative high school, workforce development and career assistance, financial literacy and education, parenting classes, domestic violence support groups, food distribution, a community micro-garden, a senior volunteer program, and more.
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