Inspiring, Dynamic, Uplifting and Magnificent…
Performance Team 2009
and One Heart from the Rock Church
Birthright Records ignited McCreary’s career in the late 60’s when hiring him in their radio promotions department. There, he promoted artists such as the Caravans, Rodena Preston and Edwin Hawkins. In the early 70’s, Word Records hired the Oakland native as its director of promotions for Black radio—making him the first Black executive ever hired by the label. While at Word, McCreary experienced phenomenal success promoting artists such as Leon Patillo, Larnell Harris and Billy Preston.
A pivotal move for McCreary occurred in the late 70’s, when Light Records hired him as director of national radio promotions. Light was quickly becoming an industry leader in Black Gospel music, as McCreary worked with the likes of Walter Hawkins, Tramaine Hawkins, Andrae’ Crouch, Jessy Dixon and The Winans. The company rewarded McCreary’s exceptional promotion of these artists by giving him his own record label, Luminar Records. McCreary wasted no time building his list of achievements as he signed an unknown artist named Rev. James Moore. Moore went on to receive a 1982 Dove Award nomination for Inspirational Gospel Album of the Year.
Throughout the 80’s McCreary continued to establish himself as an industry leader and innovator by scouting, developing and producing unknown new artists. It’s during this era that McCreary is credited with pitching the highly-circulated hymnal “Yes Lord” to leaders of the Church of God in Christ organization. McCreary also began work at a new label in the early 80’s—Benson Records. There, he held the title international director of radio promotions, before Benson also granted him a solo label called Onyx Records. New artists such as Richard Smallwood, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Thomas Whitfield, The New York City Family, Danniebelle Hall and Paul Morton signed on with Onyx. By the mid 80’s, McCreary had accepted a position at Plumbline Records as vice president of A&R. While at Plumbline, he signed new artists such as Daryl Coley and Rickey Grundy and presented talent at Midem, the International Music Market in Cannes, France.
McCreary continued to showcase his talent into the early 90’s after PepperCo Records hired him as senior VP and director of A&R where he signed unknown new artists, Lecresia Campbell and Yvette Flunder, Shirley Miller, and Dominion & Power, among others. Later, he accepted a position at Ocean Records as head of the Black Gospel division where he worked with artists such as Sisters, Prophet Calvin Suggs, The Mississippi Gospel Music & Fine Arts Seminar Choir, Edgar O’Neal & The Faith United Inspirational Choir. It was during this period that McCreary also co-founded Red Hot Music Group and developed Gentry McCreary Presents, which introduced James H. Brown & Company, and Derick Hughes.
McCreary has won various Gospel Industry awards, including the Bay Area’s Black Diamond Dynasty Living Legend Award, and Producer of the Year. In 2008, he was awarded the first “Lilly Mack Pioneer’s Award” for his dedication to the Gospel Music Industry. McCreary continues to blaze trails in the Gospel music industry as Gentry currently owns McCreary & Associates, a consulting company for numerous major and independent artists and label executives.