On March 12, legendary Chicago blues musician Dion Payton passed away. In an obituary for the Chicago Sun Times, Zac Clingenpeel writes that Payton’s “style, talent and personality inspired many musicians.” With his signature Gibson Les Paul 25/50 Anniversary Edition, Payton entertained Chicago crowds with crisp and climbing blues riffs for over three decades.
With his 43rd Street Blues Band, Payton played regular gigs at Kingston Mines as well as the Checkerboard Lounge. Skeptical of the big business of music and dubious of the treatment of Black men by the record labels, Payton carved out his own path to success from within the sprawling blues scene of Chicago. He is remembered by his family, friends, and fans as helping to define Chicago blues at the tail end of the 20th century.
As a tribute to Payton’s lasting legacy in Chicago, Media Burn is highlighting a special segment of Payton from the award winning show The 90’s: a montage produced by Colleen McNichols, set to his only recorded song with the 43rd Street Blues Band, “All Your Affection Is Gone.”
Mrs. Payton is asking for help covering funeral expenses following her husband’s sudden passing. You can donate here.
You can watch the full episode of The 90’s featuring Payton’s music here.