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*Patricia Walton was born on this date in 1925. She was a Black radio producer and administrator of jazz.
Patricia Edwards Walton was born in Kansas City, Missouri. She was one of four children with three sisters; Charlene, Pat (Editha), and Beatrice. After high school, Walton worked a number of jobs in her hometown, including the public library, drug store, and hotel switchboard operator. During this time, Walton came in contact with the many jazz musicians passing through and playing in what was The City for jazz in the Midwest.
Unable to stay downtown (where they played) due to segregation Walton and her sister Pat made home-cooked meals and befriended many of the artists. She came to their performances, and many of them became lifelong friends. In the 1960s, Walton moved to Washington, D.C., and became a mother. Walton worked for the Library of Congress while maintaining her connections with jazz musicians with great food, insightful rapport, and a genuine love of this American Classical Music of the Black community. Her relationships with jazz combined personal acquaintances with established artists and those who were up and coming as jazz players.
In the early 1970s, she relocated to San Francisco to work as an administrative assistant, traveling to plan medical education programs in the Bay area. Walton’s ambassadorship with jazz continued with association with the Bright Moments Music Club and the San Francisco Bay Area Jazz Society. In 1991, Walton relocated to Minneapolis, bringing many years of jazz tradition to the upper Midwest. She was active in the Twin Cities Jazz Society and hosted her own jazz show for radio called “Mostly Jazz.”
In 1995, her son-in-law Bill joined her in producing and co-hosting the well-listened-to program. Patricia Walton died on March 23rd, 2003, from pulmonary hypertension and high blood pressure complications.