Music Industry Mourns Loss of Hayward J. Gregory Jr., at 74


Virginia Beach, VA - February 22, 2024 ( - Hayward J. Gregory Jr. passed away peacefully on February 14, 2024, at Sentara Princess Anne Hospital in Virginia Beach, VA, surrounded by his loving family. Born on May 23, 1949, to Hayward and Mattie (Holmes) Gregory, natives of Savannah, Hayward's passion for music ignited at a young age when he began singing in churches and public schools at the tender age of seven.

Throughout his illustrious career, he gained recognition and admiration as an American singer, guitarist, composer, and producer. Under the stage name Haywood Gregory, he shared his remarkable talents with audiences around the world, earning numerous accolades including resolutions from the New Jersey State General Assembly and the New Jersey State Senate, honoring him as a world-class musician and devoted family man.

Hayward's musical legacy transcended genres, as he collaborated with iconic artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Tony Bennett, BB King, Buddy Guy, The Blind Boys of Alabama, and many others, leaving an indelible mark on all who had the pleasure of hearing his music.

In 1983, Hayward founded Gregota Music LLC, a testament to his entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to nurturing emerging talent in the music industry. Beyond his musical achievements, Hayward's greatest joy was his family. He shared a lifelong love story with his beloved wife, Emma J. Cuyler-Gregory, whom he met at the age of 12 in Savannah. They were married for 56 years, building a life filled with love, support, and cherished memories. Hayward's profound faith in God guided his life's journey, prioritizing his spiritual well-being and the importance of family above all else.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Hayward and Mattie Gregory; his siblings, Hazel Gregory-Smith (William Smith), Dorothy Gregory and Joseph L. Gregory.

Hayward J. Gregory leaves behind a legacy of love and music that will be cherished by his devoted wife, Emma J, Cuyler-Gregory, and their four children: Hayward J. Gregory III (Kathryn Gregory), Lawana M. Gregory Moss (Timothy Moss – Deceased), Latricia Gregory-Thompson (Reginald Thompson), and Jacquelin Gregory Longmire (Kenneth Longmire). Surviving siblings Willie D. Gregory Sr. (Gretta Gregory), Aurelia Gregory-Mitchell, Hilton B. Gregory (Janice Gregory), Michael A. Gregory and a favorite niece Charlene Townes-Dukes.

He also leaves behind 13 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren, which were the light of his life, also other relatives and friends.

Hayward J. Gregory Jr. leaves behind a legacy of innovation, passion, and dedication to the music industry. His impact will continue to resonate through his music and the lives he touched. He will be dearly missed by his family, friends, and fans around the world.

Gregota Records Mourns The Passing of Legendary Artist Sam Butler
Virginia Beach, VA – January 2, 2024 – It is with deep sorrow and heavy hearts that Gregota Records announces the passing of the late legendary Sam Butler. A cherished recording artist on the Gregota Music Label, Sam Butler’s impact on the music industry and his contributions to the label will forever be remembered. 


Blues Review Singer Haywood Gregory, who possesses pipes several cuts above average, had a hand in two of the strongest tunes, “Hit Man” and “Data Access Blues””

— The Blues Authority - Oct 2001

Play List Reviews Haywood Gregory sings clearly & in tune, giving this a decidedly different sound that standard rock inspired blues band.”

— WVKR Blues - (Poughkeepsie, NY)

Music Review Haywood Gregory is one of those guys whose vocals chops have been honed all over space and time and who, if there was any justice, would be a household name. He has a smooth, effortless strong, vocal delivery that works quite nicely with the confident, competent instrumental backing of Blues Jumpers.”

— AMZ Vol. 5 No. 9

New Single Available July 17, 2020 

Any musician alive can tell you one of the greatest thrills in life is sharing the stage with a legend. Haywood Gregory did just that and from the experience, he was inspired to pen his upcoming single, “I Ain’t Gonna Cry No More.” The blues track will be available on all major music and streaming sites on July 17, 2020. 

Before B.B. King left this earth, Haywood Gregory got the chance of a lifetime when he took the stage with the late Blues icon at the 36th Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. It was a moment no amount of money in the world could buy, and from that experience came the inspiration for his upcoming release, “I Ain’t Gonna Cry No More.” It’s a silky, blues track that is sure to satisfy the pallets fans of genuine blues music near and far. 

Haywood Gregory got his start like many with Southern roots, in the church. He was just seven-years-old when he started singing, and he hasn’t stopped since. A professional by his teens, Haywood Gregory would spend his career racking up accolades that include playing not only with B.B. King but Morgan Freeman and The Soul Stirrers. This bluesman also has impressive feats in the gospel realm. In 2007, he was nominated at the 38th Annual GMA Dove Awards as a producer for “Traditional Gospel Album” and “Traditional Recorded Gospel Song of the Year” for The Blind Boys of Alabama album ‘Rare Classics.’ 

Those interested in adding new blues to their playlists, featuring or even premiering “I Ain’t Gonna Cry No More” on their site, or interviewing Haywood Gregory on this site.

Performance at The Newport Jazz Festival Haywood Gregory is a tireless vocalist who belts out the “jump” numbers that are the basis of the Jordan repertory, and he also moves impressively into an occasional slow blues or ballad” - John S. Wilson

— The New York Times

Blues Access Haywood Gregory has great lung-power, chooses his shrieking spots carefully and is funny and enthusiastic.”

— The Distinctive Blues Magazine Issue 47- Fall 2001

Performance at the Michael’s Pub Manhattan -Tribute to Louis Jordan There were enough high points to be optimistic about the show’s future. Vocalist Haywood Gregory gave the lyrics an appropriately down and dirty sound. The band clicked into place for ‘Early in the Mornin” and pumped up the bass and drums to heighten the funk.” - Martin Johnson

— The New York Newsday