Smithfield Herald

Musician draws crowds at Oakview

Richard Dupree performs at Oakview Commons in Four Oaks.
Richard Dupree performs at Oakview Commons in Four Oaks. Oakview Commons

Musician Richard Dupree has kept toes tapping at Oakview Commons in Four Oaks for several years now.

“The two things my residents can’t do without are Mr. Dupree on Tuesdays and Bingo on Thursdays,” said activities director Maria Iadonisi.

With guitar in hand, Dupree gets the residents at the senior living community singing along to hymns and popular tunes from the past.

“It’s a calling,” he said. “It’s my ministry.”

At 82 years old, the Willow Spring resident has been playing music across the region for many years. You name it, he’s played it – from a 13-piece dance orchestra to rock ’n’ roll, country and even Motown.

“I’ve done the whole gamut,” Dupree said. “Before I was saved, I was in one of the meanest joints in Raleigh by myself. I made decent money for five years.”

Iadonisi said Dupree is popular at Oakview Commons, with residents lining the halls and filling the dining room to hear him perform. In addition to sharing his music with residents, he donated two yellow tomato plants to Oakview’s garden.

“He is good natured and kindhearted and wonderful at what he does,” Iadonisi said. “He takes the time after every performance to shake hands and tell every resident that they are a blessing.”