On April 16, 2013, at the age of 72 Herman passed, and his wife of 51 years, Lillian, followed only two years after, on July 29, 2015, at the age of 69. The family business was passed on to his son, Derrick.
Derrick attended Florida A&M University where he played football, and from there he went to Los Angeles and worked professionally with Dick Clark, Suzanne DePasse, Boyz II Men, The American Music Awards, Berry Gordy and others in the entertainment industry.
Life in California was glamorous, but it was not easy. The temptations in the entertainment industry led Derrick down a path of drugs and alcohol. “I’m a real person who has had failures,” said Derrick. He added that through Jesus Christ he was able to overcome those issues. “I had to get right with God in order for me to do what I am doing now.” He is a faithful tither who has prayer at 6 a.m. each morning. “This is a God thing,” said Derrick.
Derrick McCray has already made a name for himself and his barbecue. His family-owned business has been around for decades, and he is known for catering big sports events, including recent Super Bowls. His expertise and experience on the grill also earned him the position as a judge on the Discovery Channel’s television show Holy Smokes.
Through all the years, McCray says it is the fact that they have not changed the way they make the barbecue that’s what’s kept them in business.
“The way we cook has remained the same with wood and open pit fire,” he said. “We’re been able to preserve the integrity of the art-form of barbecue.”
In 2019, McCrays Backyard Bar-B-Q opened its new building on 45th Street, franchising the delicious signature sauces, packaging ribs, “and carrying on my daddy’s legacy,” said Derrick.