As he holds the microphone and closes his eyes while hitting a high note, the boy confidently walks around the front of the church and performs for an audience of five people as if he were performing for thousands.
Every Saturday and Sunday, Peydon and his maternal grandparents travel the Southeast to sing gospel at churches together, calling themselves Peydon Bedford and the Bedford Family Singers.
Peydon and his grandparents, Anita and Kerry Bedford of Smyrna, will celebrate their one year anniversary of singing together as a group today at Mount Zion First Baptist Church in Smyrna at 5 p.m. The celebration will feature a meal followed by singing from the group. Anita Bedford said she expects about 500 people to attend.
Peydon began singing when he was 14 months old, Anita Bedford said.
“We were looking at some videos from when he was a baby and he was singing at 14 months, actually singing the words,” she said. “If he hears anybody sing a song, you don’t have to teach him words, he just picks it up.”
Anita and Kerry Bedford, who have been singing together for many years, decided to add Peydon to their group when he was 3 years old.
“It is very special,” said Kerry Bedford, 51.
Kerry Bedford has attended Mount Zion First Baptist Church his entire life. His grandfather helped pioneer the church, which recently celebrated its 136th anniversary and is Smyrna’s oldest African-American church.
The group has sung at churches throughout Cobb County, such as Zion Baptist Church in Marietta and Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Acworth. However, the group has not been confined to Cobb County or Georgia. Peydon and his grandparents have traveled to Florence, Ala., to sing in the Sunday Best Show as well as other states to sing in shows and at churches.
After singing at their home church, Mount Zion First Baptist, word traveled to other churches that requested the singing trio to perform at their services. Anita Bedford also said the group performs for banquets and other types of events.
“When you go to one place, that’s when you get all of the invitations,” Anita Bedford said. “We went to a program last Sunday and about five people came up to us afterward and I gave out all of our cards. We do this really every weekend.”
Although Peydon is only 5 years old, he said he never gets nervous before singing in front of a large crowd. He has sung with his grandparents in front of crowds as large as 1,000 people, as was the case at his great-grandfather’s funeral last year.
“Singing is fun,” Peydon said. “You get to sing something that is really true.”
Peydon Bedford may have a knack for memorizing lyrics at the drop of a hat, but the 5-year-old also said he loves to make up his own songs.
“I like making up songs about heaven,” he said.
Peydon and his grandparents said they plan to continue singing together for many years.