Johnnie Ray
Singer, Songwriter
Johnnie Ray
Johnnie Ray was an American singer, songwriter, and pianist. Extremely popular for most of the 1950s, Ray has been cited by critics as a major precursor of what would become rock and roll, for his jazz and blues-influenced music and his animated stage personality.
Biography
Johnnie Ray's personal information overview.
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Can the symphony be saved? - Salon
Google News - over 5 years
For him, the game changer was the man who symbolized the pop establishment rock 'n' roll displaced: Columbia Records production chief Mitch Miller, auteur of Frankie Laine's "Mule Train," Johnnie Ray's "Cry," and Rosemary Clooney's "Come On-A My House"
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August 27, 2011: SUPERBOY AND SUPERPUP: THE LOST VIDEOS - An interview with ... - Superman Super Site
Google News - over 5 years
His self-published book, 2004, is Johnnie Ray - 1952: The Year of the Atomic Ray which is a chronological scrapbook of the pop singer's breakthrough year of 1952. Chuck was a big fan of the Monkees when the show came out in the sixties
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From Stumptown to Jumptown - The Portland Mercury
Google News - over 5 years
Or Neo Boys, or Smegma, or Johnnie Ray. But from now until January 15, you'll be able to see artifacts from these bands—and ones you might be more familiar with, like Elliott Smith, the Decemberists, and Paul Revere and the Raiders—at the Oregon
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Exhibit To Focus On Oregon's Rock Scene - OPB News
Google News - over 5 years
Finding common threads in acts as diverse as Johnnie Ray, the Dandy Warhols, and Nu Shooz is not simple. But Tobias says he ran across some great finds, that speak to the do-it-yourself character of the state's pioneers. He shows off a homemade studio
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'Lost' photos from Cleveland chronicle 1950s rock - The330
Google News - over 5 years
The first “rockumentary,” financed by WERE's Randle, featured Bill Haley and His Comets, Pat Boone, LaVern Baker, Roy Hamilton, Johnnie Ray and the earliest known footage of a young Presley on stage. In 2006, Kennedy's search for the film led him to
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Johnnie Ray Coop - Muncie Star Press
Google News - over 5 years
Anderson - Johnnie Ray Coop, Sr., 59 of Anderson, died at St. John's Hospital in Anderson after an extended illness. Johnnie was born September 13, 1951 in Muncie, Indiana to Welby and Estelle (Neal) Coop. He was a retired Journeyman Tool Maker for 30
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Aug. 19 On the record - Ames Tribune
Google News - over 5 years
17: Eddie Earl Williams, 26, of Ames, operating while intoxicated (first offense), driving while barred, possession of a controlled substance, open container, interference with official acts; Johnnie Ray Cooper, 23, of Huxley, failure to appear;
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8 Charged in Copper Theft Ring - PotomacLocal.com
Google News - over 5 years
Additionally, Johnnie Ray Elliott, 39, of 6 Seaman Court in Stafford County, Robert Neil Adlon, 40 of 209 Lorraine Ave. in Fredericksburg, Wyatt Smith Rosenberger, 44 of no fixed address, Bryan Daniel Phillips, 29 of 6713 Timberbrooke Lane in
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2 Elderly People Killed In 3 Car Wreck On I-95 - WLTX.com
Google News - over 5 years
Clarendon County Coroner Hayes F. Samuels says 74-year-old Johnnie Ray Cooper of Cassatt and 73-year-old Jimmy Ready of Summerton died in the wreck that happened just before noon near the 100 mile marker on I-95 northbound near the Lake Marion Bridge
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Top 10 short films to be shown at Hagen theatre - Comox Valley Record
Google News - over 5 years
Guy Maddin's salute to the legendary underground queer filmmaker (taking its name from the Johnnie Ray song) follows Maddin as he takes his friends up to the family cottage with a 16mm camera and lets the debauchery unfold
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Still pitching peanuts at Dodger Stadium - Los Angeles Times
Google News - over 5 years
Now it's just the vending job, and when there's no ballgame, Nelsen likes to cruise the Valley in his Mazda, listening to his Johnnie Ray CDs, or maybe the Ames Brothers or Tommy Dorsey. If he's up for a treat, he'll pull into Denny's or Norms for ice
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Pottawatomie County defendants set for trial this jury term - Shawnee News Star
Google News - over 5 years
Johnnie Ray Toles, 43, also is accused of misdemeanor driving while under the combined influence of alcohol and intoxicating substances on July 8, 2010, resulting in the accident along SH 9A. Haynes was reportedly standing in the roadway with his
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Police Blotter: July 9, 2011 - Appeal-Democrat
Google News - over 5 years
Johnnie Ray Bunch II, 38, of the 1200 block of East 22nd Street, Marysville, was arrested by the Marysville Police Department at 5:30 pm July 7 at the Yuba County Jail on suspicion of corporal injury to spouse, cruelty to a child and illegal weapon
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Fantasy Follies Provides Life-Long Learning and Fulfills Dreams for ... - Benzinga
Google News - over 5 years
Dance and acting instructor, Mary Ann Arcadipane is a former Broadway performer and has produced additional road productions on the east coast, sharing the stage with acts such as Richard Pryor, Phyllis Diller, Ruth Brown, Johnnie Ray, and Tony Bennett
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The Bearded Dragon - The Tribune
Google News - over 5 years
For the sake of our children's future and the future of our country, let's not take anything for granted, let's see what's really going on and stand by America, its' flag and everything it stands for. (Johnnie Ray is director of the Humble Civic Center
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Man arrested in car break-ins - The State
Google News - over 5 years
Johnnie Ray Turner of West Garden Court has been charged with six counts of breaking into an automobile and unlawful entry into enclosed places. Turner was picked up early Monday morning walking in the area where suspicious activity had been reported
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Tea time for rodders - Pueblo Chieftain
Google News - over 5 years
A group of women (left to right) Julie Knapp, Johnnie Ray, Elizabeth Sandoval, Isabel Sandoval and Donna Lang laugh during the opening day of the street rods show at the Colorado Sate Fairgrounds. Street rodders make their way up Union Avenue during
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Johnnie Ray
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1990
    Age 63
    On February 24, 1990, he died of liver failure at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles.
    More Details Hide Details He is buried at Hopewell Cemetery near Hopewell, Oregon. For his contribution to the recording industry, Johnnie Ray was honored with a star in 1960 on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6201 Hollywood Boulevard. In 1999, Bear Family Records issued two five CD sets of his entire body of work, each containing an 84-page book on his career. Companies like Sony and Collectables have kept his large catalogue of recordings in continual release worldwide. Archival footage of Ray arriving at London Heathrow Airport in 1954 was featured in the 1982 music video for Dexys Midnight Runners' single "Come On Eileen". The lyrics of the song also mention him: "Poor old Johnnie Ray sounded sad upon the radio / He moved a million hearts in mono."
  • 1989
    Age 62
    Ray is one of the cultural touchstones mentioned in the first verse (concerning events from the late 1940s and early 1950s) of Billy Joel's 1989 hit single "We Didn't Start the Fire", between Red China and South Pacific.
    More Details Hide Details Ray was name-checked by Van Morrison in his duet with Tom Jones titled "Sometimes We Cry" that was released in 1997. 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 The mambo craze is passing and rhythm and blues will pass away too – the sooner the better as far as I'm concerned. NME – June 1955
    He continued touring until he gave his final concert, a benefit for the Grand Theater in Salem, Oregon, on October 6, 1989.
    More Details Hide Details In early 1990, poor health forced him to check into Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
    While his popularity continued to wane in the United States, Australian, English and Scottish promoters booked him for large venues as late as 1989, his last year of performing.
    More Details Hide Details
    His fan base in other countries, however, remained strong until his last year of performing, which was 1989.
    More Details Hide Details His recordings never stopped selling outside the United States.
  • 1987
    Age 60
    He performed there in 1987 "with a big-band group," according to a Los Angeles Times profile of him during that year.
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  • FIFTIES
  • 1986
    Age 59
    In 1986, Ray appeared as a Los Angeles taxicab driver in Billy Idol's "Don't Need a Gun" video and is name-checked in the lyrics of the song.
    More Details Hide Details During this time period, Ray was generally playing small venues in the United States such as Citrus College in Los Angeles County, California.
  • 1981
    Age 54
    When Ray and the quartet performed at a New York club called Marty's on Third Avenue and East 73rd Street in 1981, The New York Times stated, "The fact that Mr. Ray, in the years since his first blush of success, has been seen and heard so infrequently in the United States is somewhat ironic because it was his rhythm and blues style of singing that help lay the groundwork for the rock-and-roll that turned Mr. Ray's entertainment world around.
    More Details Hide Details Recently, Ringo Starr of the Beatles pointed out that the three singers that the Beatles listened to in their fledgling days were Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Johnnie Ray."
    In 1981, Ray hired Alan Eichler as his manager and resumed performing with an instrumental quartet rather than with the large orchestras he and his audiences had been accustomed to for the first 25 years of his career.
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  • FORTIES
  • 1976
    Age 49
    His personal manager Bill Franklin resigned in 1976 and cut off contact with the singer a few years later.
    More Details Hide Details His American revival turned out to be short-lived as Ray's career had already begun to decline as the 1980s approached. Speculation why has been attributed to booking agents and songwriters not knowing who he was or what his "sound" was like, thus ignoring him as a commercial talent.
  • 1970
    Age 43
    He made network television appearances on The Andy Williams Show in 1970 and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson three times during 1972 and 1973.
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  • 1969
    Age 42
    In early 1969, Ray befriended Judy Garland, performing as her opening act during her last concerts in Copenhagen, Denmark and Malmö, Sweden.
    More Details Hide Details Ray was also the best man during Garland's wedding to nightclub manager Mickey Deans in London. In the early 1970s, Ray's American career revived to a limited extent, as he had not released a record album or single for more than ten years.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1965
    Age 38
    Two months before Kilgallen's death in 1965, her newspaper column plugged Ray's engagements at the Latin Quarter in New York and the Tropicana Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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  • 1959
    Age 32
    In 1959, Ray was arrested again in Detroit for soliciting an undercover officer at the Brass Rail, a bar that was described many years later by one biographer as a haven for musicians and by another biographer as a gay bar.
    More Details Hide Details Ray went to trial following this second arrest and was found not guilty. During the era of Johnnie Ray's stardom in the United States, journalists did not ask performers about their sexuality, and what the performers said offstage was often truncated for publication. In the 1970s, when performers gave long magazine interviews that included their revelations of sexual preferences, Ray was not among them. His career had declined and information about him was no longer newsworthy in the United States. Two years after his death, several friends shared with biographer Jonny Whiteside their knowledge of his homosexuality. In 1960, Ray was hospitalized after contracting tuberculosis. In 1965, he was 38 years old when he was emotionally devastated by the death of close friend Dorothy Kilgallen. Biographer Jonny Whiteside claimed that Ray managed to stay sober despite his grief. He began to regain his health. Shortly after he returned to the United States from a European concert tour that he headlined with Judy Garland, an American doctor informed him that he was well enough to drink an occasional glass of wine. Ray resumed drinking heavily and his health quickly began to decline.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1957
    Age 30
    Though his American popularity was declining in 1957, he remained popular in the United Kingdom, breaking the record at the London Palladium formerly set by fellow Columbia Records artist Frankie Laine.
    More Details Hide Details In later years, he retained a loyal fan base overseas, particularly in Australia. Ray had a close relationship with journalist and television game show panelist Dorothy Kilgallen. They became acquainted soon after his sudden rise to stardom in the United States. They remained close as his American career declined.
    He hit again in 1957 with "You Don't Owe Me a Thing," which reached number 10 in the Billboard charts.
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  • 1956
    Age 29
    More hits followed, including "Please Mr. Sun," "Such a Night," "Walkin' My Baby Back Home," "A Sinner Am I" and "Yes Tonight Josephine." He had a United Kingdom number 1 hit with "Just Walkin' in the Rain" (which Ray initially disliked) during the Christmas season in 1956.
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  • 1953
    Age 26
    Several writers have noted that the Ray-Morrison marriage occurred under false pretenses, and that Ray had a long-term relationship with his manager, Bill Franklin. (A biography of Ray points out, however, that Franklin was 13 years younger than Ray and that both their personal and business relationships began in 1963, many years after the Ray-Morrison divorce.) In a 1953 newspaper interview with James Bacon, Ray blamed rumors about his sexuality for the breakup of his marriage to Morrison.
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  • 1952
    Age 25
    The New York Daily News made the wedding its cover story for May 26, 1952, and it reported that guests included Mayor Vincent R. Impellitteri. Aware of Ray's sexuality, Morrison told a friend she would "straighten it out." The couple separated in 1953 and divorced in 1954.
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  • 1951
    Age 24
    In 1951, when Ray was obscure and not yet signed to a record label, he was arrested in Detroit for accosting and soliciting an undercover vice squad police officer in the restroom of the Stone Theatre, a burlesque house.
    More Details Hide Details When he appeared in court, he pleaded guilty. He paid a fine and was released. Because of his obscurity at the time, the Detroit newspapers did not report the story. After his sudden rise to fame the following year, rumors about his sexuality began to spread. Despite her knowledge of the solicitation arrest, Marilyn Morrison, daughter of the owner of West Hollywood's Mocambo nightclub, married Ray at the peak of his American fame. The wedding ceremony took place in New York a short time after he gave his first New York concert, which was at the Copacabana.
    He began his engagement at the Latin Quarter immediately after an eight-month vacation in Spain during which he and new manager Bill Franklin had extricated themselves from contracts with Bernie Lang, who had managed Ray from 1951 to 1963.
    More Details Hide Details Ray and Franklin believed that a dishonest Lang had been responsible for the end of Ray's stardom in the United States and for large debts that he owed the Internal Revenue Service.
    Ray's first record, the self-penned R&B number for OKeh Records, "Whiskey and Gin," was a minor hit in 1951.
    More Details Hide Details The following year he dominated the charts with the double-sided hit single of "Cry" and "The Little White Cloud That Cried". Selling over two million copies of the 78rpm single, Ray's delivery struck a chord with teenagers and he quickly became a teen idol. When executives of Columbia Records, the parent company of OKeh, realized that the Caucasian Ray had developed a fan base of white listeners, he was moved over to the Columbia label. 20th Century Fox capitalized on his stardom by including him in the ensemble cast of the movie There's No Business Like Show Business (1954) alongside Ethel Merman as his mother, Dan Dailey as his father, Donald O'Connor as his brother and Marilyn Monroe as his sister-in-law. Ray's performing style included theatrics later associated with rock and roll, including tearing at his hair, falling to the floor, and crying. Ray quickly earned the nicknames "Mr. Emotion", "The Nabob of Sob", and "The Prince of Wails", and several others.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1927
    Age 0
    Johnnie Ray was born January 10, 1927, in Hopewell, Oregon, to parents Elmer and Hazel (Simkins) Ray.
    More Details Hide Details Along with older sister Elma, Ray spent part of his childhood on a farm in Dallas, Oregon and attended grade school there. The family later moved to Portland, Oregon, where Ray attended high school. At age 13, Ray became deaf in his left ear following a mishap that occurred during a Boy Scout "blanket toss." In later years, Ray performed wearing a hearing aid. Surgery performed in 1958 left him almost completely deaf in both ears, although hearing aids helped his condition. Inspired by rhythm singers like Kay Starr, LaVern Baker and Ivory Joe Hunter, Ray developed a unique rhythm-based singing style, described as alternating between pre-rock R&B and a more conventional classic pop approach. He began singing professionally on a Portland, Oregon, radio station at age 15. Ray first attracted the attention of Bernie Lang, a song plugger, who was taken to the Flame Showbar nightclub in Detroit, Michigan by local DJ, Robin Seymour of WKMH. Lang went to New York to sell the singer to Danny Kessler of the Okeh label, a subsidiary of Columbia Records. Kessler came over from New York, and he, Lang and Seymour went to the Flame. According to Seymour, Kessler's reaction was, "Well, I don't know. This kid looks well on the stand, but he will never go on records."
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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