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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Johnnie Ray

I'm watching some old music videos on YouTube and Come on Eileen comes on and we've got girls swooning over some dude getting off an airliner. From the girls skirts (long) and the staircase to the airliner I'm thinking it's the 1950's. So I look up the tune and it seems the dude is one Johnny Ray who I have never heard of but evidently was some kind of big deal back in the 50's:
John Alvin "Johnnie" Ray (January 10, 1927 – February 24, 1990) 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. Tony Bennett credits Ray as being the true father of rock and roll. - Wikipedia
I don't know that Tony Bennett is any authority on Rock 'N Roll, but Johnnie is from Oregon, which is kind of cool.
But you are probably wondering who's the woman making the introduction? It took a little digging but I finally found this little bit:
This Day in Rock & Roll History for September 18 CBS-TV premieres "The Big Record," a record hop style show. Patti Page is the host and her guests include Sal Mineo, Billy Ward & the Dominos and Tony Bennett. (1957)
Patti Page! Now that's a name I haven't heard in a very long time.

1 comment:

CGHill said...

Mr Ray was one of the oddballs of the era: a Very White Guy who could sell to the R&B audience. (His second-biggest seller was "Just Walking In The Rain," a reworking of a 1953 Prisonaires number.) And Tony Bennett has done an album of duets with Lady Gaga, which does something for his street cred.