From the Vault...


Johnnie Ray

© Bear Family Records

Year of Release: 1994

track listing
  • Yes Tonight Josephine
  • Just Walkin' In The Rain
  • I've Got So Many
    Million Years
  • Johnnie's Comin' Home
  • Look Homeward Angel
  • Up Above My Head
  • Good Evening Friends
  • Up Until Now
  • How Long Blues
  • You Don't Owe
    Me A Thing
  • No Wedding Blues
  • Build Your Love
  • Streets Of Memories
  • Miss Me Just A Little
  • Texas Tambourine
  • Pink Sweater Angel
  • Soliloquy Of A Fool
  • Endlessly
  • Plant A Little Seed
  • Up Until Now
  • I'll Make You Mine
  • Papa Loves Mambo
  • Ooo! Aah! Oh!
    (This Is Love)
  • Flip Flop And Fly
  • Alexander's Ragtime Band
  • The Little White Cloud
    That Cried
  • Cry
  • Ma Says Pa Says
  • A Full Time Job
  • Such A Night
  • Hernando's Hideaway

  • WSVNRadio Archives
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
    N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    Johnnie Ray related sites:
    Johnnie Ray Website
    Previous Review: #1177
    Gretchen Wilson--All Jacked Up
    Next Review: #1179
    Ringo Starr--Goodnight Vienna
    Johnnie Ray

    Bear Family (from Germany) is famous for releasing CD compilations of an artist's COMPLETE works. Although an imported company, collecting music from the artists they provide are worth the money, especially for those who enjoyed a particular talent's music throughout a lifetime span of decades. Johnnie Ray has had numerous compilations. His Cry showcases 31 songs from his career. (Bear Family does have a more extensive collection of Ray's music, the 5-CD box set, also called Cry. "Cry" would be Johnnie's most famous hit, as it reached #1 in late 1951/early 1952, for a total of eleven weeks. I had quite a few 45 rpm records by Johnnie Ray, and luckily, they were all in this compilation (even some of the B-sides). (Actually, my first discovery of his music was from a 78 rpm record, the famous "Cry" and the B-side "The Little White Cloud That Cried."

    Throughout my travels at various garage sales and flea markets as I was growing up, any Johnnie Ray record I just had to have. "Just Walkin' In The Rain"/,"In The Candlelight" Note: "In The Candlelight" I was able to find on the CD Here And Now Note #2: As I listened to this compilation's version of "You Don't Owe Me A Thing," there wasn't any whistling, as I remembered from the 45 I used to have. This song is also on Here And Now, and from my memory recollection, the whistling was on this CD. Lastly, another 45 I used to have was "Texas Tambourine"/"Pink Sweater Angel."

    Other standout tracks are "Up Above My Head," "Papa Loves Mambo," "Flip Flop And Fly" (The Blues Brothers also covered this song), "Alexander's Ragtime Band," and another track I remembered from my childhood, "Hernando's Hideaway."

    This entire collection is excellent. Most likely for the true Johnnie Ray fan, the 5-cd box set would be the best source. The basics are here, his most popular hits, and more. Johnnie Ray lead an interesting life, being partially deaf, and one of the best crooners before Rock & Roll existed. He has been an inspiration in later years of rock music, being mentioned on such songs as Dexy's Midnight Runners' Come On Eileen," Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start The Fire." The former lead singer of The Smiths, Morissey, even performed with a hearing aid in his ear as a tribute. Johnnie Ray was also known to be homosexual, as he had a few run-ins with the law regarding his sexuality. His life story has yet to be seen on the big or small screen, yet it would be interesting to see.

    Known as many names, as "Mr. Emotion" and "The Prince Of Wails," Johnnie Ray's music was entertaining, and paved the way for many influences in the later years of what would be known as Rock & Roll. Entertaining indeed, Johnnie Ray is another performer who could easily have called himself "Mr. Entertainer." Johnnie Ray passed away on February 24, 1990, of liver failure.

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Bear Family Records and is used for reference purposes only.

    Previous Review: #1177
    Gretchen Wilson--All Jacked Up
    Next Review: #1179
    Ringo Starr--Goodnight Vienna