||From the Vault...
© Bear Family Records
Year of Release: 1994
Yes Tonight Josephine
Just Walkin' In The Rain
I've Got So Many
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
Pink Sweater Angel
Soliloquy Of A Fool
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
Ma Says Pa Says
A Full Time Job
Such A Night
Johnnie Ray related sites:
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
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.
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