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The Music of Johnnie Ray

This American singer, songwriter, and pianist was very popular in the 1950s and 1960s. John Alvin “Johnnie” Ray played music which was influenced by jazz and the blues. He became popular in both America and the U.K. In 1952 he started bringing out the hits such as “Cry” and “The Little White Cloud That Cried’. He might have come along before real rock and roll did and Elvis started singing but his songs had something to them and he had many devoted fans.

His singles began selling more than two million copies. Johnnie Ray even got into the movies playing in the musical “There’s No Business Like Show Business” in 1954. Other hits included “Please Mr. Sun”, “Such a Night”, “Walkin’ My Baby Back Home”, “A Sinner Am I”, and “Yes Tonight Josephine”:. In the U.K. “Walkin’ In The Rain” became a big hit and in 1957 “You Don’t Owe Me a Thing”.

In the early 1970s, he appeared on The Andy Williams Show and The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. He kept on performing and giving concerts in England, Scotland and even Australia. From years of drinking Johnnie Ray developed cirrhosis and died on February 24, 1990, of liver failure. He has been honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. After his death, Van Morrison name-checked him in his duet with Tom Jones “Sometimes We Cry”.

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