Johnnie Ray was born in 1927 in Oregon. He was very popular vocalist in the early 1950’s with a string of hits on both sides of the Atlantic. He had a starring role in the movie “There’s No Business Like Show Business” with starred Ethel Merman, Marilyn Monroe and Mitzi Gaynor in 1954. He died in 1990 at the age of 63.
One of the greatest of the transition singers between the crooners and the rockers, Johnnie Ray was the only son of Elmer and Hazel Ray. After partially losing his hearing in a youthful accident, he began singing locally in a wild, flamboyant style, unlike any other white singer up to that time, that eventually made him an international sensation. His early songs, such as, the two sided multi million seller, “Cry”/ “The Little White Cloud ThatCried”, were major hits. In 1954,he co starred alongside Marilyn Monroe, Donald O’Conner, Dan Dailey, Mitzi Gaynor and Ethel Merman in the big screen musical “There’s No Business Like Show Business”(1954). Following up on his previous recording success,in 1952,he had a #4 US Pop hit with, the 1930 standard, “Walkin’ My Baby Back Home”. In 1954, he covered The Drifters’ R n B hit “Such A Night”, peaking at #18 US Pop. In 1956, he had an early Rockabilly hit with “Just Walkin’ In The Rain”, a million seller that rose to #2 US Pop. His brushes with the law and openness, at that time,regarding his homosexuality, may have contributed to a decline in popularity in The US. He had a comeback in The US, in the 1970s, with TV appearances on “The Andy Williams Show” and “The Tonght Show With Johnny Carson” He remained popular in the UK and Australia until his death.
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