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Ray, James: James Ray (Vinyl) RSD 2021

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Never released in the UK.
Original was only released in the US IN 1962.

Born in Washington DC in 1941, the 18 year old James Ray arrived in New York, and made an immediate impact by recording "Make her Mine" on the Galliant label, under the stage name Little Jimmy Ray. Despite this promising start, a difficult two years followed which saw him destitute, pounding the city pavements, occasionally singing in clubs and sometimes on street corners. On one such club night, Rudy Clark befriended him and was instrumental in making introductions to Gerry Granahan of Caprice Records who then signed him as James Ray.

His first recording was one of Clark's songs, "If you gotta' make a fool of somebody," which was a huge success in the U.S. on both the pop and R&B charts. It reached the attention of Paul McCartney, who, having heard the song in Brian Epstein's record shop, included it in the Beatles' Hamburg set and claimed that the R&B meets waltz sound arranged by Hutch Davie influenced the song "Love me do." Freddie and the Dreamers would also cover this track after hearing a stirring performance by The Beatles at The Cavern Club , taking it into the top 5 in the UK singles chart.

The Beatles connection intensified as George Harrison, who had purchased the album in 1963, would go onto revive "I’ve got my mind set on you" almost 25 years later taking the single to number 1.

Ray recorded this eponymous album in 1962 and passed away soon afterwards leaving behind this soulful collection of R&B classics.
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