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Ray Stevens

 

Ray Stevens (born Harold Ray Ragsdale, 24th January 1939) is a U.S. country and pop singer-songwriter musician.

Stevens’ recording career began with two singles released on Prep Records, followed by a short stint with Capitol Records. Both these recording contracts were made with the help of Atlanta, Georgia music maven Bill Lowery. Stevens joined Lowery’s National Recording Corporation in 1958, where he also was a member of the NRC staff band, playing numerous instruments, arranging, and doing background vocals. When NRC went into bankruptcy, he signed with Mercury Records, and started a series of hit records in the 1960s that included “Ahab the Arab” and “Jeremiah Peabody’s Polyunsaturated Quick-Dissolving, Fast-Acting Pleasant-Tasting Green and Purple Pills”. The later song held the record as the longest title to hit the Top 40 chart until being surpassed in 1981 by the Stars on 45 Medley, whose official title included the titles of 10 other songs because of copyright requirements.

Stevens became a producer and well-known studio musician on the Nashville scene, and recorded hits for Monument, Barnaby, Warner Brothers, MCA and RCA. Perhaps his most famous hit is “The Streak” (1974), which poked fun at the early-1970s “streaking” fad of running nude in public; this was a No 1 in both the UK and the USA. His novelty song “Bridget the Midget (The Queen of The Blues)” made No 2 on the UK chart in 1971

Ray Peterson (April 23, 1939 – January 25, 2005) was an American pop singer who was best remembered for singing "Tell Laura I Love Her" and "Corrine, Corrina" in the 1960s.

Ray T. Peterson was born in Denton, Texas. As a boy he had to overcome polio. Blessed with a four-octave singing voice, Peterson moved to Los Angeles, California, where he was signed to a recording contract by RCA Victor Records in 1958. He recorded several songs that were minor hits until "The Wonder of You" made it into the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart on June 15, 1959. The song would later be recorded by Elvis Presley, with whom Peterson became friends. Peterson scored a Top 10 hit with the teenage tragedy song, "Tell Laura I Love Her".

In 1960, Peterson created his own record label with his manager Stan Shulman, called Dunes Records, and enlisted the help of record producer Phil Spector. with "Corrine, Corrina". Peterson's dramatic ballad, "I Could Have Loved You So Well", written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil and produced by Spector, only reached #57 on the U.S. chart. He then tried another death disc, "Give Us Your Blessing", but this time the record only made #70 in the Hot-100. (The later song was covered by the Shangri-Las five years later and became a Top 30 hit.)

His last charting US-Top-30 hit was "Missing You". By the mid 1960s he had become something of a phenomenon on the west coast of the United States, appearing live in numerous concerts with Paul McCartney-lookalike Keith Allison.

His performances at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium, produced by Fred Vail, beginning in 1963 helped fuel a revival of "The Wonder of You," as well as launching his new relationship with MGM Records, an alliance that produced two albums: The Very Best of Ray Peterson which featured most of the Dunes singles, and The Other Side of Ray Peterson, which included many of his nightclub songs. He later moved to Nashville, Tennessee, and by the 1970s when the hit records stopped coming, Peterson became a Baptist Church minister and occasionally played the oldies music circuit.

Peterson was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.

Peterson died of cancer in 2005, in Smyrna, Tennessee, aged 65. He left a widow and four sons and three daughters. He was interred in the Roselawn Memorial Gardens cemetery in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Ray T. Peterson was born in Denton, Texas. As a boy he had to overcome polio. Blessed with a four octave singing voice, Peterson moved to Los Angeles, California where he was signed to a recording contract by RCA Victor Records in 1958.He recorded several songs that were minor hits until "The Wonder of You" made it into the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart on June 15, 1959. The song would later be recorded by Elvis Presley, with whom Peterson became a friend.
In 1960, Peterson created his own record label with his manager Stan Shulman, called Dunes Records, and enlisted the help of record producer Phil Spector.Peterson scored a Top 10 hit with the teenage tragedy song, "Tell Laura I Love Her", and followed that success with "Corrina, Corrina" Peterson's dramatic ballad, "I Could Have Loved You So Well", written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil and produced by Spector, only reached #57 on the U.S. chart.He then tried another death disc, "Give Us Your Blessing", but this time nobody was interested.
His last charting hit was "Missing You". By the mid 1960s he had become something of a phenomenon on the west coast of the United States, appearing live in numerous concerts with Paul McCartney lookalike, Keith Allison.
His performances at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium, produced by Fred Vail, beginning in 1963 helped fuel a revival of "The Wonder of You," as well as launching his new relationship with MGM Records, an alliance that produced two albums; The Very Best of Ray Peterson which featured most of the Dunes singles, and The Other Side of Ray Peterson, which included many of his nightclub songs. He later moved to Nashville, Tennessee, and by the 1970s when the hit records stopped coming, Peterson became a Baptist Church minister and occasionally played the oldies music circuit.
Peterson was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.
Peterson died of cancer in 2005, in Smyrna, Tennessee, aged 65. He left a widow and four sons and three daughters. He was interred in the Roselawn Memorial Gardens cemetery in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

 

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