Monday, April 6, 2009

High Interest in Ray Whitley

Above image: From the "The Heeey Baby Days of Beach Music"
photo courtesy of Gene Lee click on image to enlarge

Many have emailed about Ray Whitley following yesterday's post. One of the greatest composers of the Hey Baby Days, Ray Whitley was responsible for some of the era's greatest songs (some of which were hits in other genres)i.e. provided there is a genre other than Beach Music.

"Dancing Mood" - originally recorded by the Tams, it's a classic in Reggae

"Be Young, Be Foolish Be Happy" (with J.R. Cobb) - a southern anthem

"Hey Girl, Don't Bother Me" - No 1 in England

"What Kind of Fool ( Do You Think I Am )"

"I've Been Hurt" one of the biggest songs of the party ; original Tams' but covered by many

"You Lied To Your Daddy"

"Laugh It Off"
"Too Much Fooling Around"

Want to comment about the music of Ray Whitley ? "Add a comment" by clicking on the Add A Comment link below, and review the ones posted above.


Becki/Bob said...

My first date, with my wife of 40 years, was to see Ray Whitley at the bistro, in February 1969. He played all his hits(for other artists) along with "What Do You Do To Get A Hit Record", "The Haircut" and many other great originals and covers. He always closed The Bistro shows with a great version of "Hey Jude". We saw him many times over the next couple of years. I know he had a problem with booze. I met him through a friend, in 1974 and he had fallen on hard times by then. He borrowed my guitar to play a night club gig. Sad to say, my wife, the bartender and I were the only ones there. I havn't seen him since and am sorry to hear that his troubles continue. He is a great singer, song writer and guitar player. If any one has any contact info I would love to help.
Bob Adcock

scsmith said...

My husband sees Ray Whitley all the time sitting outside playing his gitar and singing at the homeless shelter where he stays in Gainesville, Georgia. We just learned who he is because of a story written about him on North Georgia Access News website. The shelter is called Good News At Noon. Such a talented man to be down on his luck. Wishing him the best. S.Smith

miclevy said...

I used to hang with Ray way back, I suppose around 74-75, in Atlanta, at the Bistro...if that was the place on W. Peachtree.

I remember we were at a table in a club at Underground Atlanta one night to hear the TAMS. One of the group appreciatively introduced him to the audience, & there was a good crowd. Afterward one of them buttonholed me, Ray being a bit lit, and said if he's got anymore we sure could use a song. I think he did. I loved a song he had, but am doubtful he ever took it anywhere. It was called "Will I?".
I think it continued, will I ever see you again? It had a haunting beginning. He strummed the guitar to resonate with the intro line [its song title], repeating it maybe three times.

I very much appreciated this wannabe songwriter having Ray do one of my lyrics, Old Song Writer, at one of his Bistro appearances. One of the audience said to me, you wrote that? Nearly 40 years later & that evening's still meaningful to me.

Mick in DC

WalkerTOm said...

I knew Ray and his wife back in the late Sixties and visited with them both after their son was born in the early Seventies. I remember him as a prolific songwriter with a great ear for a 'hook'. Always wondered what happened to them... Very sorry to hear of Ray's passing.

Duane Blalock said...

Ray has not passed at least a few monts ago he was still living in the shelter in Gainesville, GA

WalkerTOm said...

Ray died in Gainesville in 2010.

Lakeside said...

Ray is now on life support. I attended high school with him and he was the most talented singer or writer to come out of the Atlanta area. I talked with the reporter who covered a story on him in 2011 as well as the director of the Goods News homeless shelter. In addition, I talked with Ed Saye, his minister, Easter Sunday 3/31/13Ray is not expected to last more than 2 weeks. Ray was one of the sweetest natured people I have ever known.

Duane Blalock said...

Thanks for the update on Ray. I was thankful to be able to visit with him at the shelter in Gainesville about 6 months ago and am sorry to hear he is not doing well.

David Prince said...

Ray passed Sunday before last. His funeral is in Gainesville this Wednesday. I am helping with the funeral and still can't believe all that I learn from doing research. Ray has 147 songs listed in his BMI arsenal. He was a good man and we'll miss him.

Duane Blalock said...

David, Thank you I have a Facebook page called Atlanta Bands and have contiuned listing Ray's work and keeping his name alive. I will be there Wednesday and also posted some pictures on the memorial page of the funeral home.

David Prince said...

Duane, thank you for that. He had his problems but remained a good and gentle man. I enjoyed the times we spent together. Make sure and come up to me and introduce yourself :>)

David Prince said...

I thought I would follow up on Rays funeral. It was a small crowd but such a quality crowd. Ed and I sang a few of his hits and Ray sang several of his hits :>)Now how many can say they sang at their own funeral? I continue to be amazed at what he accomplished in just a few years. I am really going to miss him but he will definitely live on through his songs.

Shelia McBrayer said...

My family appreciate all those who turned out for Ray's service. Ray was such a sweet spirit and he will be missed by our family. Ray, me and my sister, grew up on Waddell Street together. We had some wonderful and some sad memories. He is missed. Thank you to the Good News at Noon shelter in Gainesville for being there for Ray. Thank you to Ed Saye and David Prince for the beautiful service. Shelia Wood McBrayer