Rubbish, piffle, tommyrot, drivel and utter bilge

Thursday, December 10, 2009

100 Records That Shook The World, # 94


Johnnie Ray

"Poor old Johnnie Ray sounded sad upon the radio/moved a million hearts in mono."
-- Dexy's Midnight Runners,Come On Eileen

John Alvin Ray was an Oregon native who became deaf in his right ear after an accident when he was just 13. In his performances he would often wear a hearing aid. Inspired by singers such as LaVern Baker and Kay Starr, he bridged the gap between conventional pop and R&B, and in 1951 recorded the classic "Cry" as a double-A-side with "The Little White Cloud That Cried". This sold over 45 million copies and dominated the charts that year, hitting #1 on both Billboard and CashBox charts, and he quickly became a teen idol. His performances were also marked by antics that would be used by later, wilder generations of performers, including beating on his piano, writhing on the floor, and crying during his songs. He became so well-known for the crying in particular that he became known as The Prince Of Wails , Mr. Emotion, and The Nabob Of Sob.
More hits followed, and he quickly became a staple of TV variety shows and was popular not just in the US but in the UK and Australia also

His popularity dwindled in the '60s, but he experienced a revival of sorts in the '70s with appearances on The Andy Williams Show and The Tonight Show. During the '80s he was largely ignored (although he appeared in archive footage in 'Come On Eileen' and as himself in Billy Idol's Don't Need A Gun). His last performance was in 1989, and he died in 1990.
However, for one brief shining moment, "Cry" dominated the world, and music would never be quite the same.

Here it is.

If your sweetheart sends a letter of goodbye
It's no secret you'll feel better if you cry
When waking from a bad dream
Don't you sometimes think it's real
But it's only false emotions that you feel

If your heartaches seem to hang around too long
And your blues keep getting bluer with each song
Remember sunshine can be found behind the cloudy skies
So let your hair down and go on and cry

If your heartaches seem to hang around too long
And your blues keep getting bluer with each song
Well now, remember sunshine can be found
Behind a cloudy sky
So let your hair down and go right on and cry

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