Who was/is Ray Stanley ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more

Pianist Ray Stanley was one of the primary songwriters and musicians at Sylvester Cross’ Los Angeles-based publishing company, American Music, and Cross’ label, Crest Records. Born Stanley Ray Nussbaum on July 24, 1924 in Dermott, Arkansas, he did a lot of demo work there in cahoots with his guitar-playing pal Jack Lewis at Gold Star Studios in Hollywood, including some with a pre-stardom Eddie Cochran. Stanley wrote Perry Como’s 1956 hit Glendoraand Lee Denson’s New Shoes.


Ray made several 45s of his own as a singer, beginning with Let’s Get Acquainted on Capitol in the summer of ’56. Stanley’s pipes weren’t very rockabilly-oriented, but the beat was brisk. Stanley must have had Elvis’ Heartbreak Hotel in mind when he penned its bluesy flip Common Sense. Ray co-wrote his slinky early ’57 release Market Placeon Zephyr, which was covered by Etta James for Modern (Cochran unfurled a barrage of bluesy licks on Stanley’s instrumental B-side Pushin’). Sanford Clark took a shine to Ray’s Zephyr encore Love Charms, covering it for Dot (Nick Greene’s Capitol rendition of its B-side My Lovin’ Baby is on this disc). Ray convinced Chess Records in Chicago to release his self-penned Over A Coke on their Argo logo later that year with a zesty flip, I Can’t Wait.


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