French Disco Artist and Producer (b. 195-(?) to present)
Don Ray was born in Germany, some time in the 1950s. His real name is RAYMOND DONNEZ, and he was raised in France. Other then those facts, no-one really knows much else about him.
I do know his history, and a little bit more. I will share it with all of you. Don Ray was a DISCO person. He loved the music, and dedicated himself to recording the best DISCO record. I think he might have succeeded.
Don Ray's legacy will be a DISCO producer and a "one-hit-wonder". It really does describe him. He was a ONE HIT WONDER, but what a ONE HIT it was. In 1978, Don Ray released his one and only album,"The Garden Of Love". Inside that album was some fantastic music. Every song was played in DISCOS, especially progressive and GAY clubs. There were two cuts that were played in every DISCO. STANDING IN THE RAIN was Euro-Disco at its finest. A DISCO CLASSIC that featured heavy keyboards and horns. But DON RAY is proudest of, and remembered for a song that could be considered the very BEST DISCO SONG EVER! Every deejay in the WORLD was playing "GOT TO HAVE LOVING".
I burned this song out. My copies had to be replaced because of extensive, heavy play. I had plenty of company. All major deejays had at least two copies to perform their LIVE re-mix versions. GOT TO HAVE LOVING ruled the PRIME TIME hours for a full year. It was the most special of songs that captivated the dancers, and utilizled the deejays to maximize the songs' effect and longevity. The drums were so strong, so forceful, so loud. I would like to play with them, and bounce them from speaker to speaker all around the room. If you had a good light show, this was the song to play with them. A strobe light bouncing off a DISCO BALL while the drums are rolling was spectacular. This was such a perfect DISCO song. It was a great mixing record. It lent itself to every conceivable way of mixing. Blends, chops, cuts. This was the song for that!! I remember using the drum solos to mix in FUNKYTOWN during its drum solo. PERFECT!! Don Ray was a ONE HIT WONDER who could have given us the BEST DISCO SONG OF ALL TIME!! BRILLIANT!
Don Ray started with famed "Je T'aime" vocalist SERGE GAINSBORG in 1968. It is believed that the keyboards in that classic French ballad was DON RAY himself? Then when DISCO appeared, Don Ray showed up in CERRONE'S, "Love in 'C'Minor" album. Don was the man responsible for the first two SANTA ESMERALDA albums. He then partnered with Alec Costandinos, and the DISCO CLASSIC "ROMEO AND JULIET". He was LOVE & KISSES! Then back to work with CERRONE in SUPERNATURE and subsequent albums.
DON RAY was a DISCO GOD! He suddenly vanished from the scene when the eighties arrived. GONE! No-one knew what happened? There were rumors, he was threatened by his competition? He owed someone lots of money? The MOB was after him? NO, none of that was true. Nothing so intriguing. DON just LOVED DISCO, and when it "Died", he faded away, back to France. He worked and produced some French artists, but stayed in the shadows.
Ready for this, Today Don Ray works as a singer/pianist in a restaurant's Piano Bar in PARIS!!-- He simply loved it so much, that when it was gone, so was he!! He did leave behind, what arguably is the BEST DISCO SONG EVER!
Listen to Got To Have Loving:
Standing in the Rain:
Garden of Love:
I also consider "Got to Have Loving" to be one of the best and most beautiful songs of the disco era. The other than comes to mind in that category is Madleen Kane's "Forbidden Love." The ominous piano beginning slowly builds the tension until her initial backing vocals and lush orchestration take us into full gear. The mid-song instrumental break with soaring strings and and punctuating horns is my absolute favorite musical passage of all time. "Got to Have Loving" is next in line. Thanks for taking me there!
Steven, by the way, thank you for the corrections to DON RAY, I actually appreciate it. I did not know that it was CERRONE who was responsible for those fantastic DRUMS!! They sure were powerful weren't they. Best wishes!
I never called you a liar. And I'm not sending out "hate" vibes. (Don't be melodramatic.)
When I picked-up my records, Bo was there, almost every week. He had an office in the back.
It's spelled V-I-N-Y-L
And now, my time with you is through.
Also Steven, I detect a certain attitude from your comments regarding me. Listing an artist or deejay into this site, doesn't make it a BIOGRAPHY, it is a listing that is here for enjoyment. Correcting mistakes are part of this, but don't send out "hate" vibes and derogatory statements (you called me a liar), Not cool. You don't know me, maybe you should!! One very easy way to verify, ask BO CRANE! He can tell you a lot about me, how I ran the Pool, and my personality. He can tell you a few stories about me, then I know you will be cool!
Sorry Steven you are incorrect. Maybe my BIO information may not be perfect, that is because I am not his Biographer! I am a FAN who saw no entry for him and decided to add one. I wrote what I was told, so-what, you now corrected me, thank you, I applaud you. Now for your incorrect statement. John Terry ran the pool before I did, in 1979. We were behind the South Miami Police Station. Artie and Theo, I believe had left to start another record pool, that was located on the second floor of The Biscayne Plaza off Biscayne Blvd., and 79th street. I handed out the records from 79 until 1981. Then it moved to 137th and NW 7th ave. That is when Mike Harris and Ciro Llerena started running it. By that time, I was with Bill Kelly at Flamingo Record Pool. You my friend, are wrong. I would definitely know you , but you were with Artie & Theo, not BO CRANE!!
P.S. with regards to:
"Former director of Bo Crane's FLORIDA RECORD POOL from 1979 to 1981"
I was in the Top 20 slots of Bo's Pool from 80 thru 85. The Directors I dealt with were Theo Rocca and Artie Jacobs.
With all due respect... Your timeline is wrong. Your facts are wrong. And although I appreciate your enthusiasm, this reads like a great "fan" post for the Disco Chat Boards. Or a personal "review" of his LP. But it's not a BIO. Outside of why you like Don Ray.
He was in the biz long before 1968.
He only arranged the horns and strings on the 1st Santa Esmerelda LP.
He arranged Romeo & Juliet, and Supernature, at the same time. Prior to arranging the 1st Santa Esmerelda LP. He had nothing to do with the subsequent Santa Esmerelda LPs. They were all arranged by Jean-Claude Petit.
Petit, also, arranged the 2nd Love & Kisses LP. While Khnenestky arranged the 3rd Love & Kisses, LP. And Bernie Arcadio arranged the 4th LP. The only person who "was Love and Kisses" was Alec Costandinos.
Although the drums were great in "Got To Have Lovin'", they were Cerrone's input. Not Don's.
When Disco faded he went back to working in French Pop Music, which he'd been doing since the 1960s.
He doesn't work as a singer/pianist in a Paris bar. He does (it's been said) own a restaurant in the south of France.
He arranged Cerrone's latest LP "Hysteria", in 2002. So, he hasn't left the business of Disco.
The BIOS can't be changed, once they're submitted. PLEASE check your facts and stick to them, only.
And refraining from rumour or conjecture, when creating a BIO.
You have a problem with my entry?? I see nothing wrong. Steven L Freeman, please explain yourself?
Bernie? You thought best to approve this?