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: