Mon. Nov. 29, 2021

Don Ray – Standing In The Rain (Polydor)

Most Wanted! Don Ray – Standing In The Rain (Polydor)

Marked by that flamboyant signature sound one can find on albums by artists such as Alec R. Costandinos, Kongas and Cerrone!
French Pianist / keyboardist Don Ray came to the center stage back in 1978 with his ‘The Garden Of Love’ album, co-produced by Cerrone. It spawned two singles – ‘Got To Have Your Lovin” and ‘Standing In The Rain’ – which Polydor released in America.

I confess a clear-cut preference for the latter because of the complexity of its keys, its vocal arrangements and the variations of its moods. It eventually became a classic 20 years after its release at Body & Soul NYC with the help of Joe Claussell

What’s the value of your vinyl record?

– Born Raymond Donnez, Don Ray came to recognition during the second half of the 70’s, playing keyboards on Cerrone‘s albums ‘Love In C Minor’, ‘IV’, ‘VI’, and ‘VIII’. Thus contributing to his biggest classics. From ‘Love In C Minor’ to ‘Supernature’, ‘Give Me Love’ and ‘Je suis music’. But also ‘Look For Love’ and ‘Music Of Life’.

An arranger and producer as well, he collaborated with Alex R. Costandinos and later on with Madleen Kane. He also was a member of Kongas along with Cerrone, a collective mostly remembered for their ‘Africanism’ album released back in 1977.

– The son of Italian migrants, Cerrone got himself stuck to the music of Otis Redding by the age of 12. He soon after discovered Santana and Jimi Hendrix.
I remember him telling me how the French record execs rejected his music back in the day. They obviously didn’t understand it. Nor its construction based on a quite unusual 4X4 beat at the time. He nevertheless released his debut-album – ‘Love In C Minor’ – on his own Malligator label. And eventually got a recording deal with Atlantic Records in America.
The rest would become history for the drummer. Be it on his own as along with Kongas, Alec R. Constandinos and Don Ray.

Cerrone made himself a reputation while standing apart from anything else. Musically as visually speaking. This in addition to his spectacular live performances.
‘Love In C Minor’, but also ‘Supernature’, ‘Give Me Love’ and ‘Je suis music’ stand as his pivotal successes. If not ‘Look For Love’ or ‘Music Of Life’. And just like Giorgio Moroder, he also ventured into soundtracks. Thus supplying music scores for films such as ‘Brigade Mondaine I, II and III’. Not to mention the music for the onstage French version of ‘Clockwork Orange’ in 2006. This in addition to his activities as a producer. Eventually co-producing Don Ray’s 1978 ‘The Garden Of Love’. An effort that spanned the classic ‘Got To Have Loving’ and ‘Standing In The Rain’.

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