Sun. Dec. 05, 2021

Ray Parker, Jr. & Raydio – It’s Time To Party Now

Most Wanted! Ray Parker, Jr. & Raydio – It’s Time To Party Now (Arista)

From the 1980 released ‘Two Places At The Same Time’. Even though not as famous as ‘Jack & Jill’ or ‘You Can’t Change That’… The aptly titled ‘It’s Time To Party Now’ pretty much stood the challenge of time. Considered by many as the cut from this album along with ‘Until The Morning Comes’. Quite illustrative of the bass-driven sound which the group developped earlier on with jams such as ‘Rock On’ or Hot Stuff’.

What’s the value of your vinyl record?

– Although mostly remembered for the main theme of the soundtrack of the Ivan Reitman 1984 directed supernatural comedy film ‘Ghostbusters’, Ray Parker, Jr.‘s legagy is just like a one of a kind…

Born in Detroit, MI, the man first came to light as a member of Bohannon‘s house band in the late 60’s. This being how he would come to write his first songs for the late Marvin Gaye. Touring with the (Detroit) Spinners as a musician, he would eventually work for Holland-Dozier-Holland‘s Invictus/Hot Wax labels. He also managed to appear on Lamont Dozier‘s first two albums for ABC Records.

Featuring on Stevie Wonder‘s ‘Maybe Your Baby’ back in 1972, he appeared as his lead guitarist when the latter served as the opening act on the Rolling Stones tour the same year. 1973 seeing him acting as a sideman in Barry White‘s The Love Unlimited Orchestra. He would give birth to Raydio 4 years after. A group which comprised Jerry Knight, Arnell Carmichael and Vincent Bohnam. Not to mention strong>Charles Fearing, Darren Carmichael, Larry Tolbert and Ollie Brown.

Responsible for an instantly identifiable sound, they dropped 4 albums from 1977 until 1981. Delivering gems such as ‘It’s Time To Party Now’ and ‘Until The Morning Comes’. But also ‘Hot Stuff’, ‘Rock On’ and ‘For Those Who Like To Groove’. This in addition to the mellower ‘Jack & Jill’ or ‘Two Places At The Same Time’. From then, Parker started a solo career. He scored six Top 40 hits, including the hit single ‘The Other Woman’ in 1982 and ‘Ghostbusters’ in 1984. Eventually producing the memorable ‘Shake It Up Tonight’ for Cheryl Lynn back in 1981.

As a session musician, Parker contributed to countless First League jams. From Lamont Dozier‘s ‘Going Back To My Roots’ to Herbie Hancock‘s ‘Stars In Your Eyes’. But also Harvey Mason‘s ‘Groovin You’. Not to mention Wah Wah Watson‘s ‘Goo Goo Wah Wah’ to name but a (very) few…

– A native of Los Angeles, CA, bassist/singer Jerry Ernest Knight first made his classes as a member of Master Fleet in the mid 70’s. The group releasing an album – ‘High On The Sea’ – on the Sussex label back in 1974. He would get though to a higher recognition 3 years later when invited to join Raydio by Ray Parker, Jr. Then, he most likely contributed to the biggest classics of the group. From ‘Jack And Jill’ to ‘Rock On’, ‘Hot Stuff’ and ‘Two Places At The Same Time’. But also ‘It’s Time To Party Now’, ‘Until The Morning Comes’ and ‘For Those Who Like To Groove’. This before leavin’ the band to start a solo career back in 1980.

He released 3 albums under his own banner between 1980 and 1982. With all of them unfortunately meeting moderate success. This despite the presence of ‘Overnight Sensation’ on his debut-album. The latter standing as his most famous cut for the period. Knight would nvertheless find the way back to the spotlights. This while teamin’ up with Raydio drummer Ollie Brown on the title track to the soundtrack of the 1984 Breakin’ movie, which peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Meanwhile, he would work with countless luminaries, as a songwriter, producer or musician. From Bill Withers to Howard Hewett. Not to mention The Whispers (‘Tonight’), The Jets or Herb Alpert (‘Rise’) to name a few…

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