Ray Parker Jr.
Thursday, February 6 at 8 p.m.
Guitarist/songwriter/producer Ray Parker Jr. has had hits as Raydio with the million-selling "Jack and Jill" and “You Can't Change That;” Ray Parker Jr. & Raydio with “Two Places at the Same Time," "A Woman Needs Love [Just Like You Do]", and as simply Ray Parker Jr.—the number-one R&B- and pop-gold single "Ghostbusters”.
Parker started out as a session guitarist playing behind the Temptations, Stevie Wonder, the Spinners, Gladys Knight & the Pips and other Motown acts when they appeared at the Twenty Grand Club. Then, in 1972, Wonder called Parker, asking him to play behind him on tour. Parker thought it was a crank call and hung up the phone. Wonder later convinced Parker that he was the real deal by singing "Superstition" to him.
Parker went on to play on Wonder's albums Talking Book and Innervisions and took on more session work in LA for the likes of Leon Haywood, Barry White and arranger Gene Page, as well as working with Motown producer Clarence Paul on Ronnie McNeir's 1976 Motown debut, Love's Comin' Down.
In 1977, deciding to become an independent recording artist, Parker struck a deal with Arista Records and put together the band Raydio with vocalist Arnell Carmichael, bassist/singer Jerry Knight and guitarists Charles Fearing, Larry Tolbert and Darren Carmichael. However, on-record, Parker played most, if not all of the instruments (although Arnell et al. were paid a retainer so they'd be available if Raydio needed to tour).
Parker’s first LP, Raydio, went gold and included the hit singles "Jack and Jill,” "Is This a Love Thing," and "Honey I'm Rich." The hits continued with Ray Parker Jr. & Raydio; scoring recording successes like Rock On,Two Places at the Same Time and the number-one gold record A Woman Needs Love.
As Ray Parker Jr. one of his biggest hits, "Ghostbusters,” was initially intended as a background piece in the iconic Ghostbusters film, but was just too good and was released as a single. In the summer of 1984, “Ghostbusters" was number one for three weeks on the Billboard® R&B charts and number one for two weeks on the pop charts.
Parker has co-written hit songs for Rufus and Chaka Khan, “You Got the Love" and Barry White, “You See the Trouble with Me.” The list of hits goes on to include: New Edition’s “Mr. Telephone Man,” Randy Hall’s, “I’ve Been Watching You [Jamie's Girl]" and “Gentleman, ” plus Cheryl Lynn’s, “Shake It Up Tonight” and Deniece Williams’ When Love Comes Calling and Brick; as well as “Upfront” for Diana Ross.
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