Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Ray Lewis & Johnny Brantley

Ray Lewis Give My Love A Try Fairmount

Ray Lewis Getting Over You Fairmount
Ray Lewis would appear to have been a New York based singer who had a powerful emotive voice and seems to have been the kind of singer who Johnny Brantley went for to lead his productions.
I am still not certain whether Johnny had any direct connection with Lonnie Youngblood's Fairmount recordings but they certainly knew each other. This connection maybe why this 45 came out on Fairmount. Also, as we have already seen, Johnny was able to tout his recordings around all the big players in the 60's and he must have had connections into Cameo Parkway who owned Fairmount.
Ray Lewis’s 1967 Fairmount side Give My Love A Try is an early version of the song called Let The Past Be The Past which on George Scott's Maple album is credited to the pens of Johnny's writing team Edward Lewis, James Tony Lewis and Marion Farmer. However, as you can see the writing credits here go to Lewis, Poindexter and Poindexter. This changing of credits is not unusual in soul music and I must ask Richard Poindexter for his take on the credits. I can only assume that Ray may have been related to Edward and James Farmer.
The other interesting thing about this 45 is that Johnny brought in another veteran NY arranger Bert Keys which begs the question did he involve others later who were not credited.
Another intriguing possibility about this 45 is the possible involvement of Jimi Hendrix. I base this premise on the fact that Jimi is documented as working on Johnny's 20th century production Sweet Thang on Billy LaMont and Jimi worked on Fairmount productions with Lonnie Youngblood around this time. It would be interesting to get input from Niko over at Early Hendrix on this one. Have a listen to the fuzzed out guitar on Gettin' Over You!
Ray Lewis I Still Love You Smash

Ray Lewis Sorry, You've Got The Wrong Number Smash
Here are 2 more excellent sides from Ray - one penned by him and the other credited to Lewis/Lewis and Farmer. This time Johnny brings in Richard Tee another big name from the NY recording scene. Probably recorded circa 1968?
I know of at least 2 other 45s by Ray:
D'Or 101 Too Sweet To Be Lonely/Sitting At Home With My Baby 1969
Atco 6846 Cool Love/Sugar Toe

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:41 PM

    Linda also cut Give My Love A Try in '67. Not sure which version came first. W.