Ray Parker Jr.









Ray Parker Jr.

was born on May 1, 1954 in Detroit, Michigan. He is an American guitar player, songwriter, producer, and recording artist. . He is best known for the theme song to the motion picture, Ghostbusters. Ray was a sideman in Barry White’s, Love Unlimited Orchestra, in the mid 1970's. He later formed a group known as Raydio. Raydio was a R&B group which he formed in 1977. Along with Ray, there was Vincent Bohnam, Jerry Knight, and Arnell Carmichael. In 1974, Ray appeared in the film, Uptown Saturday Night, but only briefly. He also wrote songs and did session work for The Carpenters, Rufus and Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Leon Haywood, The Temptations, The Spinners, Boz Skaggs, Rhythm heritage, and Gladys Knight and The Pips.

Rays band succeeded with their first big hit, Jack and Jill, with the Arista records label in 1978. The single was from their album, Raydio. The song reached number 8 on the Top 10 Billboard Charts plus it earned a Gold record. Another successful followup was, You Can’t Change That, which they released in 1979, which was from the album, Rock On. This single also made the Billboard Chart a as number 9 hit. In 1980, the group changed the name of the band to Ray Parker, Jr., and Raydio. They made two Top 40 hits in the eighties, one in 1980, Two Places At the Same Time (reached number 40), and in 1981, That Old Song. (Reached number 21). The groups last biggest hit was was A Woman needs Love and it was released in 1981 and soared to number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts, and made it to number 1 on the R&B Chart for two weeks.

The band broke up in 1981 and ray went solo. Ray was one of the first black musicians to go into the world of music videos. His song, Ghostbusters, sold over 28 million copies internationally. It was on the Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart at number 1 for three weeks and on the Black Single’s Chart for two weeks.The song was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1984. He did a little acting by appearing in the 1980's sitcom, Gimme’ A Break. Ray was sued by Huey Lewis for plagiarism accusing him of stealing their melody from their song I Want A New Drug. The tune was closely related to Ghostbusters, which was released just six months after Huey Lewis & The News’ hit had reached number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100. The lawsuit ended in settling out of court in 1985.

Ray has also written hits for New edition, Randy hall, Cheryl Lynn, Deniece Williams, and Diana Ross. He also played the guitar on some songs on La Toya Jackson’s 1980 debut album.