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Ray Parker Jr. Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trivia (8)

Overview (3)

Born in Detroit, Michigan, USA
Birth NameRay Erskine Parker Jr.
Height 6' 0¾" (1.85 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Guitarist/songwriter/producer Ray Parker Jr. had hits as Raydio (the million-selling "Jack and Jill," "You Can't Change That"), Ray Parker Jr. & Raydio ("Two Places at the Same Time," "A Woman Needs Love [Just Like You Do]"), and Ray Parker Jr. (the number one R&B and pop gold single "Ghostbusters"), and he co-wrote hit songs for Rufus and Chaka Khan (the number one "You Got the Love" from fall 1974) and Barry White ("You See the Trouble with Me" from spring 1976). He stars in the new film, "Hired Gun."

Born in Detroit, Michigan, Parker started out as a teenaged session guitarist playing on sessions recorded for Holland-Dozier-Holland's Hot Wax and Invictus Records, whose roster listed Freda Payne, Honey Cone, Chairmen of the Board, 100 Proof Aged in Soul, Laura Lee, and 8th Wonder. He also played behind the Temptations, Stevie Wonder, the Spinners, Gladys Knight & the Pips, and other Motown acts when they appeared at the Twenty Grand Club. In 1972, Wonder called Parker to ask him to play behind him on a tour that he was doing with the Rolling Stones. Parker thought it was a crank call and hung up the phone. Wonder called back and convinced Parker that he was the real deal by singing "Superstition" to him.

Later, Parker played on Wonder's albums Talking Book (1972) and Innervisions (1973). Moving from Detroit to Los Angeles, Parker got into session work, playing on sides by Leon Haywood, Barry White, and arranger Gene Page and working with Motown producer Clarence Paul on Ronnie McNeir's 1976 Motown debut, Love's Comin' Down, and he appeared in the picnic scene in the Bill Cosby/Sidney Poitier comedy classic Uptown Saturday Night.

Deciding to become a recording artist, Parker got a deal with Arista Records in 1977. Not confident on his singing ability, he put together a band that included vocalist Arnell Carmichael, bassist/singer Jerry Knight (who later had his own solo hit with "Overnight Sensation" and as half of Ollie & Jerry, and co-produced hits by the Jets), guitarist 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 had a hit record and needed to tour.

His first LP, Raydio, went gold, peaking at number eight R&B in spring 1978. The LP included the number five gold R&B hit single "Jack and Jill" (lead vocal by Jerry Knight), "Is This a Love Thing," and the charting single "Honey I'm Rich." The hits continued with Ray Parker Jr. & Raydio's number four gold Rock On (the single "You Can't Change That" was number three R&B, number nine pop in the spring of 1979); the number six gold R&B Two Places at the Same Time from spring 1980 ("Two Places at the Same Time" was number six R&B in spring 1980); and the number one gold record A Woman Needs Love from 1981 ("A Woman Needs Love [Just Like You Do]" -- the first song Parker sang all the way through without trading vocals -- held the number one R&B spot for two weeks and went number four pop in spring 1981). Then, the Ray Parker Jr. album The Other Woman held the number one R&B, number 11 pop spot in spring 1982 ("The Other Woman" was number two R&B for four weeks).

One of Parker's biggest hits and best-loved songs, "Ghostbusters" was initially submitted for the background score of the Dan Aykroyd/Harold Ramis/Bill Murray/Ernie Hudson comedy. Director Ivan Reitman thought that the song should be released as a single. The "Ghostbusters" music video is one of the funniest and most star-studded videos ever made (breakdancing Bill Murray style). "Ghostbusters" parked at the number one R&B spot for two weeks and the number one pop for three weeks on Billboard's charts in summer 1984. Around this time, Huey Lewis sued Columbia Pictures and Ray Parker Jr. for copyright infringement, claiming that "Ghostbusters" was a ripoff of his recent hit, "I Want a New Drug." Lewis received an out-of-court settlement. The new Ghostbusters movie comes out in July and it will be the biggest blockbuster of the season.

Parker also wrote and produced hits for New Edition ("Mr. Telephone Man" -- Parker originally recorded this with Jr. Tucker for his 1983 self-titled Geffen album), Randy Hall ("I've Been Watching You [Jamie's Girl]," the refreshing "Gentleman"), Cheryl Lynn ("Shake It Up Tonight" from In the Night), Deniece Williams (the 1979 ARC/Columbia LP When Love Comes Calling), Brick (the 1981 Bang LP Summer Heat), and Diana Ross ("Upfront" from her 1983 RCA LP Ross).

Ray is writing the definitive memoir, "Who Ya Gonna Call? The Adventures of Ray Parker Jr." as well as a new album consisting of the exceptional original songs, "1983," with both expected out early 2019. He continues to tour and sell out throughout the world.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Ray Parker Jr. team

Spouse (1)

Elaine Parker (12 June 1994 - present) ( 4 children)

Trivia (8)

Was a sideman in Barry White's "Love Unlimited Orchestra" in the mid-1970s.
In 1977, Parker created the Raydio, an acid jazz and R&B group. The band is: Vincent Bohnam, Jerry Knight, Ray Parker Jr. and Arnell Carmichael.
Made two music videos for his 1982 Top 5 hit "The Other Woman", both of which MTV refused to play because they did not fit the MTV "rock" format.
Was sued by Huey Lewis, who claimed that the "Ghostbusters" theme was similar to Huey Lewis and the News' "I Want a New Drug." It was later settled out of court.

In 2006, Parker filed suit against Lewis, for reiterating his claim of plagiarism against Parker in a VH1 special. According to Parker, public statements on the matter were forbidden by the agreement.
Brother of Opelton Parker.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 7065 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on March 6, 2014.
Backup guitarist for Stevie Wonder on "Superstition".

See also

Other Works |  Publicity Listings |  Official Sites

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