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Release Info: JOHNNIE RAY - A SINNER AM I
Although practically deaf, Johnnie Ray's tear-inflected delivery tabbed him as an early-'50s sensation. Leaving Oregon for Detroit, Ray found a gig at the Flame Club, an R&B and jazz institution. In 1951, Ray signed with Columbia's R&B subsidiary Okeh Records, although "Cry," his histrionic million-seller that year, was a pop entry all the way, with background vocals by the Four Lads. Produced by Mitch Miller, "Cry" remained perched atop the pop charts for nearly three months. Ray encored with "The Little White Cloud That Cried" before moving to the parent Columbia logo and enjoying a steady stream of pop hits, including "Walkin' My Baby Back Home" in 1952 and a cover of The Prisonaires' "Just Walking in the Rain" in 1956.
Johnnie Ray's 1959 LP A Sinner I Am, though recorded with a full orchestra instead of a jazz quartet, is a similar collection of late-night balladry to 1958's 'Til Morning. With a tasteful, never intrusive backing led by Jack Parnell, Ray wends his way through a few night-blooming standards ("Don't Worry 'Bout Me," "A Hundred Years From Today"), along with romantic ballads ("Day by Day," "All the Way," etc.).
1. Sinner Am I
2. Hundred Years from Today
3. It's All in the Game
4. September Song
5. Don't Worry 'Bout Me
6. Day by Day
7. If I Had You
8. Tell the Lady I Said Goodbye
9. Give Me Time
10. Don't Leave Me Now
11. All the Way
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