1950s EASY-POP Songs and Singers...on the verge of Rock 'n Roll
Johnnie Ray (born January 10, 1927)
Famous EASY-POP hit single during the 50s: Cry 1951
Johnnie Ray also had hits with The Little White Cloud that Cried in 1951, Please Mister Sun in 1952, and Just Walking in the Rain in 1956.
Recording career with hits on the charts: 1951-1959 Record Label: Columbia
To overcome a hearing loss from a childhood accident, Johnnie Ray, born in Dallas, Oregon, wore a hearing aid all of his life. His distinctive style is attributed in part to over-enunciating words and phrases in his performances. Thought by radio audiences to be a black singer, he was actually a tall, fair complected, boyish looking man of 24. In 1951, he recorded two songs for Columbia Records, Cry and his own composition Little White Cloud That Cried. Mitch Miller produced the two-sided hit with backing vocals by the Four Lads. In March 1952, his songs accounted for half of the Top 6 positions on the charts. Number 1 that week was Cry, #3 was Please Mr. Sun, and #6 was Little White Cloud That Cried. His intense, emotional delivery and the power and clarity of his voice put 25 hits in the top-thirty. In 1954, he appeared in MGM’s hit musical film ‘There’s No Business Like Show Business’ also starring Marilyn Monroe. Johnnie Ray died of liver failure in 1990.