gone but not forgotten
At that time Johnny Ray was 'hot news', not because he was a well known American singer, but there were strong rumours that he was getting engaged to the girl singer in the Vic Lewis Band, who were on tour with Ray.My Dad actually acted as a decoy for Johnny Ray when he was at the Hippodrome in the 50s. My Dad was just a lowly stagehand then. Ray needed to get to a car outside the stage door, but the press and a crowd were hanging around. , Johnny Ray had been whisked off in a car.
A lot of rubbish, I could have told them that, but the press needed a story.
Nobody seems to have mentioned Billy Eckstine, who appeared at the old Hippodrome. Not only a great singer, but with a superb pedigree. before he turned to singing.
He led a great band, that at one time or another included Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Art Blakey, Sonny Stitt, Fats Navarro and Dexter Gordon. Probably not names well know to non jazz fans, but in the world of great jazz musicians, they mean everything.
Billy Eckstine also promoted the 'Billy Eckstine shirt collar'.......who remembers that?
Billy was also a fine musician, playing trombone.