has fashioned an enviable career as a session musician, as well as an
In 1968, he
performed on Alice Coltrane’s Reflection
on Creation and Space, The Birds,
The Bees & The Monkees, and Randy
Newman’s eponymous LP.
The next year found him Working!
with Bobby Jameson. In 1971, he was one of the side men
on Russ Giguere’s Hexagram 16 and Dory Previn’s Mythical Kings and Iguanas. He then endured a Hot August Night with Neil Diamond
and recorded Up in Mabel’s Room
with Phil Everly, both in 1972. In 1973, he appeared on Severin Browne’s self-titled album, Alice
Coltrane’s Lord of Lords,
and Judee Sill’s Heart Food.
He appeared on
no less than six albums during America’s bicentennial year: Alice Coltrane’s Eternity, Neil Diamond’s Beautiful Noise, Ronnie Laws’ Fever, The Tubes’ Young and Rich, Tom Waits’ Small Change, and Jennifer Warnes’ self-titled debut. In 1977, he was in the studio with Letta Mbulu, laying down
tracks for her self-titled album, Letta. He
mixed up genres again in 1978, appearing on Larry Gatlin’s Oh!
Brother, Johnny Mathis’s & Deniece
Williams’ That’s What
Friends Are For, and Sunset Bombers’ Sunshine Bombers.
In 1979, he appeared on Frank Sinatra’s Trilogy and recorded Femme
Fatale with Gabor Szabo. It was released two years
later. In 1983, he was part of The Clarke/Duke Project II with
Stanley Clarke & George Duke, and also performed on Duke’s solo
project, Guardian of the Light.
He was an
erstwhile member of The Family on their eponymous album and helped Kenny
Rogers get to the Heart of the Matter
in 1985. In 1986, he appeared
on Diane Schuur’s Timeless. Then he
celebrated the Yuletide with Air Supply on The Christmas Album in 1987. In 1988, he helped Patti Austin unveil
The Real Me, shared Part of Fortune with Liz Story, and
performed on the soundtrack of The
time, Ray and wife Cheryl established Resort Music, Inc., a market-focused
music company that targets CDs of Ray’s music to specific cities, such
as 1991’s Palm Strings,
1993’s Oasis, 1995’s From the Heart, and 1996’s Windy City.
meantime, the session work continued to pour in, such as k.d. lang’s Drag and Marian McPartland’s
Silent Pool, both released on CD
in 1997. In 1998, he appeared
on Shot Full of Love with Billy
Ray Cyrus, Corky with Corky Hale,
and The Walls Came Down with
He then performed on James Darren’s This One’s from the Heart and Les Nouvelles Aventures
In 2000, he
appeared on the Christina Aguilera stocking stuffer, My Kind of Christmas.
A couple of years later, he performed the Christmas carol,
“Away in a Manger”, arranged by Daniel Kelley, in the Morgan
Freeman-Ashley Judd thriller, High
Crimes. Daniel and Ray also
collaborated on 18 Traditional
Christmas Favorites for Cello or Bassoon and Piano, arranged by Daniel
and edited by Ray.
years, in addition to turning out CDs with Resort Music, Inc., he has
turned some of his attention to live performing. On 14th April 2006, he
performed in tandem with piano player Dennis Alexander at the Religious
Science Church of the Desert in Palm Desert, California, as part of their
Good Friday service. He stayed
in the holiday spirit on 24th June 2007, performing with Olivia
Newton-John at Ford’s Theatre in a concert simply titled “A
Holiday Celebration”, which was attended by President and Mrs.
Bush. Ray has said that
performing with Newton-John was one of the best moments in his long and
storied career. On 24th
February 2008, he performed with Met soprano Janet Hopkins in a gala
recital at St. Paul’s Church in Palm Springs, California.
He was also
very much in the public eye in December 2008, serving as guest lecturer at
the Manhattan School of Music on 3rd December and four days
later performing at St. Paul in the Desert in Palm Springs, California, in
“A Service of Advent Lessons and Carols”.
contributes his time and talent to Palm Springs schools, sharing his
stories and virtuosity as the music advisor to fifteen different schools
comprising approximately 2,500 pupils.
performed with the Dallas Symphony, the L.A. Philharmonic—an early
career highlight was appearing with them at Carnegie Hall—and the
Utah Symphony, and occupied the first cello chair on the soundtracks of The Simpsons and Star Trek.
Cheryl’s resort music continues to thrive, with Sound on Wisconsin and Windy
City becoming big sellers in their respective states.
recent project is Sky’s the
Limit, a musical history of flight in the U.S.
Johnny Mathis & Deniece
Emotion (Barry Gibb/Robin Gibb)
S CBS 6164B (UK 45)