Sunday, July 19, 2009

U.S.A.! Utter Silly Apologies - Come on! America is Johnny Ray?

If your heartaches seem to hang around too long
And your blues keep getting bluer with each song
Remember sunshine can be found behind a cloudy sky
So let your hair down and go on and cry
Johnny Ray -Cry 1952

Sing it Sisters! Uncle Sam is now Johnny Ray*! (Click my post title for new National Anthem.)

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continued the International U.S.A. ( Utter Silly Apologies) Johnny Ray Tour in India the other day with this oily lump of chicken fat:

"We acknowledge now with President Obama that we have made mistakes in the United States, and we along with other developed countries have contributed most significantly to the problem that we face with climate change," she said. "We are hoping a great country like India will not make the same mistakes."

India refuses to do Cap and Trade, Hillary. Get up to speed.

However, her boss and former foe has set the Johnny Ray* tone for the New Jimmy Carter Years!

Top 10 Obama Apologies
Excerpted from article by Niles Gardiner, director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at the Heritage Foundation.

1. Apology to Europe: Speech in Strasbourg, France, April 3. “In America, there’s a failure to appreciate Europe‘s leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.”

2. Apology to the Muslim world: Interview with Al Arabiya, January 27. “My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy. We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect.”

3. Apology to the Summit of the Americas: Address to the Summit of the Americas, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, April 17. “While the United States has done much to promote peace and prosperity in the hemisphere, we have at times been disengaged, and at times we sought to dictate our terms.”

4. Apology at the G-20 Summit of World Leaders: News conference in London, April 2. “I just think in a world that is as complex as it is, that it is very important for us to be able to forge partnerships as opposed to simply dictating solutions.”

5. Apology for the War on Terror: Speech in Washington, D.C., May 21. “Unfortunately, faced with an uncertain threat, our government made a series of hasty decisions. I believe that many of these decisions were motivated by a sincere desire to protect the American people. But I also believe that all too often our government made decisions based on fear rather than foresight, that all too often our government trimmed facts and evidence to fit ideological predispositions.”

6. Apology for Guantanamo in France: Speech in Strasbourg, France, April 3. “In dealing with terrorism, we can’t lose sight of our values and who we are. That’s why I closed Guantanamo. That’s why I made very clear that we will not engage in certain interrogation practices. I don’t believe that there is a contradiction between our security and our values. And when you start sacrificing your values, when you lose yourself, then over the long term that will make you less secure.”

7. Apology for America before the Turkish Parliament: Speech to the Turkish Parliament, Ankara, Turkey, April 6. “The United States is still working through some of our own darker periods in our history. Facing the Washington Monument that I spoke of is a memorial of Abraham Lincoln, the man who freed those who were enslaved even after Washington led our Revolution. Our country still struggles with the legacies of slavery and segregation, the past treatment of Native Americans.”

8. Apology for U.S. Policy toward the Americas: Editorial “Choosing a Better Future in the Americas,” April 16. “Too often, the United States has not pursued and sustained engagement with our neighbors. We have been too easily distracted by other priorities, and have failed to see that our own progress is tied directly to progress throughout the Americas.”

9. Apology for the Mistakes of the CIA: Remarks to CIA employees at Langley, Va., April 29. “Don’t be discouraged that we have to acknowledge potentially we’ve made some mistakes.”

10. Apology for Guantanamo: Speech in Washington, D.C., May 21. “There is also no question that Guantanamo set back the moral authority that is America’s strongest currency in the world.” h/t Heritage Foundation

Coming Soon!

Presidential International Apologies for:

1. Thomas A. Edison - "Light Bulbs (Incandescent Candles) are not Sexy and Melt Polar Ice Caps:

2. Henry Ford -" The Assembly Line . . .What can I say?"

3. Enrico Fermi - "Splitting the Atom at the University of Chicago was not the Science I know!"

4. George M. Cohan - " Patriotism is the Last Refuge of Scoundrels!"

5. The Berlin Airlift - " We will never Intrude Again!"


Johnny Ray
Inspired by rhythm singers like Kay Starr, LaVern Baker and Ivory Joe Hunter, Ray developed a unique rhythm based style, described as alternating between pre-rock R&B and a more conventional classic pop approach.[1]

Ray first attracted the attention of Bernie Lang, a song plugger, who was taken to the Flame Showbar nightclub in Detroit, Michigan by local DJ, Robin Seymour of WKMH. "We were both excited" Seymour recalls. "We heard two shows that first night."

Lang rushed off to New York to sell the singer to Danhy Kessler, the "Mr. Big" of the Okeh label, which is a subsidiary of Columbia Records. Kessler came over from New York, and he, Lang and Seymour went to the Flame. According to Seymour, Kessler's re-action was, "Well, I don't know. This kid looks well on the stand, but he will never go on records."

It was Seymour and Lowell Worley of the local office of Columbia who persuaded Kessler to have a test record made of Johnnie Ray. Worley arranged for a record to be cut at the United Sound Studios in Detroit. Seymour told reporter Dick Osgood that there was a verbal agreement that he would be cut in on the three-way deal in the management of Johnnie Ray. But the deal mysteriously evaporated, and so did Seymour's friendship with Danny Kessler.[2]

Ray's first record, the self-penned R&B number for OKeh Records, "Whiskey and Gin", was a minor hit in 1951. The following year he dominated the charts with the double-sided hit single of "Cry" and "The Little White Cloud That Cried". Selling over two million copies of the 45 single, Ray's delivery struck a chord with teenagers and he quickly became a teen idol.[3]

Ray's performing style included theatrics later associated with rock 'n roll, including beating up his piano, writhing on the floor and crying.[citation needed] Ray quickly earned the nicknames "Mr. Emotion", "The Nabob of Sob", and "The Prince of Wails", and several others.[3]

More hits followed, including "Please Mr. Sun", "Such a Night", "Walkin' My Baby Back Home", "A Sinner Am I", and "Yes Tonight Josephine". His last hit was "Just Walkin' in the Rain", in 1956. He did, however, hit again in 1957 with "You Don't Owe Me a Thing", which reached #10 in the Billboard charts. He was popular in the United Kingdom, breaking the record at the London Palladium formerly set by Frankie Laine.[citation needed] In later years, he retained a loyal fan base overseas, particularly in Australia.

[edit] Later career influences
Ray had a close relationship with journalist and television game show panelist Dorothy Kilgallen who gave a boost to his sagging career during his engagement at the Tropicana Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1965.[4]

In early 1969, Ray befriended Judy Garland, performing as her opening act during her last concerts in Copenhagen, Denmark and Malmo, Sweden. Ray was also the best man during Garland's wedding to nightclub manager Mickey Deans in London.[5]

Ray's American career revived in the early 1970s, with appearances on The Andy Williams Show in 1970 and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson three times during 1972 and 1973. His personal manager Bill Franklin resigned in 1976 and cut off contact with the singer a few years later. His American revival turned out to be shortlived. He performed in small American venues such as El Camino College in 1987.[6] Australian, English and Scottish promoters booked him for their large venues as late as 1989, his last year of performing.

Some writers suggested that the reason American entertainment bookers and songwriters ignored him in the 1980s was because they simply did not know who he was, or what his sound was like.[7] His exposure during the new era of cable television was limited to a few seconds in Dexys Midnight Runners' 1982 music video for "Come On Eileen", using archival footage of Ray from 1954. He was name checked in the lyrics to "Come On Eileen" (viz "Poor old Johnnie Ray sounded sad upon the radio / he moved a million hearts in mono").[8]

His other video appearance was in Billy Idol's 1986 "Don't Need a Gun", in which Ray appeared on-camera.

[edit] Personal life
Ray had issues surface regarding his sexuality several times in his career, including two arrests for soliciting men for sex. Ray quietly pleaded guilty and paid a fine after the first arrest, in the restroom of the Stone Theatre burlesque house in Detroit, which was just prior to the release of his first record in 1951.[9] Ray went to trial following the second arrest in 1959, also in Detroit, for soliciting an undercover officer in one of the city's gay bars. He was found not guilty.[9]

Despite these issues, Ray married Marilyn Morrison a short time after he gave his first New York concert, which was at the Copacabana in 1952. The wedding ceremony, attended by New York mayor Vincent R. Impellitteri, made the cover of the New York Daily News.[10] Morrison, the daughter of a Los Angeles nightclub owner,[10] was aware of the singer's sexuality from the start, telling a friend she would "straighten it out."[9] The couple separated in 1953 and divorced in 1954.

In the years hence, writers have noted that the marriage occurred under false pretenses,[11] and that Ray had a long-term relationship with his manager, Bill Franklin.[9][12][13] Ray also had a relationship with columnist Dorothy Kilgallen, whom he met following an appearance on What's My Line? in 1956.[9][13][14] Kilgallen was a strong support for Ray during the 1959 solicitation trial.[9][13]

Ray drank regularly and his alcoholism caught up with him in 1960, when he was hospitalized for tuberculosis.[9] He recovered but continued drinking, and was diagnosed with cirrhosis at age fifty.[14]

On 24 February 1990, Ray died of liver failure at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles.[3][14] He is buried at Hopewell Cemetery near Hopewell, Oregon.

For his contribution to the recording industry, Johnnie Ray has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6201 Hollywood Boulevard.

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