Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Rays

The Rays, who had one of the greatest doo-woop / slow prom dance hits of all time, don’t even get the honour of being one hit wonders. They had three more chart singles after Silhouttes, including its flip side, Daddy Cool. None of the 3 placed higher than 49, and I don’t have any of them.

My Rays collection, which consists of a single track, came from Echoes Of The Rock Era.

The Rays:

Silhouettes –For a long time I only knew the Herman’s Hermits cover of this song, then when I was about 13 I found the lyrics on the back of Sha Na Na’s first album. And they blew me away. No wonder. They reveale a tale of jealousy, insecurity, anger, and the relief that comes from waking up from a bad dream. And so many unanswered questions. Why was he walking past her house, was he stalking? Was it on his usual route? Why did he get confused? And what did she think when he “loved her like [he] never loved?” A tale for the ages.

The songs starts with a tap tap tap on the snare (knocking on her door?) followed by piano triplets and ahhs from the group, and we don’t have to use a lot of imagination to see our hero taking the walk past her house. A hit for The Rays in the fall of 1957. The original reached #3 on Billboard; a cover released almost immediately by The Diamonds only reached #10. And the world was seeing how the original R & B version could finally outperform the white cover. Let’s dance…

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