Monday, May 24, 2010

Ray Peterson

Ray Peterson Ray Peterson, that sounds like an accountant, not a pop singer. But a pop singer he was. He had a handful of hits in the early 60s, and I have his 3 biggest.

Ray Peterson:

The Wonder Of You – It happens sometimes in a real relationship, a healthy relationship, that we look at our partner, and we are amazed that at our luck, at the wonderfulness of the person we are looking at, at the comfort that he or she brings to our life. And plain and simple, that’s what this song is about. It was a hit for Peterson in the summer of 1959, but Elvis remade it as a live recording in 1970, and he swept the proverbial floor with old Ray.
Corinna, Corinna – Joe Turner did this as a fusion of mean jump blues and R & B, and it swings. Dylan did this as a folk based dirge. And Taj Mahal did it. And so did etc etc. Peterson does it as a kind of teen idol number. I’ll Take Big Joe. From the winter of 1961.
Tell Laura I Love Her – There was this TV special, some kind of rock concert, I was 13. I was watching it with various family members, and a girl from LA whose name was Barbara. She had lots to say about everything, Barbara did. Anyway I remember Stevie Wonder, Roberta Flack, and Sha Na Na. And when Sha Na Na broke into “Laura and Tommy were lovers,” our friend Barbara said “Tell Laura I Love Her!” I’d never heard the song. But I remember how they hammed it up, making up a steeple with their hands when they sang about the chapel. Very camp, but endearingly so. The song itself was a classic example of the strange death rock phenomenon of the early 60s, which was rock music’s first attempt to tackle “serious” subject matter. By any objective standard it failed miserably. But we don’t use objective standards to measure songs like this, so let’s just say that it’s very very silly, but transcendent in its own special way. This was from the summer of 1960.

No comments:

Locations of visitors to this page