“If You Wanna Make A Fool of Somebody” – Performed by James Ray (1962)

James Ray – If You Wanna Make a Fool of Somebody (1962)

In 1962, D.C. born and bred James Ray Raymond’s biggest hit, “If You Gotta Make a Fool Of Somebody”, zoomed to  #10 on the Billboard R&B chart and #22 on the Billboard Hot 100 in January. This was the promising start of a long musical career, but sadly Ray was dead by 1963 of an apparent drug overdose.

In 1959 Ray had a flop with “Make Her Mine” as Little Jimmy Ray on the Gallant label.  By 1961 the homeless Ray was “discovered” by songwriter Rudy Clark (“Shoop Shoop Song,” “Good Loving”, “I Got My Mind Set on You”) living on a D.C. apartment building rooftop. He was then signed to Caprice Records and given an apartment and clothes and recorded and release “IYWMAFOS” in November 1961. The oft covered tune was also released in the U.K. in 1962 and covered by many of the British Invasion artists — including the Beatles.

I would very much like to thank OSML reader tonyblue for bringing this forgotten oldie back into my mind. I have added Mr. Ray’s CD to my list of music to purchase as well and am looking forward to hearing his original rendition of “I Got My Mind Set on You” that George Harrison successfully covered.

This one’s for you tonyblue! Thanks for keeping the oldies alive.



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