Ray Pennington

Decades Active: 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s

Biography

Ramon Daniel Pennington, 1933, Clay County, Kentucky, USA. He first sang with his father as a child and swapped his bicycle for a guitar at 15. He started a group with two other boys and influenced by the western swing music of bands such as Bob Wills, he kept adding instruments until, by the time he was 19, he had a 12-piece band, the Western Rhythm Boys, playing nightclubs around Cincinnati, Dayton, Hamilton, Detroit and even into Canada. For a time his music varied to R&B but he soon returned to a more country format. He had begun writing songs as a boy and in 1958 he joined King Records. In 1959, as Ray Starr, he recorded his self-penned ‘Three Hearts In A Tangle’ but considered the recording so bad that he asked King owner Sydney Nathan to withdraw it. Nathan did but offered him a job with the label and after serving in several menial capacities, he became an A&R man and began producing records. He produced all the label’s country...

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