- Produced By: Mitch Miller
- Released: July 5, 2004
- Originally Released: 2002
- Label: Collectables Records
- Original Album #1: Columbia Records CL 1093 (1958)
- Original Album #2: Columbia Records CS 8034 (1959)
Description by OLDIES.com:
The first album on this reissue was recorded live at the Desert Inn in Las Vegas in late October 1957, and released by Columbia early in the following year. On it, Ray is heard in three of his biggest hits - "Cry," "The Little White Cloud" and "Just Walking In The Rain." The second was released just a year later, and features Ray backed by jazz pianist Billy Taylor, guitarist Mundell Lowe, Edmund Thigpen on bass and Earl C.B. May on percussion.
- 1.Should I
- 2.Shake A Hand
- 3.Ain't Misbehavin
- 4.As Time Goes By
- 6.Just Walking In The Rain
- 7.Yes Tonight, Josephine
- 9.Up Above My Head (I Hear Music In The Air)
- 10.Don't Worry 'Bout Me
- 11.Medley: The Little White Cloud That Cried / Cry
- 12.I'm Gonna Walk And Talk With My Lord
- 13.It All Depends On You
- 14.My Ideal
- 15.Too Marvelous For Words
- 16.I'm Confessin' (That I Love You)
- 17.Teach Me Tonight
- 18.Nevertheless (I'm In Love With You)
- 19.All Through The Night
- 20.Hands Across The Table
- 21.They Can't Take That Away From Me
- 22.Day By Day
- 23.I Can't Escape From You
- 24.I'm Beginning To See The Light
2 LPs on 1 CD: IN LAS VEGAS (1959)/'TIL MORNING (1959).
Originally released on Columbia.
Personnel: Mundell Lowe (guitar); Billy Taylor (piano); Earl C.B. May (drums).
Recording information: Los Vegas (10/25/1957-02/06/1958).
Johnnie Ray had a pretty good run on the singles charts between 1951 and 1957, scoring eight Top Ten hits in the Billboard charts among 20 chart entries. But the 30-year-old singer clearly had decided by 1957 that it was time for him to make a transition to a more adult audience and to the LP market, a reasonable decision after he had been sideswiped in the teen singles field by the likes of Elvis Presley, who took his emotive approach and added an R&B backbeat. Thus, Ray turned up in a tuxedo at the Desert Inn hotel in Las Vegas in October 1957, where Columbia Records recorded an album on which, in addition to some of his hits -- "Cry," "The Little White Cloud That Cried," "Just Walking in the Rain," "Yes Tonight, Josephine" -- he also essayed standards like "As Time Goes By" and "Yesterdays." Being Johnnie Ray, he couldn't resist some more up-tempo material that was not the sort of thing you usually heard in the main room at a casino, such as Faye Adams' R&B hit "Shake a Hand" and Sister Rosetta Tharpe's gospel number "Up Above My Head (I Hear Music in the Air)," but he was still trying to tone things down a little, making polite patter with the high rollers. He continued this attempt to go legit on his next album, 'Til Morning, in which he sang standards in a late-night pop-jazz context backed by the Billy Taylor Quartet. Neither album was a big seller, and Ray's recording career subsided by the end of the decade. Collectables wisely combines these two albums on a single, discount-priced CD, and although it is not the best of Johnnie Ray, it give a good sense of where he was heading as the hits stopped coming. ~ William Ruhlmann