Posts Tagged ‘Ray Francis’

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Ray Francis and Lucy Schaefer 2009

December 4, 2009

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Duo: Ray Francis and Lucy Schaefer
Year: 2009
Genre: Country Music

The musically talented duo performs at Churches and nursing homes around Chatham Ontario.

  Ray Francis, 78, has been writing and performing music for over 60 years. He has released six records and earned success in the 1960’S and 1970’S as a recording artist, entertainer, and radio star.
  Ray is a true world class musician and human being who lives and breathes music with a passion that cannot be denied. He continues to bring smiles to his audiences with his talent, sincerity, humour, and just plain likeability.

To learn more about Ray’s music, please visit previous posts in the Chatham Music Archive.

Ray’s Discography:
Ray Francis and the Whippoorwills – 1963 – Country Jamboree
The Whippoorwills – 1964 – The Whippoorwills
Ray Francis – 1973 – The Country Way
Ray Francis – 1973 – An Olde Tyme Christmas
Ray Francis – 1974 – Two Sides of Country
Ray Francis – 1975 – The Good Old Days

Ray also played with The Rancheros.

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Ray Francis Two Sides of Country LP

December 4, 2009

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Artist: Ray Francis
Release: Two Sides of Country
Format: LP Album
Year: Circa 1974
Home: Chatham Ontario Canada

Label: Condor
Distribution: Marathon Music INC.
Number: 977-1404
Genre: Country Music

Notes: Ray Francis was born Feb 9th 1931 in Chatham.

Back Cover Notes:
    Outside the city of Chatham, Ontario, on a small farm, a thirteen year old boy by the name of Ray Francis started strumming chords on his first guitar.
    Ray’s love of country music was greatly influenced by picking up from his radio the famous ‘Grand Ole Opry’ show from WSM Nashville, Tennessee, every Saturday night.
    By the time Ray was in his twenties, he had formed his own band. With his increasing popularity with the fans, Ray was constantly being booked for club and stage appearances. Later the youngster who had only heard the stars of ‘The Grand Ole Opry’ on radio, now found himself appearing onstage with many of these same stars.
    Ray’s versatility as a performer, musician, comedian, and writer has brought him recognition on both sides of the border.
    As a performer myself, I would hate to follow Ray’s show onstage. His ability to impersonate many of the Nashville artists plus come back and sing his own originals, is the true sign of a great overall performer.
    The makings of a great entertainer is like baking a cake. You take a handful of sincerity, a touch of comedy, a warm personality, and a great love for country music and you have my friend, Ray Francis.
 Columbia Recording Artist Dallas Harms

Tracks
01
. Forbidden lovers (Stanton-Walker)
02. I knew her then (R. Francis – Doug Springsted)
03. Who’s Julie
04. One nite stand (R.ay Francis)
05. Laura
06. Just let me know (Ray Francis)
07. Margie’s at the Lincoln Park Inn
08. Sweet misery (Ray Francis – Mike Francis)
09. Anita you’re dreaming
10. The downward side of lonesome (R. Francis)
11. If Ginny knew (Ray Francis)
12. In a mansion

Discography as of 1973:
Ray Francis and the Whippoorwills – 1963 – Country Jamboree
The Whippoorwills – 1964 – The Whippoorwills
Ray Francis – 1973 – The Countrey Way
Ray Francis – 1973 – An Olde Tyme Christmas
Ray Francis – 1974 – Two Sides of Country

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Ray Francis The Country Way Album

December 4, 2009

Ray Francis Cover

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Band: Ray Francis
Release: The Country Way
Format: LP Album
Year: 1973
Label: Marathon Music
Genre: Country Music

This is the first solo record from Ray Francis. He had recorded two records previously under the name “Ray Francis and the Whippoorwills”.

Tracks
Side one
:
01. Grazing in the greener pastures
02. Drinking champagne
03. Deep water
04. I’ll be there
05. Happy tracks
06. Running gun
Side two:
07. Restless woman
08. If you leave me
09. Son of hickory holler’s tramp
10. You can take the boy out of the country
11. Four in the morning
12. Black jack

Cover Photo by: John Haslip

  This debut solo record charted number one on radio. From coast to coast, the first single “Restless Women” did very well especially on the east coast. This song was an original that Ray had co-wrote and was not sure if it would make it on the album, but the record label liked it and rightfully so.
  Ray had told me how he first heard it on the radio while driving home on the 401. He pulled over. He called his record company to see if they knew it was being played. He was informed that it was tracked and being played all over the country. The musician is always the last to know, and this is the perfect example. S. Beaulieu.

Liner Notes:
      In a world of music, there is the entertainer and there is the singer, Ray Francis is both.
     Ray Francis the entertainer, is a well known name throughout Southern Ontario…where he has been performing since the late 1950’s. He formed his first band, The Whippoorwills which soon gained the reputation of the best country band throughout the area. The group often appeared on “Opry” shows and for awhile the boys toured the U.S.A.
     Ray was offered a job playing drums and fronting the Gary Buck band, so he moved his wife and son to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Being constantly on the road and away from his family wasn’t the life for Ray so after a few months he moved back to Southern Ontario taking a job outside the music business. However his love of entertaining soon became strong again, so he formed another band and with his teenaged son, Mike, as lead guitarist. Shortly after Mike was offered a full time job in the music industry, so the band was dissolved. Ray joined another local group, The Rancheros (1973). The band enjoys a great success and is constantly in demand.
    As one of the best “Front men” in the business today, Ray is always in demand to M.C. and his impersonations are always a hit of any show. As an entertainer he is superb.
    This is Ray’s first album and listening to his beautiful rendition of “If you leave me tonight I’ll cry”, you’ll hear Ray the ballad singer. He’s equally at home with Country as witness, “Running Gun”. Listen to Ray the composer as he does his own “Restless Woman”. In face just buy this album and give yourself a treat.
     I’m proud to have had this chance to introduce you to my friend, Ray Francis… all ‘round great person…husband…father…singer…composer and most of all entertainer.
Marilynne Caswell, M.C. Talent Agency. London Ontario.

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The Whippoorwills 1964

December 3, 2009

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Band: The Whippoorwills
Release: The Whippoorwills
Format: LP Album
Year: 1964
Formed: 1958
Disbanded: late 1964
Home: Chatham Ontario Canada

Label: Canatal Records
Genre: Country Music

Members:
Ray Francis – Rythm guitar
Bill Taylor – Drums
John Tangelis – Bass
Ray Dauphin – Tenor guitar
Max Dauphin – Steel guitar and fiddle

Tracks:
01.Honey lovin’ (Bollington)
02.When two worlds collide (Roger Miller and Bill Anderson)
03.Lost in the islands (Reg Dauphin)
04.A wound time can’t erase (B. Johnson)
05.Ridin’ high (Max Dauphin)
06.Little darlin’ (John Tangelis)
07.Drivin’ nails in my coffin (Jerry Irby)
08.Dead end twist ( William S. Taylor)
09.What would you do (Jim Reeves)
10.South of the border ( Carr and Kennedy)
11.Tears broke out on me ( Hank Cochrane)
12.Tears will fall ( Ray Francis)

This is the second of two releases.

Liner Notes:
    Most country music lovers in Canada and the U.S. have heard of Ray Francis and his western group – “The Whippoorwills”.

    Ray and “The Whippoorwills” have appeared on the best loved country shows, including “Grand Old Opry”, with such well known artists as Brenda Lee, Ferlin Husky, Minnie Pearl, Tex Ritter and others of equal fame.
   
    This versatile country and western group are constantly touring and making personal appearances, in both counties.

    The vocal and instrumental selections recorded were carefully chosen and they feature the melodic sound of the steel guitar, which adds greatly to the rounded blend of this album. The groups first love is the type of music they recorded on this album.

    Standing in the studio in their stocking feet, Ray Francis and his men played one of the finest western and country sessions we have ever heard. Why not share it with us?
Art Snider – Canatal Records.

Note: After this second album, Ray chose a solo career, recording four more albums and appeared on many TV shows.

Recorded at: Newberry Sound Studio LTD.
Engineer: Dave Newberry and Art Snider
Produced by: Art Snider
Cover Photo: Robert Ragsdale, assisted by Margaret Epp
 
About Ray:
  Ray bought his first guitar at the age of 13 and taught himself how to play by watching others in his area, including men living in railroad cars. Ray lived on Edgar Street which was behind the rail road station in Chatham. These train carts were home to men who worked for the rail road but travelled from city to city with their work. Ray would watch them play guitar then ask them to show him how to play that new chord he never saw before. He would then rush home and practice it until he got it down.

  After a long run of it, the road took its toll on him and he decided to walk away from it all to be home with family and take on a job in his home town. Ray’s son Michael is one of Canada’s most accomplished studio musicians and carries the legacy on. S. Beaulieu

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Ray Francis and the Whippoorwills – 1963

December 3, 2009


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Band: Ray Francis and the Whippoorwills
Release: Country Jamboree
Format: LP Album
Year: 1963
Formed: 1958
Label: Arc Records
Genre: Country Music

Ray Francis on vocals on side one.
01
. Crying In The Deep Blue Sea
02. I’ve Got A Right To Know
03. A House With Everything But Love
04. I’ll Kiss The Fast GoodBye
05. The Same Old Me
06. All Over Again

John Tengelis on vocals on side two.
07
. Toujour Moi
08. I Can’t Run Away From Myself
09. Three Hearts In A Triangle
10. Anymore
11. A Dime Worth Of Dreams
12. Carribean

Band members:
Ray Francis, Bill Taylor, John Tangelis, Ray Dauphin, Max Dauphin

 This is the first of two albums Ray Francis and the Whippoorwills recorded. Ray went on to record four solo records also.

Liner Notes:
  “A recording company in the run of a year auditions many artists in order to find the top talent required for recording. As soon as Arc Records heard Ray Francis and The Whippoorwills they immediately recognized that here was one of the most professional sounding country bands in the land. This long play album is the result”
  The Whippoorwills have been together as a unit for five years and for the past three years have been heard regularly on radio station C.F.C.O. in Chatham, Ontario, the group’s home base. The band has toured with Grand Ole Opry, stars such as Ray Price; Johnny Cash; Brenda Lee and many others, both in Canada and the United States.
  The next goal that Ray Francis and his talented band are aiming for is their own weekly television show, and if talent and showmanship is the key to their goal, they are certain to succeed.

2009 Update by S. Beaulieu
  The band started out making $3 a night in the late 1950’s. They went on to do a weekly radio show for CFCO which ran for five years, beginning in 1960. Francis worked hard and persistently to promote the band to people with connections in the industry. Country star Jim Reeves was quick to help the band when he heard them, stating that they were the best he had heard anywhere in Canada.
  In 1963 they recorded their first LP ‘Country Jamboree’ in Toronto.  In those days, recordings were simply the band circled around a single microphone. There were no overdubs or room for error on a take.  Musicianship mattered.
By researching Ray
   I found and bought this album one day before going to interview Ray. It turns out Ray had a copy of all his albums except this first one. It was posted online from a Holland Street home in Chatham, so I drove over and bought it and then gave it to Ray. I thought that was pretty cool. He gets a copy of his first album, and I get to meet and learn about a local musician who was a real go-getter and made things happen for his music and love of it.

Photography: Des Dollery

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