Our EXCLUSIVE Chat With the Legendary Ray Parker Jr.

Our EXCLUSIVE Chat With the Legendary Ray Parker Jr.

by Michael P Coleman

“All I wanted to do was play music…and the rest just seemed to happen.”

If you want to talk with a true musical genius, who you gonna call? Ray Parker Jr.

Parker grew up in my hometown of Detroit. Having been born just a few years before Motown Records’ heyday, he might have missed out on the company’s glory days.

He didn’t. In fact, Parker was on the road with The Spinners by the time he was 13 years old. By the time he was 18, he was a member of Stevie Wonder’s band, years before he fronted the 70s R & B / pop band Raydio, whose first single, “Jack & Jill” topped the R & B and pop charts and set the stage for a string of gold and platinum records. Eventually Parker went solo and scored several other hits, including “The Other Woman” and one of the biggest hits of the 80s, “Ghostbusters”.

I caught up with Parker as he took a break in recording his first new album in almost a decade. He talked about that album as well as his early career, his work with Raydio and signing with Clive Davis’ Arista records, and why “Ghostbusters” is his favorite song. He also told me why he resisted being promoted as a solo artist early on, about the state of music today, working with other legends like Wonder, Diana Ross, Deniece Williams and Chaka Khan, and why he passed on an opportunity to record songs for Whitney Houston’s debut album!

Click here for the full interview!


Michael P. Coleman is a Sacramento-based freelance writer. Connect with him at michaelpcoleman.com.