Friday, October 4, 2013

Eddie Ray at Kannapolis Libray

Last evening the Kannapolis Library hosted the legendary Eddie Ray for a combination book signing and question and answer session, as well as showing a film about his life and some of his accomplishments. I say “some” because a film encompassing all that Mr. Ray has accomplished during his 6 decades in the recording industry would take a film of epic proportions to cover all the bases which he has touched. In tones ranging from whimsical to witty, Mr. Ray held the audience enraptured recounting his early years in North Carolina and his path to Los Angeles via Connecticut. If that sounds confusing you'll have to read the book...

As usual, Mr. Ray took a bit of the limelight off of himself, directing it at his current “work in progress”, the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame, located just a few blocks from the library in the old Kannapolis Jail house on West A Street. That little museum is a gateway to the rich and colorful history of all the varied performers to come out of our state. They represent every one of the many musical genres; from rock and roll, beach music all the way through jazz and even opera.

Eddie Ray spent so many years behind the scenes of the music industry, spotting new artists and encouraging them along the way. His name doesn't appear often on the many record jackets/CD liners of the music he was instrumental in bringing to the public’s attention, but the music you listen to today would probably be a bit different if it were not for this guy. I can’t believe I actually know him; as he colored much of the world in which I grew up with the music he chose to promote. It was a joy to see that so many people came out to meet and greet him.

His memoir, "Against All Odds" chronicles his life in the music industry; rising from the stockroom to the boardroom, and even on to Washington itself, where he served on the President's Copyright Tribunal under Ronald Reagan. You can read a review of that book here;

For more about Eddie Ray, and the NC Music Hall of Fame, please use the following links;

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