Page Four Jimmie continued to stay in touch with Monte. He attended Kenny Rankin's album release
at Monte's house in Hollywood. Entertainers from stage, film and TV were in attendance. Stevie
Wonder stole the show. Monte set up a stage by his pool and different singers and musicians took the
stage to do their thing. Mick Jagger was the best dressed. "Mick was so cool. He wore his torn blue
jeans proudly. When George Carlin recorded his first album, Monte asked Jimmie to listen and give
him an opinion. He really liked George's delivery. His radio experience was reflected in his clear
delivery. Jimmie believes that George is one of the funniest comics in the business.
While Jeanne made meetings with different entertainment executives seeking film or TV deals,
Jimmie got involved producing music for Miss America Pagent. Jimmie also produced TV
commercials. Jeanne received a proposition for Jimmie from Motown. They wanted him to sign a
seven year contract to write and produce for their A&R department. He thought that term of contract
was too long, so he didn't sign.
1974 led Jimmie in a different direction. He received an invitation to do live concerts in East Africa.
Mzee Rockins had established contacts and business entities in East Africa. Jimmie was very excited
about performing in Africa when the aircraft landed in Nairobi, Kenya he looked out into a different
world. The faces of all the people seemed so new to him. Everything appeared to be so original and
ancient. Jimmie felt his spirit responding to the home land. "The experience was a baptism of spiritual
lights and sounds filling up my soul with love and happiness" He replied to when asked about his arrival
The East African Tour was enlightening and self fulfilling. Jimmie made friends on every concert
date. He played auditoriums and stadiums, the audiences loved him and his music. One night at the
Amboseli Room, in the Nairobi Hilton, there was standing room only, all German soldiers. Not one of
them spoke English. At first the language barrier left them with stone faces. Jimmie selected Ray
Charles "What I Say" to wake them up. Each of them participated in the back and forth repetition of the
song's break down funky groove. Jimmie would tell them to clap their hands and stomp their feet and
the floor would start shaking. It was a feel good, good feeling time. Jimmie did concert dates in Kenya
and Tanzania. The tour ended. Jimmie made stops in England and France on the way back to the
USA. We stopped in London to check out the entertainment scene. Tommy Hunt was apperaring at a
club there. Jimmie wanted to stop by to see him, but time did not allow it. Tommy was one of the
entertainers that I admired watching on stage. He was a showman. He did exciting things with the
microphone. James Brown, Joe Tex and Tommy Hunt used the mic as an entertaining prop. Tommy
showed me how to do one of his best tricks. The last time I saw him was in the mid sixites appearing
at Joey Dee's club. The peppermint lounge in NYC. I told him that I had perfected the spin around,
split, throw the mic up into the air and catch it on que. Thanks Tommy.
From the tour experience, melodies began to fill Jimmie's mind. In 1975 he composed and produced
"The Soul Thing" album. Jimmie contacted Jeanne Smith to co-produce a TV pilot featuring the music
from the album. After the production was finished, Jimmie and Jeanne's relationship faded away. He
was contacted by a Jamaican promoter with a tour proposition. Jimmie went to the Islands and played
dates. He was surprised at how similar the culture was to East Africa. He released the album on
Federal Records for distribution in the Caribbean Island markets.
Jimmie stayed in contact with Monte to catch up on what was new with his office. He always
appeared to be very interested in what Jimmie was doing. At different times he would give a direction
or a name of a person to contact. There were always entertainment dignitaries at Monte's house when
Jimmie would visit. He enjoyed bumping into Flip and George Carlin, they made him laugh a lot. John
Levy was also living in Hollywood. Jimmie callled him and sometimes went by to see him.
Jimmie composed several songs that he wanted to put in an album titled "The Lover." In 1979 he
contacted Eddie Langford. Jimmie met with Eddie at Motown. He was A&R person for the label. He
agreed to co-produce the album. His musician contact was immense. Harry Goodnight was selected to
arrrange the music. Eddie got James Ingram and background singers from "The Natalie Cole Show" to
do vocals. James also played piano on the album. The music that Goodnight scored was huge. A very
big, full sound. When the production was finished Jimmie played it for Monte. He loved it. He
approached Berry Gordy to introduce him to Jimmie. After a few weeks, and no word from Berry,
Jimmie called Andy Hussakowsky in NYC. Jimmie met Andy at a party in NYC at the Hilton Hotel for
Donna Summers. He agreed to release the album. Jimmie received a call from Motown saying Diana
Ross was interested in singing "Love Is The Way" on her next album. The song was one of the ballads
on "The Lover" album. Jimmie considered it, but decided to sign with Andy. Late 1979 Andy released
the album on his label CRC. He teamed up with Ron Mosley to create a promotion plan for the album.
Jimmie met Ron when he first arrived in NYC in the early 60's. Ron was working with Gene Redd who
later directed Kool and The Gang to success. Ron came to Hollywood to meet with Jimmie and discuss
their promotional plan for the album.
In the beginning of 1980, Jimmie received a call from his family in Niagara Falls that his mother was
in the hospital and it didn't look good. A few days after that call , his mother passed away. Jimmie
went to NYC to meet with CRC to get copies of his new album "The Lover" He left NYC for Niagara
Falls to attend his mother's funeral. "I was very strong before I arrived at the funeral parlor to view my
mom's body. When I walked into the room I glanced over at her body. My sister Pearl was standing
over her. I slowly moved closer and then I lost it. It felt like something had entered my body and
ripped out my heart. I left the parlor. I knew something was happening to me. I could feel the energy
draining from my body. I managed to get through the funeral with help from my family. I was never
the same after mom died." As Jimmie explained his feelings, his eyes got watery. Click to Continue
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Carribean Tour 1975
Jamacia 1975 "The Soul Thing" The Federal Records Release.
(A Reggae Funk sound.)
J i m m i e R a y e
Bio Page Four
O f f i c i a l W e b s i t e
"The Soul Thing" LP
Asante World released 1976
American soul star Jimmie Raye
(center) with his mgr. Mr Sy
Rockins (left) and Hilton
regional directorr, Mr. W.
Optekamp. Jimmie Opens with
a special charity series of
shows at the Narobi Hilton in
"The Soul Thing"
"Deep In Your Love" from "The Lover" CD
|Daily News, Tanzania.