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02 February 2010

Crying Time (1966)

Cover illustration by 
William "Snooky" Alexander.
    During his rehab-year off - without any live gigs to speak of - in 1965, Ray spend a lot of time in his studio. These sessions resulted in an avalanche of singles and three albums, each - seemingly - with a random distribution of songs*: Country & Western Meets Rhythm Blues a.k.a. Together Again (1965), Crying Time (Jan. 1966) and Ray’s Moods (Jul. 1966). To my taste, Crying Time entailed the best selection of songs.

    *As observed by Joël Dufour.

    1. Crying Time
    2. No Use Crying
    3. Let's Go Get Stoned
    4. Going Down Slow
    5. Peace Of Mind
    6. Tears
    7. Drifting Blues
    8. We Don't See Eye To Eye
    9. You're In For A Big Surprise
    10. You're Just About To Lose Your Clown
    11. Don't You Think I Ought To Know
    12. You've Got A Problem
    In No Use Crying and Going Down Slow he showed the bottom of his soul. With Let's Go Get Stoned he seemed to make clear that he didn't have too much regret about his former drugs habit. The song Crying Time hit the Top Ten on all the charts and won two 1966 Grammy Awards for Best Rhythm & Blues Recording and Best Rhythm & Blues Solo Vocal Performance.

    #11 was recorded in February 1965 at United Studios in Hollywood; #01, 09 at the same venue in June 1965; #05 at RPM in Los Angeles in the fall of 1965; #02, 03, 04, 10 at RPM in a second fall session. On all these tracks Rene Hall was on guitar, and Earl Palmer on drums. Don Peake remembers playing guitar on #1 and #2 (was he overdubbed?). On Drifting Blues (#7) Ray Crawford was on guitar, Jim Crutcher on bass; and Chiz Harris on drums.
    Billy Preston's distinct organ playing is the major factor in the great sound of the bluest tracks on the album.
    Also with uncredited strings and choir, and with The Raelettes* on some tracks.

    ABC/Paramount 544, January 1966.

    * Bobby Hutcherson remembered that his sister Peggy was one of the singers backing Ray on Let's Go Get Stoned (and even that she was a Raelette at that time).

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