James Ray

Golden Classics: If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody

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Collectables' Golden Classics: If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody may not be as extensive or as well-annotated a collection as one could hope for, but nevertheless, it is the only collection of James Ray's material on CD; and it is quite worthwhile for that. During the early '60s, Ray straddled the line between R&B and pop. His productions and choice of material often favored supper-club crossovers -- as the inclusion of "Lazybones," "St. James Infirmary," and "Come Rain or Come Shine," here prove -- and even his R&B-oriented material was given elaborate productions similar to Sam Cooke's pop productions. This collection might be tilted toward the supper-club crowd, but his sweet voice stands tall throughout this, and his best material -- "If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody," and "I've Got My Mind Set on You, Pt. 1" (later covered by George Harrison) -- prove that Ray was a very good pop-soul singer, and they make this worth hearing.

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