Johnnie Ray - Tad Mann. Film and Television Discussion. He would later gain a local following singing at small, predominantly African-American nightclubs in Detroitwhere he was discovered in and subsequently signed to Columbia Records. Sign in. We are working hard to fill that gap though, check back in tomorrow! Johnnie Ray was born in Hopewell Oregon.
Ray is one of the cultural touchstones mentioned in the first verse concerning events from the late s and early s of Billy Joel 's hit single " We Didn't Start the Fire ", between Red China and South Pacific.
I have a tape of him on Jim Bohannon's talk radio show in Ray's arrest, however, was not reported in any newspapers at the time because there was no trial and his career did not take off until a few months later. A hearing aid rescued him from near-complete deafness and by the time his teens were over, he'd headed to Hollywood to make it big as an actor.
He later performed in comedy shows and theatrical productions in Seattle, Washington before relocating to Detroit, Michigan.