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Johnnie Ray was born on January 10, 1927 in The Dalles, Oregon. He became partially deaf after an accident, and wore a hearing aid starting at age 14. With the help of Al Green, he signed a record contract in 1951, and "Cry" was a major hit that year, remaining at number one for eleven weeks. "Cry" was later revived by Ray Charles
He was married to a Marilyn Morrison from '52 to '54, when they were divorced. In 1954, he appeared in the Irving Berlin film, There's No Business Like Show Business. Though his popularity faded in the U.S. in the late 50's, partly due to his open bisexuality, it continued in the UK. In later years he had liver problems, and died of liver failure on February 24, 1990.
One of the greatest of the transition singers between the crooners and the rockers, Johnnie was the second son of Elmer and Hazel Ray. After partially losing his hearing in a youthful accident, he began singing locally in a wild, flamboyant style that soon made him an international sensation. His early songs, such as "Cry" and "The Little White Cloud That Cried", were major hits, but his open bisexuality and brushes with the law caused his star to wane in the US. He remained popular in the UK and Australia until his death.
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