|Birth name||James Ray|
3 October 1970 |
|Years active||Late 1990s – present|
|Labels||S2 Records, Epic|
Jimmy Ray (born 3 October 1970, Walthamstow, London, England) is an English pop-rock musician. In press interviews and promotional materials he cited his influence by the music of Elvis Presley and other rock and roll stars such as Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran and Tommy Steele. His manager was Simon Fuller, who also managed The Spice Girls and produced the hit show American Idol.
Jimmy Ray's recording career began as one half of techno-pop outfit AV (Alternative Vision). The duo was founded in 1994 by Graham Drinnan (AKA 'Gypsy' or 'Gipsy') who as a solo artiste had scored a number of critically acclaimed techno / house hits in the early 90's, most notably 'I Trance You' & 'Funk De Fino' & 'Skinnybumblebee'. AV signed to Sony S2 Records in 1994 but no recordings were ever released.
After splitting from Drinnan in 1996, Ray went on to score a hit single in both the United Kingdom and the United States with his song "Are You Jimmy Ray?" the following year. "Are You Jimmy Ray?" reached #13 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and sold over 500,000 copies in the U.S. alone. Ray released his self-titled album in the U.S. on 10 March 1998 (the album was never issued in the UK). "Are You Jimmy Ray?" was also successful in his native country reaching #13 in the UK Singles Chart in November 1997.
He followed up this single in 1998 in the UK with "Goin' to Vegas", including a televised performance on Live and Kicking Friday. It failed to enter the UK Top 40 peaking at #47. A video for the single was made, but it never aired in the U.S. In the summer of 1998, Ray went on a U.S. tour with the Backstreet Boys. In the autumn of 1998, a third promotional single and video clip, "I Got Rolled" was given minimal airplay.
- Jimmy Ray (1998)
- "Are You Jimmy Ray?" (1997) UK #13 US #13
- "Goin' to Vegas" (1998) UK #49
- "I Got Rolled" (1998)