Raymond Bernard Evans (February 4, 1915 – February 15, 2007) was an Americansongwriter. He was a partner in a composing and songwriting duo with Jay Livingston, known for the songs they composed for films. Evans wrote the lyrics and Livingston the music for the songs.
Evans, who was born Jewish, but later moved away from organized religion, citing it as a major cause of violence in the world was born in Salamanca, New York to Philip and Frances Lipsitz Evans. He was valedictorian of his high school class, where he played clarinet in the band. The Salamanca High School yearbook from 1931 states: "His original themes and brilliant oral talks are the despair of his classmates. Ray's quite a humorist, too. At times, his satire is positively killing." He received a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School in 1937, writing a senior thesis on "The relation between the central bank, member banks and the money market." He was elected that same year to Pi Gamma Mu, the honor society in the social sciences for his outstanding academic performance at the Wharton School.
Evans met Jay Livingston while a student at Penn. Together they played in the University's college dance orchestra, "The Continentals." During school vacations the orchestra was engaged to play on several international cruises. After graduation the duo continued their partnership, seeking a career as a song-writing team in New York and later Hollywood. Their first big break came after auditioning for comedians Ole Olsen and Chic Johnson in 1939. Their song "G'Bye Now" made it into Olsen and Johnson's Broadway revue Hellzapoppin'. In 1946 Livingston and Evans signed a contract with Paramount Studios in Hollywood.
He died at age 92 in Los Angeles, California, on the 42nd anniversary of the death of Nat King Cole, who had made "Mona Lisa" so famous. He was married for nearly 56 years to actress, writer, and playwright Wyn Ritchie Evans. His legacy is maintained and developed by the Ray and Wyn Ritchie Evans Foundation in Culver City, California. The Ray Evans Seneca Theater in his hometown of Salamanca, NY is named after him.