Ram Ramirez

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Roger "Ram" Ramirez (September 15, 1913 – 11 January 1994) was an American jazz pianist and composer. He was a co-writer of the song "Lover Man (Oh, Where Can You Be?)"

Early life[edit]

Ramirez was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico on September 15, 1913.[1] He grew up in New York and started playing the piano at a young age.[1]

Later life and career[edit]

Ramirez's first professional performances were in the early 1930s.[1] In 1933 he played with Monette Moore, then with Rex Stewart and Sid Catlett in New York.[1] He joined Willie Bryant in 1935, and toured Europe with Bobby Martin in 1937.[1] During the first half of the 1940s Ramirez played with Ella Fitzgerald, Frankie Newton, Charlie Barnet, John Kirby, and Catlett, in addition to leading his own band.[1]

Ramirez wrote "Lover Man (Oh, Where Can You Be?)" in 1942,[2] which became a jazz standard following Billie Holiday's recording of it two years later.[1] He was a freelance into the mid-1950s, when he added electronic organ to his instruments.[1] In 1953 he was in one of Duke Ellington's small groups, as a substitute.[3]

Ramirez again toured Europe in 1968, this time with T-Bone Walker.[1] In 1979 and 1980 he was part of the Harlem Blues and Jazz Band, including for appearances in Germany.[1] He also freelanced after this,[1] and retired for health reasons in 1987.[2] Ramirez was married to Marcy and had a daughter.[2] He died of kidney failure in Queens, New York City[2] on January 11, 1994.[1]

Discography (selection)[edit]

  • Ram Ramirez: Live in Harlem (Black & Blue)
  • Ram Ramirez: "Fine and Mellow" (RCA) (as "Roger Ram")
  • Ram Ramirez: "I'll Remember April" (RCA) (as "Roger Ram")
  • Putney Dandridge: 1935–1936 (Classics)
  • The Duke's Men – Small Groups, Vol. 1 (Columbia, 1934–38)
  • Ella Fitzgerald: 1939–1940 (Classics)
  • Helen Humes: 1945–1946 (Classics)
  • John Kirby: 1945–1946 (Classics)
  • Ike Quebec: 1944–1946 (Classics), The Blue Note Swingtets (Blue Note, 1944)
  • Rex Stewart: 1934–1946 (Classics)
  • Annie Ross & King Pleasure: Sings (OJC, 1952, 1953)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Vollmer, Albert (2003), Ramirez, Ram (Roger), Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.J369300
  2. ^ a b c d "Roger Ramirez, 80; Wrote 'Lover Man'". The New York Times. January 17, 1994.
  3. ^ Peña, Tomas. "Boricua Jazz Pioneer, Rogelio "Ram" Ramirez (1913-1994) - JazzDeLaPena".