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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

BEHIND THE RECORD - LITTLE RAY "I WHO HAVE NOTHING"/"I BEEN TRYING"



Little Ray Jimenez was one of the brightest stars and had one of the best voices of the Eastside Sound. By 1965 he had already recorded several records and was a major act on the Eastside scene. (see my post under EASTSIDE LEGENDS).

In 1965 Ray put together a group called 'The Progressions"

The group included:

Tony Garcia (sax)
Joe Osula (baritone sax)
Bones (trumpet, French horn)
Clarence Playa (guitar, vocals)
Tony Escalante (guitar)
John Pride (keyboeards)
Mike "Bozo" Rodriguez (bass)
Marshall Tavares (bass)

Bob Keene started Del-Fi records in 1958 in Hollywood, California. In 1959, Keene started a sister label, Donna named after the Ritchie Valens smash hit "Donna"

In 1965 Little Ray signed with Keene's Donna label to record a remake of the Ben E. King classic "I Who Have Nothing" which was based on an Italian song "Uno Dei Tanti" and given English lyrics by Leiber & Stoller and the Arthur Lee (of Love fame) penned tune "I Been Trying". The tracks were recorded at Stereo Masters in Hollywood, California with recording engineer Bruce Morgan.

"I Who Have Nothing" was recorded at a midnight session after a show at Wilson High School and since the bass player couldn't make the session, my cousin Mickey Aversa (of Mickey & The Invaders) was called in.

Bob Keene released "I Who Have Nothing" and "I Been Trying" on his Donna label in 1965 (Donna 1404).

















According to the Little Ray discographies I have read and according to music collectors of this genre "I Who Have Nothing" was picked up for distibution by Atco Records (a divison of Atlantic Records) in 1965.

But this may not have been Bob Keene's first intention.

In late 1964 Bob Keene thought his Del-Fi and Donna labels were becoming stagnant and started Mustang Records, a divison of Stereo-Fi Corporation.

Thanks to record collector, David Christopher of Warrensburg, Missouri a promotional copy of "I Who Have Nothing" has surfaced on the Mustang label.

Keene probably intended to reissue the song on his new Mustang label but instead gave it to Atco for better financial gain and greater distribution.

The promo copies were pressed on the Mustang label (Mustang 3005). Keene instead used Mustang 3005 for another group he had recording for him on the Donna label, Ronnie & The Pomona Casuals. In May of 1965 Keene released "Please, Please, Please" and "We're Gonna Do The Freddie" (Mustang 3005)



Again, thanks to David Christopher here is the promo copy of what Bob Keene intended to release on his Mustang label, Little Ray "I Who Have Nothing" and "I Been Trying" (Mustang 3005).









David was kind enough to sell me this record which is now a cherished piece in my collection.


Atco did pick up the record for distribution and released it in 1965 (Atco 6355)














NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED!!!!

Soley for historical & educational purposes.

1 comment:

  1. Very informative and well researched. Thanks for taking the time. Loved the scans of the labels also.

    ReplyDelete