About Donnie Ray
Renowned as a performer and recording artist in the Southern soul and Carolina beach music scenes, Donnie Ray got his start in music as a teenager but didn't release any albums of his own until 2000, when he debuted on the Susie Q label with Let's Go Dancing. Since then, the singer and songwriter has released a new album almost every year, rooted in traditional Southern R&B with a touch of contemporary blues, steadfastly continuing down the lane paved by the likes by Bobby "Blue" Bland, Johnnie Taylor, and Tyrone Davis. His full-lengths for the independent Ecko and CDS labels, including Don't Stop My Party (2006), Who's Rockin' You? (2011), and My Southern Soul (2018), have routinely landed on Blues Critic's year-end charts.
A native of Texarkana, Texas, Donnie Ray started performing during the mid-'70s with his father's group, the Aldredge Brothers Band, gradually learning to play numerous instruments, including four- and six-string guitars, keyboards, and drums. After decades in the background, he signed with Susie Q and stepped forward in the early 2000s with his first two albums, Let's Go Dancing and Are You Ready for Me, released respectively in 2000 and 2003. Throughout a subsequent and longer affiliation with the Memphis-based Ecko label, Ray recorded more frequently, beginning in 2005 with I'll Be Good to You. This decade-long period was highlighted by Who's Rockin' You?, which not only placed on Blues Critic's Top 20 year-end list for 2011 but also won the website's readers' poll for Best Southern Soul/R&B Album. Ray moved over to the CDS label in 2016 with Two Way Love Affair and followed up in 2018 with My Southern Soul, his 14th studio album. ~ Andy Kellman
BORNJuly 4, 1959