R A Y W A L K E R
THE BASS VOICE
OF THE LEGENDARY
ELVIS PRESLEY'S BACKUP SINGERS
|RAY WALKER THIRD FROM LEFT|
Ray Walker dropped out of school in 1955, moved to Centerville, Tennessee, where he helped to build a radio station, WHLP, worked with the local Church, and, became the youngest school principal in the history of Tennessee. He came back to college in 1956 and graduated in June 1957, with a BA Degree in Speech, Music, Bible, and, Education; worked for Werthan Bag Company during the Summer. By that time Ray and wife Marilyn's third child was on the way.
Ray continued working for the local Church and, in the Fall began teaching school in Davidson County Schools, where he was Assistant Principal, Coach, and commanded a split seventh and eighth grade class. It was April 1958 now, and through a business call to David Lipscomb College, Ray was put in touch with the Jordanaires by his former Choral Director. Gordon Stoker had called there, just prior to Ray's call, to see if the Music Department knew of a bass singer who might fit their requirements. When Ray spoke with the professor, he said to give them his name, which the professor did.
Ray was called that afternoon, auditioned at 11:00 that evening, was called at the school the next day and asked to go to Hollywood to do some recording. The school board let him off, he went, came home and completed his school year of teaching, and joined the Jordanaires, officially, June 1, 1958.
Since that time, while working with the Jordanaires, he had a successful, daily, morning show, "YOUR OWN TIME" on the ABC Channel in Nashville in 1976. Ray has done modeling, numerous radio, television, magazine and newspaper commercials (locally and nationally). He was a deputy sheriff (as a liaison between trouble youth and distraught families) for twenty-some years and, as were all the Jordanaires, an honorary member of the Tennessee Governor's Staff in Tennessee for many years.
Among the accolades the group has received during his tenure with The Jordanaires is induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, the NACMAI (North American Country Music Association International) Hall of Fame, the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, Rockabilly Hall of Fame, Vocal Group Hall of Fame and others.
Ray was inducted into The Rockabilly Hall of Fame, individually, in 2013. He was, also, awarded the "Avalon Award", the highest award given for contribution and accomplishment by his alma mater', David Lipscomb University, in 2005.
It is estimated that Ray Walker has been recorded on more than 200,000 songs and including his professional recording with the Jordanaires, and is reservedly believed to be the most recorded voice in the history of music.
Ray was the Bass Singer in "THE JORDANAIRES" for 54 years and 345 days, when upon the passing of Gordon Stoker, March 27, 2013, "THE JORDANAIRES" as a group, officially, came to an end. Ray, occasionally, performs with country crooner Ronnie McDowell, and others, in programs dedicated to the memory of Elvis Presley.
RAY WALKER INTERVIEWED
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