Happy Birthday Ray Parker Jr.!

Ray Parker, born May 1, 1954, is best known for an extremely successful career as a solo singing artist and as frontman for the group Raydio, but his most meaningful legacy may be in his lesser known role as one of the greatest session guitarists in Soul Music history.

Ray Parker, born May 1, 1954, is best known for an extremely successful career as a solo singing artist and as frontman for the group Raydio, but his most meaningful legacy may be in his lesser known role as one of the greatest session guitarists in Soul Music history.

A true prodigy, Parker was a sought-after guitarist around Detroit while still in high school, and began playing on a number of Holland-Dozier-Holland productions before graduation.  His big break came when, at age 18, he was contacted by Stevie Wonder to play guitar on Wonder's 1972 tour with the Rolling Stones.  Over the next half decade he established an enviable career as a choice session musician, playing on albums by artists such as Wonder, the Chairmen of the Board, the Four Tops and Marvin Gaye. He was even the uncredited writer of the #1 hit for Leo Sayer, "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing."

 
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