I discovered music in the late Seventies/early Eighties, which might explain why one of my most meaningful celebrity encounters just happened to be meeting Ray Parker Jr. three or four years ago. The Detroit native lit up the charts with a string of pop and soul hits. He was also an in-demand producer (working with artists like Cheryl Lynn and Diana Ross) and cut his teeth as a guitarist for artists like Stevie Wonder and Barry White.

Before he was Ray Parker Jr., however, he was Ray Parker Jr. & Raydio, and before Ray Parker Jr. and Raydio, there was just Raydio. A studio and touring collective which also included future charting duo Ollie & Jerry (“Breakin…There’s No Stopping Us”), Raydio scored big at the tail end of the Seventies with two Top 10 hits: “Jack and Jill” (definitely not one of my favorite Ray Parker moments), and the gently bumping “You Can’t Change That”. Boasting a mellow yet propulsive groove and catchy enough for even 3-year old me to get into, it stands as my 2nd favorite song from RPJ (the stalker in me still loves “I Still Can’t Get Over Loving You”).

The pop hits dried up for Ray in the mid Eighties (following an unfortunate lawsuit filed and won by Huey Lewis, who thought that Ray’s #1 smash “Ghostbusters” was a little too close for comfort to his own “I Want a New Drug”), but he still writes and records, having put out “It’s Time” through his own label just a couple years ago.

This song brings out the Wolfman Jack in me, so sit back and get your mellow groove on with this classic hit from 1979!!

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