I am a former member of Ecstasy, Passion & Pain and the legendary Jimmy Castor Bunch. My musical journey began as a child when I would bang on a piano every chance I got. My parents recognized my interest in music and tried to coax me into taking music lessons, which I refused to do because I didn’t feel I had the discipline necessary to practice. In retrospect, I probably refused lessons because I didn’t want to study classical music. I wanted to play rhythm and blues. I eventually spent many more hours listening to records and trying to match the notes on the piano than I would have if I had taken lessons, but at least it was a labor of love. In the seventh grade, I attended William H. Carr Junior High School in Bayside, Queens, NY. During the year, the school sponsored a songwriting contest with the goal of finding a new school song. I won the contest and as a prize received a $25.00 gift certificate to the student store which I used to purchase a drum pad and a pair of drumsticks. After convincing my parents that drums were my instrument of choice rather than the clarinet they made me play in school band, they bought me a set of drums and a rhythm and blues musician was born. After a couple of years with various bands, I began playing bass guitar and played in my first recording session with a jazz and r&b group called the Rhythm and Blues Quartet but my biggest successes came after I began playing the keyboard. I played keyboard with several bands before deciding to form my own band, The Soul Syndicate. My band was working with a 3 voice brother and sister act called Whirlwind when I was discovered by their manager, Phil Braxton, who also managed the hot disco group Ecstasy,Passion and Pain. I was auditioned and invited to join Ecstasy,Passion and Pain and toured nationally and internationally with them for over a year. During a show on the same bill with the Jimmy Castor Bunch, I was asked by Jimmy Castor if I would be interested in joining his group. I was interested and played with the Bunch for many years. In 1983 some of my friends and I were the first people of color featured in a rock video on MTV. I was in the Grammy nominated videos "Uptown Girl" and "Tell Her About It" for Billy Joel. Some down time in my career with the Bunch was spent as the musical director and road manager for acts managed by Buddy Allen Management (Spinners). They hired me to work with Ronnie Dyson and Stacy Lattisaw. The Stacy Lattisaw job was unique in that it was my first experience working with a teenage artist. Due to her tender age, (she was 12 when I first started working with her), Buddy Allen Management trained me to handle her business affairs while she toured. This management experience fueled my interest in helping to mold the careers of artists and has led me to become a partner in White Light Music and Zoom Management, a new artist management company that includes The Tokyo Flash Band as a client.
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I eas contacted via Reverb Nation
What is your profession (singer, rapper, songwriter, poet, dancer, model, music fan, etc.)?
hello Ray: thank you for connecting with Extreme Dream. i really appreciated it. stopped by to give your music some plays today. listening to all songs here and they are so GOOOOOOOOD! nice vocals, melodies and arrangements. if you haven't listened to our music yet, please do? make sure you listen to Winter's Calling. it won Best Song Funk in the Akademia Awards..........take care......Tony.
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