Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Known primarily for his tough 1963 remake of the blues standard "Tin Pan Alley" (featuring the moaning lead guitar of Johnny Heartsman) for the tiny Sahara logo, vocalist Ray Agee recorded for a myriad of labels both large and small during the 1950s and '60s without much in the way of national recognition outside his Los Angeles home base. That's a pity -- he was a fine, versatile blues singer whose work deserves a wider audience (not to mention CD reissue).
The Alabama native was stricken with polio at age four, leaving Agee with a permanent handicap. After moving to L.A. with his family, he apprenticed with his brothers in a gospel quartet before striking out in the R&B field with a 1952 single for Eddie Mesner's Aladdin Records (backed by saxist Maxwell Davis' band). From there, his discography assumes daunting proportions; he appeared on far too many logos to list (Elko, Spark, Ebb, and Cash among them).
Ray Agee slowly slipped away from the music business in the early '70s. Reportedly, he died around 1990.