Eddie Ray

Born in Franklin, North Carolina on December 21, 1926.

Eddie Ray is an African-American who rose from a stock boy to a major record label executive and then became a key figure in a governmental body that makes major decisions on copyrights, the foundation of the entertainment industry.

Eddie Ray is a veteran music executive with over 60 years of professional experience and expertise in several facets of the commercial music industry, including record distribution; promotion/sales; record production; songwriting/music publishing; artist acquisition/development; business administration; commercial music education; and federal copyright administration. He has held top-level executive positions with major music entities in Hollywood, CA; Memphis, TN; and with the Federal government in Washington, DC.

Eddie Ray

“Eddie Ray – Music Man”

In Hollywood, Eddie served as a Senior Executive with M.G.M. Records; Capitol Records (Tower Record Division); CO-Burt Television Productions (Record/Music Division); Imperial Records; and Central Record Sales Company (Independent Record Distributor).

In Memphis, Eddie served as Executive V.P./G.M. of Cream/Hi Records (Memphis Division) and President/CEO of Eddie Ray Music Enterprises. As a division of his company, he founded and operated The Tennessee College of Recording Arts & Sciences, a vocational school specializing in commercial music business education.

Subsequently, Eddie was appointed by President Ronald Reagan and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as a Commissioner of the US Copyright Royalty Tribunal in Washington, DC. He served the Tribunal for approximately eight years and served as Chairman or Acting Chairman of the Tribunal for four years.

During his career, Eddie has been directly involved in the super successful careers of scores of recording artists, songwriters and producers, representing various genres of music. Fats Domino, Rick Nelson, Sandy Nelson, Dave Bartholomew, Mike Curb, Allen Toussaint, Sammy Davis, Jr., The Osmonds, Donnie & Marie Osmond, Pink Floyd, Lou Rawls, Hank William, Jr., Jimmy Smith, Slim Whitman, Al Green, Ian Whitcomb, Johnny Rivers, and Irma Thomas are representative of the many musically diverse artists with whom Eddie has been involved.

As a songwriter, Eddie Ray is co-author of Hearts of Stone, a national hit song in the pop, R&B and country fields by the Fontaine Sisters, The Charms and Red Foley. The song was recorded by 32 additional artists, including Elvis Pressley, The McGuire Sisters, John Fogerty, and the Bill Black Combo. Hearts of Stone is in several movie soundtracks, including the hit movie, Good Fellas.

Eddie Ray’s success as a pioneering music industry executive paved the way for other African Americans in the executive offices of the music business today. His official website is at: https://eddieraymusicman.com.

Text and images provided by the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame.