Lost but not least! Ray Martinez & Friends – Lady Of The Night / Hey Honey, Come Give Me Money (Importe/12 Records)
Sittin’ on a quite impressive collection of pieces of music, I guess I can say almost of them brings me back to a specific souvenir. With Ray Martinez & Friends‘ ‘Lady Of The Night’ makin’ no exception.
As a matter of fact, I was doin’ my military obligations in Germany at the time. Back then, a colleague of mine got me to listen to a tape he’d recorded during a weekend he’d got back home. Explaining me this what from a French radio station by the likes of Fréquence Nord. This being how I came to hear this firing gem by the likes of Ray Martinez & Friends for the very first time.
The first thing that got me mad was its infectious blend of Soul, Funk and Jazz vibes in like a Cabaret Disco style. Thus sounding to me like an unlikely meeting between Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band and Patrick Adams. With the whole over a rhythm pattern somehow reminding of Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr.‘s ‘Shine On Silver Moon’. A song written by label manager Michael E.A. Wilkinson, also responsible back then for the memorable Disconet Program Service. Itself considered as the first meaningful DJ remix subscription service for radio stations, night club owners and DJ’s. Meanwhile Ray Martinez heavily contributed giving shape to what’s remembered as the Miami Sound. This while adding his contribution to famous label T.K. Records along with Henri Stone from the first half of the 70’s.
We’re pretty much talkin’ history here…
Some quick research about Ray Martinez & Friends will hardly give you ANYTHING more than ‘Lady Of The Night / Hey Honey, Come Give Me Money’ as a matter of fact. But Ray Martinez happens to be way more than this as a matter of fact.
A native of Cuba to an American dad and a Cuban mom, Ray Martinez and his family commuted between the Island and The States. This until permanently movin’ to Miami, FL. He was 10 at the time and first gratuated from Miami Dade Community College then completed his cursus at the Florida Atlantic University. Eventually majoring in Music and Business.
In the meantime, Martinez had his first commitment into music while playing in local bands from the age of 16. And, seven years later, while performing in a popular local club, he got offered to join Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons.
Adding his contribution to Henry Stone‘s seminal T.K. Records label got him to pretty mùuch establish himself as a key person in this origanization. And, by that, of the Miami Sound as well, while blending Afro-Cuban percussion together with R&B. From his activities as a session musician. To becoming a recording engineer. Then later movin’ to chief engineer and eventually produce many artists at T.K.. From Foxy to Sassy, not to mention Amant, his own group, among others.
Last but not least, he’s also responsible for the boiling hit although somehow underrated ‘Lady Of The Night’ which he released back in 1980 as Ray Martinez & Friends.
Ray Martinez eventually retired by the early 90’s. But, in 2006, he happened to resurface while launching Paris Music Group.