Ray’s Childhood, Part 2: The Real Story

This is the second in a series of three blog posts. You can go back to part one or skip to part three. In our previous post in this series, we looked at new research by Charles C. Cage revealing Ray Bourbon’s real name and some basic facts about his family and where he grew … Continue reading Ray’s Childhood, Part 2: The Real Story

Ray’s Childhood, Part 1: New Revelations

This is the first in a series of three blog posts. You can skip directly to part two or part three. Over the past few years, I’ve been examining Ray’s unfinished autobiography and stories he told close friends and digging through magazine and newspaper articles and other documents to verify - or dispute - Ray’s … Continue reading Ray’s Childhood, Part 1: New Revelations

New Candid Film Footage of Ray’s Friend, Egyptian Star Samia Gamal

A few months ago, I published a blog post telling the story of Ray's friendship with Egyptian movie star Samia Gamal.  Gamal was declared the “The National Dancer of Egypt” by King Farouk in 1949, which led to a nightclub tour by her in the US the following year, setting off interest in "belly dancing" in … Continue reading New Candid Film Footage of Ray’s Friend, Egyptian Star Samia Gamal

What Was It Like to Visit Ray Bourbon’s Nightclub?

While we have about ten hours of Ray’s recordings and some first-hand accounts from people who knew or worked with him, we don’t know much about the experience of seeing Ray in person at a nightclub.  In this post, we one brief account I stumbled into at archive.org. The “Argonauts” is an obscure travel book … Continue reading What Was It Like to Visit Ray Bourbon’s Nightclub?

“Daddy Was a Lady”: The Surreal Story of Ray Bourbon’s Aborted Broadway Comeback

When I first started researching Ray Bourbon in the 1990s, I kept hearing about something called “Daddy Was a Lady”.  At first, it seemed as though it might have been the proposed title for Ray’s unfinished memoirs.  Or perhaps some kind of solo revue or autobiographical show. A few years later, when I obtained letters … Continue reading “Daddy Was a Lady”: The Surreal Story of Ray Bourbon’s Aborted Broadway Comeback

Watch Ray Bourbon in “Hip Zip Hooray”

Despite years of searching, I’ve only found one sound film where we get to see Ray Bourbon performing.  In his silent films and in Gold Diggers of 1937, we only see Ray in a small, non-speaking bit roles. Several years ago, someone saw my website about Ray and, seeing I was looking for films where … Continue reading Watch Ray Bourbon in “Hip Zip Hooray”

Ray Bourbon’s “Mop Lady” and Carol Burnett’s “Charwoman”

I’m probably going to get into trouble with some Carol Burnett fans with this post, but there’s a persistent story about Ray Bourbon’s connection to an iconic Burnett character that is worth exploring. Just about everyone who was around in the sixties and seventies was familiar with Carol Burnett’s famous “Charwoman” character.  Carol, dressed in … Continue reading Ray Bourbon’s “Mop Lady” and Carol Burnett’s “Charwoman”

Ray Bourbon’s Last Months at the Brownwood County Jail

Ray Bourbon was convicted on February 21, 1970 of Accomplice to Murder with Malice in the case of the Crain and Chrisco killing of kennel owner A.D. Blount.  He was 77 years old. Ray was sentenced to 99 years in jail due to his advanced age and health, bringing to a close a saga that … Continue reading Ray Bourbon’s Last Months at the Brownwood County Jail

“Speaking of Hams” – Another Possible Book by Ray

Some time ago, while searching for one of the aliases in Ray Bourbon's FBI file - Richard Fabien Mann - I discovered that Ray had published a novel, Hookers, in 1932. There was a listing for it in the Library of Congress copyright entries, showing Ray as the actual author, and a Variety article from … Continue reading “Speaking of Hams” – Another Possible Book by Ray