One of the more unusual credits hawked by Ray that always seemed odd - and implausible - to me was included in photographer and filmmaker Avery Willard’s 1971 book, Female Impersonation. According to Willard, Ray, billed as “Ramon Icarez”, performed a fire dance at the opening of the Los Angeles Coliseum. The four-age bio in … Continue reading Did Ray Perform a Fire Dance at the Opening of the Los Angeles Coliseum?
From late 1934 through the summer of 1935, Ray was a fixture at Auby’s Lagoon, a nightclub in Miami Beach, Florida. In the Miami Tribune, I found dozens of ads and mentions in columns about area nightlife of Ray acting as an MC and performer at the club during that period. One column, from the … Continue reading Have a Drink With Ray at Auby’s Lagoon and the Rendezvous
In the summer of 1965, Ray Bourbon was appearing in a mystery-comedy play, Daddy Was a Lady, in Cripple Creek, Colorado at the Grubstake Theatre. The show would almost open on Broadway a year later. I’ll post a blog entry about the show at a later time, but want to explore one small tidbit that … Continue reading Did Ray Bourbon Appear on “Ed Sullivan”? Maybe …
In the Researc Materials section of the Rae Bourbon website, I have a page listing the various venues where Ray performed. I've just updated the page listing all of the performances, year by year, by Ray that I've been able to document so far, based on newspaper and magazine ads, reviews, and articles. The material … Continue reading Performance Venues Page Updated
Despite a career on stage that spanned fifty years (and thirty years of recordings), Ray is probably most infamous for his 1950s "sex change" hoax. The main artifact of it today is his outrageously titled album, Let Me Tell You About My Operation and the funny title track where Ray sings, "There's been a change in … Continue reading The Story of Ray’s “Sex Change”
This year, 2019, is the 70th anniversary of Ray Bourbon’s appearance at Carnegie Hall. We’re still not sure about several aspects of this show. In the 1950’s, Ray released an lp record, Don’t Call Me Madam, that included most of the routines performed during the revue and quoting some people who saw the show. I … Continue reading 70th Anniversary of Ray’s Carnegie Hall Revue, “Don’t Call Me Madam”
Research on Ray has been an ongoing process over the past twenty-five years, sometimes with fits and starts and often with long periods where nothing turns up. Here’s an overview of what I’m currently researching about Ray and leads I’m following this summer. If you have any ideas on places to look or resources to … Continue reading Research on Ray, Summer 2019
I have to give credit to Kliph Nesteroff in his 2012 post on Ray Bourbon, "Murder in Mink", at the WFMU blog, for this odd little highlight. Imagine that you're a housewife in Bakersfield, California in 1931 and, in your local paper, find a full page ad for the unveiling of the latest spring fashions … Continue reading Ray Bourbon Models Spring 1931 Fashions at Bakersfield Department Store