Ray Ellis

Real Name:Raymond Spencer Ellis

American record producer, arranger, musician, conductor and songwriter.
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania July 28, 1923 Died October 27, 2008 (85 years old) Encino, California. Father of composer Marc Ellis.
He began playing the saxophone from age twelve, and learned all the reed instruments by age fifteen. Around 1949-50, he was a studio musican in Philadelphia with the band at WCAU TV with host Ed McMahon. He was also playing in the orchestra on TV station WFIL doing a Paul Whiteman teenage club. When those gigs faded away and he was playing weddings and parties, he got a job in distribution through Marvin Holtzman of Columbia Records. When Holtzman moved on to Epic, Ellis created some arrangements for him, including two arrangements for the Four Lads when they came to Philadelphia. One of the first arrangements for Four Lads was for "Moments to Remember", where Ellis got his feet wet in directing an orchestra for the first time. The song became a hit, rising to #2 in March of 1955 and more Four Lads hits followed.
From 1956 till 1961 Ellis was one of the most prolific and popular arrangers in music, striking gold with additional artists such as Clyde McPhatter ("Lover's Question"), Brook Benton ("Broken Hearted Melody"), Connie Francis ("Lipstick on Your Collar"/"Among My Souvenirs"), Bobby Darin ("Splish Splash") Billie Holiday ("Lady in Satin" album), Johnny Mathis, Barbara Streisand, Lena Horne, and numerous others. Besides arranging at the time, he was also searching for and arranging for new talent as A&R Rep for Columbia, RCA, and MGM.
He used many pseudonyms in his career: "Yvette Blais" (his wife's name) for the background music for cartoon studio Filmation (1968-1982) for things such as The Fat Albert TV show; "Spencer Raymond" on 1968's Fantastic Voyage; "George Blais" on some of Filmation's early '70s output and its feature films; "Mark Jeffrey" for 1978's Fabulous Funnies; and "Marc Ellis" (the name of his teenaged son) on 1969's The Hardy Boys. He was credited with his real name for background music to The Archie Show and Sabrina the Teenage Witch, as well as Star Trek: The Animated Series in the early 1970s.
He was nominated for and Emmy in 1967 for Individual Achievements in Music - Arrangers.

Sites:Wikipedia , Imdb , , All Music
Aliases:Mark Jeffrey, Yvette Blais, Yvette H. Blais
In Groups:Ray Ellis And His Gypsies, Ray Ellis And His Orchestra, Ray Ellis And His Orchestra And Chorus, The Three Ring Circus
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