Back             Page 3                 
 

income so Ray took a job at a local hospital .He  was working as a maintenance mechanic. While he was working on a table saw he cut the three middle fingers of his left hand. This led to several more months of rehabilitation. After a year Ray still couldn't play the banjo again because his fingers were still sore. He found rubber finger tips to put over his fingers and found that this would reduce the pain and allow him to start playing again.
        It was another accident that motivated Ray to elevate his playing back to the level he achieved in the 1960s. He had made a recording back in 1967 and his cousin Al Allotta

 

took it upon himself to re-master it and make a CD. Ray gave a few copies to his friends and their reaction was that he needed to release these recordings to the public. The comment that convinced him was "Your cheating the banjo world out of a great banjo player."
        After he released the CD it sold very well, he realized that after all these years since his accidents he hadn't really been playing at the level these recordings were at.  It kind of scared him thinking that the people that bought the CD would expect him to play like the recordings. After working hard on his skills, today Ray feels that he is playing better than he ever has.
        A footnote to his career is to mention that while he was working at the Red Onion the group appeared three times on the "Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson. 

 

If you have a banjo related story you would like to share contact mail@jazzbanjo.com

 

Back


Back to JBM Index

 

Please send your comments to: mail@jazzbanjo.com