Ray Johnson has been exploring the complexities of jazz for more than half a century. He got his start as a jazz pianist in his hometown of Louisville before moving, in 1962, to New York. Over the next 18 years, he backed up many singers and comedians, including Bette Midler, Joanne Worley, and Robert Klein. He also performed on virtually every major TV talk and variety show during the 60s and 70s.
Returning to Louisville in 1980, Ray continued to perform and compose. In 1985 he served as arranger and musical director for the original Midnight Ramble show at the Kentucky Center for the Arts. Three years later, the KCA honored him with a Kentucky Jazz Legend Award. And in 2001, he was inducted into the University of Louisville Jazz Studies Hall of Fame.
But Ray is not a man to rest on his laurels. He performs regularly in Louisville and has produced a CD.