Ray Kamalay and I are about the same age. Except he has talent. He took his ’74 philosophy degree from U of D and did who knows what, but on the side became quite an accomplished singer and jazz guitarist http://www.raykamalay.com/. I met him November before last when he came to perform for one of the freebie Thursday noon concerts at U-hospital in the open area on the first floor. His spare guitar-bass-drums jazz was just what I like, and he threw in some of his own compositions, which had a nice caustic edge, just like an old philosophy major might do. Jump to January, when he played at a library, in West Bloomfield. Nobody shushed, and the same wonderful stuff flowed forth. I took Kathy, and she was taken also. ‘Twas to be the last concert we would see in Michigan in 2020. I never paid a dime for any of his concerts, but I did mail him checks for some of his CDs.
Not to let his creative juices be stinted by the COVID lockdown, he instead turned himself to writing about it. Here’s the tune he produced, with a message for us all:
I sent this to my high school English teacher Mrs.Pharriss, who is keeping an e-scrapbook of things COVID. She loved the song and of course parked it in her scrapbook
I wrote him recently to thank him for telling me about a cassette of Michigan songs he had produced for the sequecentennial (1987), “Michigan in Song” https://www.discogs.com/Various-Michigan-In-Song-Traditional-And-Contemporary-Songs-Of-Michigan/release/11567551, available from the Michigan State museum shop 517-355-2370 https://www.museum.msu.edu/museum-store/. Although Ray produced it, it is decidedly folky rather than jazzy, and Ray appears on just one track. I asked him how his “hit” was doing, and he thought it probably wasn’t, citing one YouTuber’s comment “I hate this”, not sure if that meant the song or the situation. I offered he just needed to bring it to the attention of the right people, giving him Fauci’s e-mails: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com. Since his song promotes responsible behaviour, surely it should get wider play. Spread the word.