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I Love You Madly

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Album Review

The R&B duo Charlie & Ray never had a hit, but their "I Love You Madly" was on the cusp of charting nationally before a cover version by the Four Coins prevailed. I Love You Madly collects practically everything Charlie & Ray recorded for Herald Records in the mid-'50s, including the previously unreleased "Tag Along." The group's ebullient sound and harmony vocals, paired with good material and professional production values, add up to a spate of potential hits that were unaccountably spurned in the marketplace. A few cuts evince traces of rock & roll, and all of them sound racially ambiguous enough to have given the duo a chance on the pop charts. Charlie & Ray may be a marginal act as far as the R&B history books are concerned, but serious listeners who seek them out will be delighted by their music.


Genre: Dance

Charlie & Ray (they were always known only by their first names) are best known for one thing -- they were unabashedly gay, this at a time when it wasn't widely publicized what one's sexual orientation was. In 1955, Charlie & Ray's first hit, "I Love You Madly" for Herald Records, caused something of a minor sensation, but it wasn't until they recorded a solid up-tempo clarinet-driven rocker, "Dearest...
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I Love You Madly, Charlie & Ray
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