July 18, 2016:
THE 2016 RAY CONNIFF FAN CONVENTION: THE VIDEO A 73 min documentation of the event to celebrate “100 Years of Ray Conniff” is now available on a DVD (or if we get more than 3 orders on Blu-ray) [PAL]. Price: € 15.00 per copy (Blu-ray: € 25.00) Postage € 5.00 (international, air mail) Payment can be effected by PayPal (please use mthoenicke at web.de for money transfer) or by international money order.
July 30/31, 2016:
New subpage added: Ray Conniff Advertisements This subpage features a collection of full-page ads for Ray’s albums and singles. Some of them are of very low resolution. If you can provide better scans, please let me have them. Thank you! This ad was featured in “Record World”, Dec. 30, 1967, p. 57. Added July 31, 2016: Ads for recordings with other artists, backed by Ray Conniff
July 5, 2016:
The Souvenir CD Click on the screenshot of the cover on the left to find out what is on the CD produced for the attendants of the 2016 Ray Conniff Fan Convention in Hamburg. The booklet consists of 12 pages.
June 20, 2016:
Ray Conniff fans from 10 different nations gathered in Hamburg, Germany, from June 10 to 12, 2016, to honour the man whose music has been the soundtrack to their lives. Below please find some links to > Tamara’s message (you may also click on the screenshot on the right), > Perry’s message, and Manfred’s speech > Photographs by Irmgard, Steve, Clemens, Ingo, Christian, Claudine, Doug, Michael, Jorge, Frank. and Igor (Note: Igor’s photographs are also available as a slide show) > Fun pix contest (silent video) In a couple of days, you will find more links to photos taken during the convention, videos, speeches, messages,  and much more here. The weather was unbelievably wonderful, marvelous, and awful nice - and so was the get- together of fans and friends.
Released in January 2016: A 2 CD set titled “The Music of Ray Conniff”. It features 50 selections from ’S WONDERFUL (10), the complete MEMORIES ARE MADE OF THIS-album, the complete BROADWAY IN RHYTHM-album, CONCERT IN RHYTHM (5), ’S MARVELOUS (10), and “Midnight Lace, Part 1”, from HAPPINESS IS: Disc # 1:'s Wonderful / Memories Are Made Of This / Dancing In The Dark / I Get A Kick Out Of You / Love Letters In The Sand / Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin' / September Song / Bali Ha'i / Three Coins In The Fountain / Rhapsody In Blue / In The Still Of The Night / The Surrey With The Fringe On Top / Hello, Young Lovers / Moonlight Serenade / Someone To Watch Over Me / Around The World / That Old Black Magic / The Way You Look Tonight / Theme From Romeo And Juliet / I'm An Old Cow Hand / I Hear A Rhapsody / On The Street Where You Live / You Do Something To Me / My Foolish Heart / Young Love Disc # 2: Midnight Lace, Part 1 / I'm Always Chasing Rainbows / Love Me Tender / Some Enchanted Evening / Tammy / Oklahoma! / Unchained Melody /  I Could Have Danced All Night & I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face / Begin The Beguine / No Other Love / People Will Say We're In Love / They Can't Take That Away From Me / Sentimental Journey / As Time Goes By / Sometimes I'm Happy / I've Told Every Little Star / Younger Than Springtime / A Wonderful Guy / Where Or When / Moments To Remember / Getting To Know You & I Whistle A Happy Tune / Stardust / Theme From Grand Canyon Suite /  Only You / Early Evening
This website incorporates many pages of Doug Mitchell’s official Ray Conniff Page (www.rayconniff.info), such as the list of original albums, compilations, Ray’s biography etc. In order to get back from Doug’s pages to this website, please use the BACK button of your browser.
For last year’s news go to “Archived News 2015”. Thank you.
Total website visits since August 1, 2011:
LATEST UPDATES:
The Ray Conniff Encyclopedia (“The Collector’s Guide”): February 14, 2017 (size now ca. 12 MB) Posters: January 17, 2017 mp3 Downloads: [original albums with new artwork]: February 15, 2017 [compilations]: February 11, 2017 [2 on 1]: November 18, 2016 [original albums with original artwork]: September 3, 2016 Multiple CD sets: November 25, 2016
December 27, 2015 / January 7, 2016:
2016 is the year during which we’ll celebrate 100 Years of Ray Conniff! Fans will get together from Friday, June 10 to Sunday, June 12, 2016 in Hamburg, Germany. Details: For a schedule of events and further details, please click here! A picture with some of the sights of Hamburg As for accommodation* please click here. *We made reservations with a centrally located hotel near the central station, a few steps away from the shopping arcades and Lake Alster. You can book your room without any risk. Cancellations can be made until April 15, 2016 free of charge. After that date all rooms not booked will become available at regular prices. If you attend the convention, please let me know so that we can make reservations for the right amount of people at restaurants, conference rooms etc. Thank you!
“Ray Conniff can perfectly perform magic with melodies, rhythms and sounds of human voices, it's incredible. For me he is just as awesome as the man who invented the phonograph record.” - Leonard Bernstein (Source: The liner notes of a Czech compilation album)
Belt buckle, Sterling silver (1964)
Musicians born in 1916 (such as Jackie Gleason and Perez Prado) will be honoured in a radio special on May 2, 2016 on WDR 4 (Germany), from 9:05 to 10pm. “Spielplatz” is advertised online with a picture of Ray. Click here or on the scan on the right for more details.
April 6, 2016:
THE RAY CONNIFF CONNECTION on Angel Radio (http://angelradio.co.uk/) Les Peckham (of the Guy Mitchell Appreciation Society) recorded 30 X half hour programmes which he titled "The Conniff Connection".  The programmes start tomorrow, Sunday, 22nd May at 1.30pm (2.30 in Germany) and repeated on May 21, 2016: THE RAY CONNIFF CONNECTION on Angel Radio (http://angelradio.co.uk/) Les Peckham (of the Guy Mitchell Appreciation Society) recorded 30 X half hour programmes which he titled "The Conniff Connection". The programmes feature recordings by Ray Conniff  including tracks from 1939-52 with the big bands, recordings from the mid 1950s when he was backing the singing stars on Columbia Records, and, of course, plenty of tracks by the Orchestra and Chorus / Singers. The programmes start tomorrow, Sunday, 22nd May at 1.30pm (2.30 in Germany) and repeated on Thursday 26th May at 11.30am (12.30pm in Germany).
May 21, 2016:
June 15/16/17/19/20/21/28/ July 4, 2016:
Friday Music, in conjunction with Sony Music Entertainment, are to release on 180 Gram Audiophile WHITE Vinyl  “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” on October 14, 2016. POSTPONED UNTIL DECEMBER 2! (Germany: December 16, 2016) The album cover will be a gatefold cover with two rare photos of Ray, plus a suitable for framing insert will also be a part of the exclusive vinyl release. Currently, the price stated at amazon.com is US $ 31.98.
June 22, 2016 / October 15 / November 30, 2016:
EILEEN RODGERS: MIRACLE OF LOVE Eileen Rodgers might be called 'The Star Who Never Was'. She burst on the national scene in 1955 with a long string of singles and acclaimed musical comedy performances on the stage, but in seven quick years her recording career was over. She nevertheless made such an impact, that she is still remembered today as one of the great vocalists of all time. Includes 19 tracks backed by Ray Conniff (all on disc #1). Notes: Six of these have never been released on CD before. Two recordings with Ray Conniff, “Say It from Your Heart” and “A Bottomless Cup” still remain unreleased. This excellent issue by Jasmine is a complete collection of her singles, many of which have not been heard since their original release plus highlights from her acclaimed cast recordings in Fiorello, Tenderloin and Anything Goes. Eileen Rodgers never became the superstar she should have been, but her distinctive sound continues to attract new listeners, and her fans have steadily increased through the years and hopefully she will never be forgotten. (2 CD set to be released on August 26, 2016; July 8, 2016, if you order from Jasmine Records  directly.)
August 14, 2016:
Back by popular demand: Ray Conniff tribute concert delights Capron Park crowd in Attleboro Click on the photo on the left for the complete article which appeared in The Sun Chronicle on July 17.
Found on the Real Attleboro High School Alumni Association Facebook page: Ray’s first composition, “Parting” for the class of 1934, and a short bio. Click on the scans for enlargement. Thanks to Doug for locating these items!
September 7, 2016:
To be released November 4 (USA) / 11 (UK), 2016: THE COMPLETE COLUMBIA CHRISTMAS RECORDINGS This 2 CD set must have been compiled by a real Ray Conniff fan and collector, who knew that there was a fourth Christmas album by Ray, not on the Columbia label. The set is advertised as follows: Ray Conniff sold more records than any other arranger/conductor in the history of pop music. So it’s no surprise that his three Christmas albums were smash hits, charting a total of 16 times between them. Leading off was 1959’s Christmas with Conniff, which went to #14 on the charts, the first of five chart appearances; then came 1962’s We Wish You a Merry Christmas, which went to #15 for the first of its eight turns atop the charts; and, finally, 1965’s Here We Come A-Caroling, which also went to #15 atop the Christmas charts for the first of its three appearances. Now, Real Gone Music  has put together all three of these albums—plus a bonus track, Conniff’s 1965 version of “My Favorite Things”—into a bargain-priced 2-CD set comprising every Christmas track Ray recorded during his historic run at Columbia Records. The 31-track collection includes photos from the Columbia vaults, new liner notes by Joe Marchese, and a fresh remastering at Sony’s Battery Studios in New York. Some of the most beloved holiday recordings of all time all in one place, presented with panache!
As many of you may know, Alan Bunting sadly passed away earlier this year. This is to let you know that Tony Clayden (49 Alexandra Road, Well End, BOREHAMWOOD – Hertfordshire, WD6 5PB, ENGLAND (Tel.: +44 20 8449 5559; email: tony “at” clayden.org.uk) has just purchased Alan Bunting’s entire collection of records and CDs. It comprises a total of several thousand items. Included are a large number of Ray Conniff LP albums and CDs and also hundreds more from the orchestras of Percy Faith, David Rose, David Carroll and many others. Tony would welcome enquiries from serious collectors. This would be a very good opportunity to acquire some excellent material at sensible prices.
October 1, 2016:
A new radio show by Jim Stone to celebrate Ray’s 100th birthday on November 6! In 2002, Jim Stone produced a three part tribute to Ray on the radio, featuring Jay Meyer, Perry La Marca, Doug Mitchell, Ron Hicklin, and the man himself. The interview with Ray was taped in Palm Springs on September 7, 2002, only two months before he passed away. Jorge Carpes visualised the shows, and made them available for the fans (click here for part 1). Jim complimented Jorge on his efforts. Today, Jim sent another message to Jorge that you might be interested in. He wrote; Jorge, I wanted to let you know that on the dates of November 6 and 10, I am running a birthday special about Ray Conniff on my show. This will be on the internet at http://whjzdb.net:8002/stream/2/ at 6pm Eastern time on November 6 and 9pm Eastern time on November 10. The special will be on during the first hour of the show. I know it's been a long time since we talked so I hope you are well and receive this message. Please pass the info to anyone you care to. Also during the program I mention your YouTube production of my Ray Conniff show several times. You did some a beautiful, professional job putting it together and you are to be congratulated for doing the video side of the production. Jim Stone
October 2, 2016:
For their "Vintage Vinyl Show", BBC Radio Tees have chosen Ray Conniff as their "Artist of the Month" for the month of November. This means that on each Sunday afternoon, between 6th and 27th November, four tracks of Ray Conniff's music (16 in all) will be played. The programme, presented by Colin Bunyon, is a request show and can be found at www.bbc.co.uk/tees. Thanks for this information, Brian!
In order to commemorate Ray Conniff’s 100th birthday, German radio station WDR 4 broadcast a special on October 31 from 9:05 to 10 pm central European time in their series “Spielplatz”. For last night’s show, Suitbert Kempkes chose the following songs:THE CONTINENTAL / STARDUST / ‘S WONDERFUL (Artie Shaw Band) / STEEL GUITAR ROCK / I’M ALWYS CHASING RAINBOWS (instrumental version) / ROSE ROOM / MY OLD FLAME / LOVE WALKED IN / YOU’RE THE CREAM IN MY COFFEE / WHAT A DIFF’RENCE A DAY MADE / SING / HARMONY / IT MIGHT AS WELL BE SPRING / CLAIR / WITH EVERY BEAT OF MY HEART / LOW DOWN / DELILAH
October 14 / November 1, 2016:
Nov. 2/13/14, 2016:
Great news for aficionados of Ray Conniff’s quadraphonic recordings: The British VOCALION label will release Ray Conniff’s albums “Love Will Keep Us Together” and “Laughter in the Rain” on one super audio (SACD) disc. The catalogue number is CDLK4602. According to German sellers jpc.de the release date is scheduled for November 21. Many DVD and CD players made by Sony, Denon or Pioneer can read SACDs so that four different channels can be reproduced on home cinema systems. For stereo reproduction this hybrid CD plays on all conventional players.
This is how THE Internet radio station HUMBOLDT 101 celebrates Ray’s 100th birthday. Click on the logo on the left to get to their website, from where you can download the Humboldt 101 App. HUMBOLDT 101 is celebrating Ray's 100th birthdate with a rare concert from 1999. Seamlessly edited from the original audio recording. Airs Thursday, November 3 at 7:00 p.m. PT and Sunday, November 6 at 7:00 a.m. (-7:00 GMT). Length: 1:30.
On November 6, 2016, Ray Conniff would have celebrated his 100th birthday. Time to honour one of the most successful and influential artists of the 20th century. His “Ray Conniff Sound” is remembered by many people who grew up in times when music still consisted of melodies. However, apart from being a sound wizard, he was also an arranger, composer, trombonist and even singer. He was most popular in the musical world across the globe in the 50s and 60s. He gained fame with his own orchestra with his rendition of Gershwin’s “’s Wonderful”, which was a recreation of an arrangement he had written for Artie Shaw, but this time voices, doubling with instruments, were added. This style became his trademark for a couple of years until The Ray Conniff Singers, singing words rather than syllables, became popular. Ray won a Grammy for their rendition of “Somewhere My Love”, Lara’s theme from “Dr. Zhivago” in 1967. However, his string of hits included other well- known arrangements and hits, such as “Besame Mucho”, “Brazil”, “Harmony”, “Cabaret”, “Mame”, “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”, “Invisible Tears”, “Happiness Is”, “On the Street Where You Live” and “Memories Are Made of This”. Whenever he is remembered in the musical world, people mention The Ray Conniff Sound first of all, as said before. However, I think his arranging talents and the right choice of rhythm/tempi should be given at least equal attention. It's probably the mix of all these elements that made him the most popular orchestra leader in the 50s/60s. His three minute pieces of art often used to have an introduction that corresponded with the ending, had surprising elements such as counter melodies and recurring patterns, solos – and (what was especially important to him) now and then a pause right in the middle of a song during which the acoustics of the studio were captured. In short, the aural environments Ray created were as important as his arrangements and choice of instrumental voicings. And these elements were combined to create his world famous and distinctive treatments, the "Conniff Sound", which people all over the world know so well. He was the first artist who introduced stereo sound and coloured lights to the concert stage in 1959. The technical equipment for his “Concert in Stereo” was groundbreaking. With it, he could recreate the sound people knew from his records. His musical education had a strong foundation. He was exposed to music at an early age and went through many different musical eras. Ray Conniff also widened my musical horizon, ranging from the American Songbook, to musicals, music from movies, Jazz, Country and even classical music. He influenced my life in more ways than he probably knew. Well, his music gave me the incentive to learn the English language, which my teachers at school could not achieve, and I made many wonderful friends all over the world who shared the same musical interests as me. My friend Lois Hollands ran the original Ray Conniff Club. After she passed away in the 70s, I took over her presidency and informed the members about Ray’s recordings, new releases, concert tours, etc. with a “Ray Conniff Newsletter”, which soon turned into a magazine, titled “’s Conniff”. (Click here for the downloads of some editions.) Today, I am the webmaster of this website and one of the moderators of the wonderful Facebook tribute page, “The Ray Conniff Legacy”, run by my friend Jorge Carpes from Brazil. To Ray Conniff, his fans were very important. He was a down-to-earth human being that you could touch and talk to. I met him first in 1968 when he visited Germany for talks and negotiations concerning his first tour outside the States, in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Since then, we met many times during his concerts, e.g. in the UK and Florida. Whenever I travelled the US, I spent a couple of days at his home. We discussed repertoire, he let me have access to his archives, diaries etc. – everything a fan could dream of. Well, Ray even cooked meals for my wife and me. His hospitality was unbelievable. The bi-annually held conventions to pay homage to this great artist and human being were always great events, and quite a few fans can count themselves lucky to have had both Ray’s wife Vera and his daughter Tamara as guests of honour. Looking back, I can say that I owe Ray a lot – not only the enjoyment through his music but also for enriching my life in many ways. Let’s all try to keep his memory and that of his immortal music alive! Thank you, Ray! Manfred Thönicke P.S.: I know I cannot list all the fans and friends who still keep the memory of Ray’s music alive and I would do the others injustice if I didn’t list their names, but I feel I must mention these wonderful people: Doug Mitchell, Serge Elhaik, Clemens Krauss, Ingo Stein, Jorge Carpes, Jorge Iório, Igor Karpov, Len Morris, Warren Pischke, Mike Leach, Claudine Deman, Len Morris, Ken Conlin, Jeanette Parks and Bernd Eckhardt, who all have been ardent followers and contributors.
Articles about Ray featured in US newspapers: THE WALL STREET JOURNAL (Nov. 9): “Powerful Easy Listening - A Look at the Impact of Ray Conniff 100 Years after his Birth” by Jerry Cianciolo and  THE BOSTON GLOBE (Nov. 4): “Celebrating the Centenary of two Band Leaders- Smooth and Sharp” by Matthew Guerrieri (about Ray Conniff and Billy May)
Yesterday, I received my copy of “THE COMPLETE COLUMBIA CHRISTMAS RECORDINGS”. If you would like to read my review (including Doug’s views as well), please click here.
November 11, 2016:
November 18, 2016:
For Ray Conniff’s complete Columbia Christmas GREETINGS click on the numbers / link below: 1 2 3 4 5 6
Left: This is one of the rare photographs by Ray featured in the 2 CD set “The Complete Columbia Christmas Albums”, released November 4, 2016. Bonus tracks: “My Favorite Things” from the Mary Poppins album plus one Christmas greeting by Ray (which is track No. 14 on CD #2, not documented in the list of tracks). The liner notes are great, well- researched. My Ray Conniff Encyclopedia must have been one of the sources of information. It would have been nice if that had been stated somewhere. For a full review please go to entry of November 18. For more details see entry re September 7 below.
December 6, 2016:
The “Super Audio Compact Disc” (SA-CD, DSD audio format) released on the Vocalion label exceeds my expectations! All tracks were taken from the original tapes, licensed by Sony. The channel separation is superb. I heard voices and instruments, especially in the rear channels, I had never heard before. I did have both albums on multi-channel CDs (DTS format), but they featured 4.0 sound only like the original releases. Besides, for “Love Will Keep Us Together” the source of my DTS disc was a Quad LP, because a Quad 8-track cartridge was never released. This super audio CD has 5.1 sound, which also makes your subwoofer of your home theatre system work. Excellent! And so are the liner notes by Tony Clayden, which give evidence of profound research on Ray and his career. Don’t complain about missing liner notes from the original album releases, because there weren’t any. The price is moderate. The disc can be played on all conventional CD players, and also features the stereo versions of both albums in fine quality. I hope the sales will be strong enough to encourage Vocalion to release more of Ray’s Quadraphonic albums, such as “The Happy Sound” and “TV Themes”. Write to them! Their home page is http://www.duttonvocalion.co.uk/ 
New: Christmas greetings from Ray during a programme for the US Army Reserve
December 26, 2016:
Some people were lucky and received a copy of the 180 gram white vinyl Lp of WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS  in time for Christmas 2016. Its release was scheduled for 2015, but postponed a couple of times. Interestingly, it is not listed on the website of Friday Music any longer, which could mean that all copies of this limited edition have already been sold. Anyway, here are scans of the Lp, its gatefold cover and the pictures.
CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF RAY CONNIFF on November 6, 2016
On Sunday, November 6, Humboldt 101 plays nothing but music by Ray! Thank you, Ken! Click on any of the photographs above to start a slide show.
WISHING ALL RAY CONNIFF FANS AROUND THE GLOBE A HAPPY, HEALTHY AND PEACEFUL 2017!
NEWS ARCHIVE 2016:
Click the album cover for HAPPINESS! (Thanks to Jorge Carpes for this clip.)
January 8, 2017:
It is with sadness that I have to inform you that on New Year’s Day, one of Ray’s most ardent fans, my dear friend Michael Leach passed away. He was listening to Ray Conniff's '20 Greatest Hits' at the time. His health had deteriorated rapidly in the past weeks and, after a short period in hospital, he returned home for 'end of life care'.  It was a great comfort to his family that he was able to spend his final hours in his own bed with members of the family at his side. Michael attended many of Ray’s concerts and also his 80th birthday party in Hollywood. He once showed him around in Stratford-Upon-Avon. In order to pay homage to this wonderful person, I reproduced his report of his trip to Brazil in 1998 as featured in “’s Conniff #4/1998”. Mike will be sadly missed.
November 5, 2016:
January 23, 2017:
HARD TO FIND JUKEBOX CLASSICS: THE 50s features 31 tracks in true STEREO. Conniff aficionados will be delighted to find three of the backings Ray did for Johnny Mathis on this CD: WONDERFUL! WONDERFUL! IT’S NOT FOR ME TO SAY THE TWELFTH OF NEVER
February 14, 2017:
The Ray Conniff Encoclypedia revised: The Big Band Years, part 1: composers and more details added. If you find an entry saying “composer unknown” and can provide details, please contact me. Thank you!
’S WONDERFUL! The Ray Conniff Page  
Released in January 2016: A 2 CD set titled “The Music of Ray Conniff”. It features 50 selections from ’S WONDERFUL (10), the complete MEMORIES ARE MADE OF THIS-album, the complete BROADWAY IN RHYTHM-album, CONCERT IN RHYTHM (5), ’S MARVELOUS (10), and “Midnight Lace, Part 1”, from HAPPINESS IS: Disc # 1:'s Wonderful / Memories Are Made Of This / Dancing In The Dark / I Get A Kick Out Of You / Love Letters In The Sand / Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin' / September Song / Bali Ha'i / Three Coins In The Fountain / Rhapsody In Blue / In The Still Of The Night / The Surrey With The Fringe On Top / Hello, Young Lovers / Moonlight Serenade / Someone To Watch Over Me / Around The World / That Old Black Magic / The Way You Look Tonight / Theme From Romeo And Juliet / I'm An Old Cow Hand / I Hear A Rhapsody / On The Street Where You Live / You Do Something To Me / My Foolish Heart / Young Love Disc # 2: Midnight Lace, Part 1 / I'm Always Chasing Rainbows / Love Me Tender / Some Enchanted Evening / Tammy / Oklahoma! / Unchained Melody /  I Could Have Danced All Night & I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face / Begin The Beguine / No Other Love / People Will Say We're In Love / They Can't Take That Away From Me / Sentimental Journey / As Time Goes By / Sometimes I'm Happy / I've Told Every Little Star / Younger Than Springtime / A Wonderful Guy / Where Or When / Moments To Remember / Getting To Know You & I Whistle A Happy Tune / Stardust / Theme From Grand Canyon Suite /  Only You / Early Evening
This website incorporates many pages of Doug Mitchell’s official Ray Conniff Page (www.rayconniff.info), such as the list of original albums, compilations, Ray’s biography etc. In order to get back from Doug’s pages to this website, please use the BACK button of your browser.
For last year’s news go to “Archived News 2015”. Thank you.
LATEST UPDATES:
mp3 Downloads: [compilations]: Feb. 11, 2017, [original albums with new artwork]: Feb. 15, 2017; [original albums with original artwork]: September 3, 2016 Posters: January 17, 2017 The Ray Conniff Encyclopedia (formerly titled “The Collector’s Guide”): February 14, 2017 (size now ca. 12MB)  Multiple CD sets: November 25, 2016
2016 is the year during which we’ll celebrate 100 Years of Ray Conniff! Fans will get together from Friday, June 10 to Sunday, June 12, 2016 in Hamburg, Germany. Details: For a schedule of events and further details, please click here! A picture with some of the sights of Hamburg | As for accommodation* please click here. *We made reservations with a centrally located hotel near the central station, a few steps away from the shopping arcades and Lake Alster. You can book your room without any risk. Cancellations can be made until April 15, 2016 free of charge. After that date all rooms not booked will become available at regular prices. If you attend the convention, please let me know so that we can make reservations for the right amount of people at restaurants, conference rooms etc. Thank you!
Total website visits since August 1, 2011:
Musicians born in 1916 (such as Jackie Gleason and Perez Prado) will be honoured in a radio special on May 2, 2016 on WDR 4 (Germany), from 9:05 to 10pm. “Spielplatz” is advertised online with a picture of Ray. Click here or on the scan above for more details.
THE RAY CONNIFF CONNECTION on Angel Radio (http://angelradio.co.uk/) Les Peckham (of the Guy Mitchell Appreciation Society) recorded 30 X half hour programmes which he titled "The Conniff Connection".  The programmes feature recordings by Ray Conniff  including tracks from 1939-52 with the big bands, recordings from the mid 1950s when he was backing the singing stars on Columbia Records, and, of course, plenty of tracks by the Orchestra and Chorus / Singers. The programmes start tomorrow, Sunday, 22nd May at 1.30pm (2.30 in Germany) and repeated on Thursday 26th May at 11.30am (12.30pm in Germany).
Ray Conniff fans from 10 different nations gathered in Hamburg, Germany, from June 10 to 12, 2016, to honour the man whose music has been the soundtrack to their lives. Below please find some links to Tamara’s message  (you may also click on the screenshot on the right), Perry’s message, and Manfred’s speech | Photographs by Irmgard, Steve, Clemens, Ingo, Christian, Claudine, Doug, Michael, Jorge, Frank. and Igor (his photographs are also available as a slide show.) Fun pix contest (silent video) In a couple of days, you will find more links to photos taken during the convention, videos, speeches, messages, and much more here. The weather was unbelievably wonderful, marvelous, and awful nice - and so was the get-together of fans and friends.
June 20, 2016: The Souvenir CD Click on the screenshot of the cover on the left to find out what is on the CD produced for the attendants of the 2016 Ray Conniff Fan Convention in Hamburg. The booklet consists of 12 pages.
June 22, 2016: Friday Music, in conjunction with Sony Music Entertainment, are to release on 180 Gram Audiophile WHITE Vinyl  “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” on October 14, 2016. The album cover will be a gatefold cover with two rare photos of Ray, plus a suitable for framing insert will also be a part of the exclusive vinyl release. Currently, the price stated at amazon.com is US $ 31.98. October 15, 2016: POSTPONED UNTIL DECEMBER 2!
July 5, 2016: EILEEN RODGERS: MIRACLE OF LOVE Eileen Rodgers might be called 'The Star Who Never Was'. She burst on the national scene in 1955 with a long string of singles and acclaimed musical comedy performances on the stage, but in seven quick years her recording career was over. She nevertheless made such an impact, that she is still remembered today as one of the great vocalists of all time. Includes 19 tracks backed by Ray Conniff (all on disc #1). Notes: Six of these have never been released on CD: Two recordings with Ray Conniff, “Say It from Your Heart” and “A Bottomless Cup” still remain unreleased. This excellent issue by Jasmine is a complete collection of her singles, many of which have not been heard since their original release plus highlights from her acclaimed cast recordings in Fiorello, Tenderloin and Anything Goes. Eileen Rodgers never became the superstar she should have been, but her distinctive sound continues to attract new listeners, and her fans have steadily increased through the years and hopefully she will never be forgotten. (2 CD set to be released on August 26, 2016; July 8, 2016, if you order from Jasmine Records directly.)
July 18, 2016: THE 2016 RAY CONNIFF FAN CONVENTION: THE VIDEO A 73 min documentation of the event to celebrate “100 Years of Ray Conniff” is now available on a DVD (or if we get more than 3 orders on Blu-ray). Price: € 15.00 per copy (Blu-ray: € 25.00) Postage € 5.00 (international, air mail) Payment can be effected by PayPal (please use mthoenicke at web.de for money transfer) or by international money order.
July 30/31, 2016: New subpage added: Ray Conniff Advertisements This subpage features a collection of full-page ads for Ray’s albums and singles. Some of them are of very low resolution. If you can provide better scans, please let me have them. Thank you! This ad was featured in “Record World”, Dec. 30, 1967, p. 57.
August 14, 2016: Back by popular demand: Ray Conniff tribute concert delights Capron Park crowd in Attleboro Click on the photo on the left for the complete article which appeared in The Sun Chronicle on July 17.
Found on the Real Attleboro High School Alumni Association Facebook page: Ray’s first composition, “Parting” for the class of 1934, and a short bio. Click on the scans for enlargement. Thanks to Doug for locating these items!
Mobile/cell phone users please go to http://mthoenicke.magix.net/public/conniff/index.htm, rathe than www.rayconniff.com, if links do not work .
To be released November 4 (USA) / 11 (UK), 2016: THE COMPLETE COLUMBIA CHRISTMAS RECORDINGS This 2 CD set must have been compiled by a real Ray Conniff fan and collector, who knew that there was a fourth Christmas album by Ray, not on the Columbia label. The set is advertised as follows: Ray Conniff sold more records than any other arranger/conductor in the history of pop music. So it’s no surprise that his three Christmas albums were smash hits, charting a total of 16 times between them. Leading off was 1959’s Christmas with Conniff, which went to #14 on the charts, the first of five chart appearances; then came 1962’s We Wish You a Merry Christmas, which went to #15 for the first of its eight turns atop the charts; and, finally, 1965’s Here We Come A-Caroling, which also went to #15 atop the Christmas charts for the first of its three appearances. Now, Real Gone Music has put together all three of these albums—plus a bonus track, Conniff’s 1965 version of “My Favorite Things”—into a bargain-priced 2-CD set comprising every Christmas track Ray recorded during his historic run at Columbia Records. The 31-track collection includes photos from the Columbia vaults, new liner notes by Joe Marchese, and a fresh remastering at Sony’s Battery Studios in New York. Some of the most beloved holiday recordings of all time all in one place, presented with panache!
As many of you may know, Alan Bunting sadly passed away earlier this year. This is to let you know that Tony Clayden (49 Alexandra Road, Well End, BOREHAMWOOD – Hertfordshire, WD6 5PB, ENGLAND (Tel.: +44 20 8449 5559; email: tony “at” clayden.org.uk) has just purchased Alan Bunting’s entire collection of records and CDs. It comprises a total of several thousand items. Included are a large number of Ray Conniff LP albums and CDs and also hundreds more from the orchestras of Percy Faith, David Rose, David Carroll and many others. Tony would welcome enquiries from serious collectors. This would be a very good opportunity to acquire some excellent material at sensible prices.
October 1, 2016: A new radio show by Jim Stone to celebrate Ray’s 100th birthday on November 6! In 2002, Jim Stone produced a three part tribute to Ray on the radio, featuring Jay Meyer, Perry La Marca, Doug Mitchell, Ron Hicklin, and the man himself. The interview with Ray was taped in Palm Springs on September 7, 2002, only two months before he passed away. Jorge Carpes visualised the shows, and made them available for the fans (click here for part 1). Jim complimented Jorge on his efforts. Today, Jim sent another message to Jorge that you might be interested in. He wrote; Jorge, I wanted to let you know that on the dates of November 6 and 10, I am running a birthday special about Ray Conniff on my show. This will be on the internet at http://whjzdb.net:8002/stream/2/ at 6pm Eastern time on November 6 and 9pm Eastern time on November 10. The special will be on during the first hour of the show. I know it's been a long time since we talked so I hope you are well and receive this message. Please pass the info to anyone you care to. Also during the program I mention your YouTube production of my Ray Conniff show several times. You did some a beautiful, professional job putting it together and you are to be congratulated for doing the video side of the production. Jim Stone
For their "Vintage Vinyl Show", BBC Radio Tees have chosen Ray Conniff as their "Artist of the Month" for the month of November. This means that on each Sunday afternoon, between 6th and 27th November, four tracks of Ray Conniff's music (16 in all) will be played. The programme, presented by Colin Bunyon, is a request show and can be found at www.bbc.co.uk/tees. Thanks for this information, Brian!
October 15 / Nov. 1, 2016: In order to commemorate Ray Conniff’s 100th birthday, German radio station WDR 4 broadcast a special on October 31 from 9:05 to 10 pm central European time in their series “Spielplatz”. For last night’s show, Suitbert Kempkes chose the following songs:THE CONTINENTAL / STARDUST / ‘S WONDERFUL (Artie Shaw Band) / STEEL GUITAR ROCK / I’M ALWYS CHASING RAINBOWS (instrumental version) / ROSE ROOM / MY OLD FLAME / LOVE WALKED IN / YOU’RE THE CREAM IN MY COFFEE / WHAT A DIFF’RENCE A DAY MADE / SING / HARMONY / IT MIGHT AS WELL BE SPRING / CLAIR / WITH EVERY BEAT OF MY HEART / LOW DOWN / DELILAH
Nov. 2/13, 2016: Great news for aficionados of Ray Conniff’s quadraphonic recordings: The British VOCALION label will release Ray Conniff’s albums “Love Will Keep Us Together” and “Laughter in the Rain” on one super audio (SACD) disc. According to German sellers jpc.de the release date is scheduled for November 21.   The catalogue number is CDLK4602. Many DVD and CD players made by Sony, Denon or Pioneer can read SACDs so that four different channels can be reproduced on home cinema systems. For stereo reproduction this hybrid CD plays on all conventional players.
This is how THE Internet radio station HUMBOLDT 101 celebrates Ray’s 100th birthday week. Click on their logo to get to their website, from where you can download the Humboldt 101 App. HUMBOLDT 101 is celebrating Ray's 100th birthdate with a rare concert from 1999. Seamlessly edited from the original audio recording. Airs Thursday, November 3 at 7:00 p.m. PT and Sunday, November 6 at 7:00 a.m. (-7:00 GMT). Length: 1:30.
On November 6, 2016, Ray Conniff would have celebrated his 100th birthday. Time to honour one of the most successful and influential artists of the 20th century. His “Ray Conniff Sound” is remembered by many people who grew up in times when music still consisted of melodies. However, apart from being a sound wizard, he was also an arranger, composer, trombonist and even singer. He was most popular in the musical world across the globe in the 50s and 60s. He gained fame with his own orchestra with his rendition of Gershwin’s “’s Wonderful”, which was a recreation of an arrangement he had written for Artie Shaw, but this time voices, doubling with instruments, were added. This style became his trademark for a couple of years until The Ray Conniff Singers, singing words rather than syllables, became popular. Ray won a Grammy for their rendition of “Somewhere My Love”, Lara’s theme from “Dr. Zhivago” in 1967. However, his string of hits included other well-known arrangements and hits, such as “Besame Mucho”, “Brazil”, “Harmony”, “Cabaret”, “Mame”, “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”, “Invisible Tears”, “Happiness Is”, “On the Street Where You Live” and “Memories Are Made of This”. Whenever he is remembered in the musical world, people mention The Ray Conniff Sound first of all, as said before. However, I think his arranging talents and the right choice of rhythm/tempi should be given at least equal attention. It's probably the mix of all these elements that made him the most popular orchestra leader in the 50s/60s. His three minute pieces of art often used to have an introduction that corresponded with the ending, had surprising elements such as counter melodies and recurring patterns, solos – and (what was especially important to him) now and then a pause right in the middle of a song during which the acoustics of the studio were captured. In short, the aural environments Ray created were as important as his arrangements and choice of instrumental voicings. And these elements were combined to create his world famous and distinctive treatments, the "Conniff Sound", which people all over the world know so well. He was the first artist who introduced stereo sound and coloured lights to the concert stage in 1959. The technical equipment for his “Concert in Stereo” was groundbreaking. With it, he could recreate the sound people knew from his records. His musical education had a strong foundation. He was exposed to music at an early age and went through many different musical eras. Ray Conniff also widened my musical horizon, ranging from the American Songbook, to musicals, music from movies, Jazz, Country and even classical music. He influenced my life in more ways than he probably knew. Well, his music gave me the incentive to learn the English language, which my teachers at school could not achieve, and I made many wonderful friends all over the world who shared the same musical interests as me. My friend Lois Hollands ran the original Ray Conniff Club. After she passed away in the 70s, I took over her presidency and informed the members about Ray’s recordings, new releases, concert tours, etc. with a “Ray Conniff Newsletter”, which soon turned into a magazine, titled “’s Conniff”. (Click here for the downloads of some editions.) Today, I am the webmaster of this website and one of the moderators of the wonderful Facebook tribute page, “The Ray Conniff Legacy”, run by my friend Jorge Carpes from Brazil. To Ray Conniff, his fans were very important. He was a down-to-earth human being that you could touch and talk to. I met him first in 1968 when he visited Germany for talks and negotiations concerning his first tour outside the States, in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Since then, we met many times during his concerts, e.g. in the UK and Florida. Whenever I travelled the US, I spent a couple of days at his home. We discussed repertoire, he let me have access to his archives, diaries etc. – everything a fan could dream of. Well, Ray even cooked meals for my wife and me. His hospitality was unbelievable. The bi-annually held conventions to pay homage to this great artist and human being were always great events, and quite a few fans can count themselves lucky to have had both Ray’s wife Vera and his daughter Tamara as guests of honour. Looking back, I can say that I owe Ray a lot – not only the enjoyment through his music but also for enriching my life in many ways. Let’s all try to keep his memory and that of his immortal music alive! Thank you, Ray! Manfred Thönicke P.S.: I know I cannot list all the fans and friends who still keep the memory of Ray’s music alive and I would do the others injustice if I didn’t list their names, but I feel I must mention these wonderful people: Doug Mitchell, Serge Elhaik, Clemens Krauss, Ingo Stein, Jorge Carpes, Jorge Iório, Igor Karpov, Len Morris, Warren Pischke, Mike Leach, Claudine Deman, Jeanette Parks, Len Morris, Ken Conlin  and Bernd Eckhardt, who all have been ardent followers and contributors.
CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF RAY CONNIFF on November 6, 2016
Above: This is one of the rare photographs by Ray featured in the 2 CD set “The Complete Columbia Christmas Albums”, released November 4, 2016. Bonus tracks: “My Favorite Things” from the Mary Poppins album plus one Christmas greeting by Ray (which is track No. 14 on CD #2, not documented in the list of tracks). The liner notes are great, well-researched. My Ray Conniff Encyclopedia must have been one of the sources of information. It would have been nice if that had been stated somewhere. A full review will follow soon. For details see entry re September 7 below.
November 11, 2016: Articles about Ray featured in US newspapers: THE WALL STREET JOURNAL (Nov. 9): “Powerful Easy Listening - A Look at the Impact of Ray Conniff 100 Years after his Birth” by Jerry Cianciolo and  THE BOSTON GLOBE (Nov. 4): “Celebrating the Centenary of two Band Leaders- Smooth and Sharp” by Matthew Guerrieri (about Ray Conniff and Billy May)
On November 17 I received my copy of “THE COMPLETE COLUMBIA CHRISTMAS RECORDINGS”. If you would like to read my review (including Doug’s views as well), please click here.
For Ray Conniff’s complete Columbia Christmas GREETINGS click on the six numbers below: 1 2 3 4 5 6
December 6, 2016: The “Super Audio Compact Disc” (SA-CD) released on the Vocalion label exceeds my expectations! All tracks were taken from the original tapes, licensed by Sony. The channel separation is superb. I heard voices and instruments, especially in the rear channels, I had never heard before. I did have both albums on multi-channel CDs (DTS format), but they featured 4.0 sound only like the original releases. Besides, for “Love Will Keep Us Together” the source of my DTS disc was a Quad LP, because a Quad 8-track cartridge was never released. This super audio CD has 5.1 sound, which also makes your subwoofer of your home theatre system work. Excellent! And so are the liner notes by Tony Clayden, which give evidence of profound research on Ray and his career. Don’t complain about missing liner notes from the original album releases, because there weren’t any. The price is moderate. The disc can be played on all conventional CD players, and also features the stereo versions of both albums in fine quality. I hope the sales will be strong enough to encourage Vocalion to release more of Ray’s Quadraphonic albums, such as “The Happy Sound” and “TV Themes”. Write to them! Their home page is http://www.duttonvocalion.co.uk/ 
New: Christmas greetings from Ray during a programme for the US Army Reserve
December 26, 2016: Some people were lucky and received a copy of the 180 gram white vinyl Lp of WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS in time for Christmas 2016. Its release was scheduled for 2015, but postponed a couple of times. Interestingly, it is not listed on the website of Friday Music any longer, which could mean that all copies of this limited edition have already been sold. Anyway, here are scans of the Lp, its gatefold cover and the pictures.
Jan. 8, 2017: It is with sadness that I have to inform you that on New Year’s Day, one of Ray’s most ardent fans, my dear friend Michael Leach passed away. He was listening to Ray Conniff's '20 Greatest Hits' at the time. His health had deteriorated rapidly in the past weeks and, after a short period in hospital, he returned home for 'end of life care'.  It was a great comfort to his family that he was able to spend his final hours in his own bed with members of the family at his side. Michael attended many of Ray’s concerts and also his 80th birthday party in Hollywood. He once showed him around in Stratford-Upon-Avon.In order to pay homage to this wonderful person, I reproduced his report of his trip to Brazil in 1998 as featured in “’s Conniff #4/1998”. Mike will be sadly missed.
NEWS ARCHIVE 2016:
HARD TO FIND JUKEBOX CLASSICS: THE 50s features 31 tracks in true STEREO. Conniff aficionados will be delighted to find three of the backings Ray did for Johnny Mathis on this CD: WONDERFUL! WONDERFUL! IT’S NOT FOR ME TO SAY THE TWELFTH OF NEVER (Item added January 23, 2017)
February 14, 2017: The Ray Conniff Encoclypedia revised: The Big Band Years, part 1: composers and more details added. If you find an entry saying “composer unknown” and can provide details, please contact me. Thank you!
’S WONDERFUL! The Ray Conniff Page