Label: RCA - SF 5028 • Series: Living Stereo • Format: Vinyl LP, Album, Stereo • Country: UK • Genre: Jazz • Style: Big Band
McKinley got his start at age 9 working with local bands in the Dallas—Fort Worth area. His first substantial professional engagement came in with the Dorsey Brothers' Orchestra. The two formed a friendship that lasted from until Miller's death in McKinley and Miller joined the Dorsey Brothers in The Dorsey brothers split in with McKinley remaining with Jimmy Dorsey untilwhen he joined Will Bradleybecoming co-leader.
McKinley's biggest hit with Bradley, as a singer, was " Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar ", which he recorded early in the year and for which he got partial songwriting credit under his wife's maiden name Eleanore Sheehy. This was the earliest recording of the song, which was written specifically for Bradley's band by Don Raye. The McKinley band was short-lived. Upon being discharged at the end of the following year, McKinley formed a modern big band that featured a book of original material by legendary arranger Eddie Sauter along with a helping of novelty vocals by the leader.
Sam Buteralater of the back-up band for Louis Prima was also a member. Incapitalizing on the popularity of The Glenn Miller Story movie with James Stewart, McKinley was chosen to be the leader of the revived Glenn Miller Orchestra that still exists as ofIm Thrilled - The New Glenn Miller Orchestra Directed By Ray McKinley - The New Glenn Miller Orches he led until Ray McKinley's last recording session was in for Chiaroscuro Records.
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