ray parker jr*Fans will learn a few new things about Ray Parker Jr. as his story is revealed tonight on TV One’s “Unsung.”

Producer Michael Ajakwe collaborated with Parker on the upbeat and informative chronicle of the Detroit native who became an international superstar.  EURweb was invited to a private screening of Ray’s episode of “Unsung.”  It was well attended at a Hollywood studio lot with VIP’s such as singer Cheryl Lynn,  musician & producer,  Ollie Brown as well as guitarists Kevin Toney, Wa Wa Watson. Also  guitarist Phil Upchurch, whom Ray credited as being one of his greatest teachers, came out as well.   “UnSung” executives Mark Rowland, Jubba Seyyid and other TV One staffers were on hand for the star studded screening of the successful and now record breaking docu-series.  A panel discussion followed the screening and was moderated by veteran broadcaster Ron Brewington who fielded an array of spirited questions and comments from the delighted audience.

Tonight, Ray Parker followers will discover what song was stolen from him, recorded by another artist and went on to earn a Grammy.  Eventually the same producer who stole the Ray Parker song loses out to him in the selection of a Grammy seven years later.  We will learn how the theme to the movie “Ghostbusters” brought Ray to the highest and lowest point of his career.

“Unsung” relives the rise of Raydio (Ray Parker Jr.’s band) and  reveals some of the trade secrets behind Ray Parker’s hits “Jack and Jill,” “A Woman Needs Love” and “For Those Who Like To Groove.”  The  Motown influence is explained, as well as the impact of Clive Davis, David Foster and others from back on the block in the motor city or at the local night club “20 Grand.”   Ray even gives insight into his family and what to expect from his musically inclined children.

Ironically as the world is still in shock over the loss of Don Cornelius, The Ray Parker, Jr. story on Unsung is laced with frame after frame of classic performances on Soul Train, and even one from American Band Stand.

michael ajakwe & ray parker jr.

'Unsung' producer Michael Ajakwe and Ray Parker Jr. address audience at Raliegh Studios in Hollywood after screening of Parker's episode

In this EURweb exclusive audio, Ray is excited about his “Unsung” episode but disappointed that the one and only Lee Bailey was not holding the microphone.  Instead, he quickly warmed up to EURweb’s Jazzy Rita, as a substitute for Lee.

For those who do not read music credits, Unsung will uncover a string of hits written by Ray Parker, Jr. for artists such as New Edition, Diana Ross, Barry White and Ray’s first number one hit collaboration with Chaka Khan.


Producer Michael Ajakwe brilliantly navigates the secrets to Ray Parker, Jr.’s longevity, as they are uncovered with humor, accuracy and much flavor on tonight’s Unsung  at 10 pm Eastern on TV One.  Check local listings for show times.