R.I.P Danny Ray

Danny Ray, who was known as James Brown’s cape man passed Tuesday at age 85. Ray was the component that helped bring Brown’s stage show to a dramatic climax that became a trademark of Brown’s performances. The Birmingham, Alabama native moved to New York in the ’60s after serving in the army and started hanging out at the Apollo Theater. He eventually met Brown who first hired him to emcee the show. In a much-recanted story it is known that Brown watched the wrestler Gorgeous George enter the ring with a cape and this became the inspiration for Brown and Ray’s routine. They made history when Brown performed “Please, Please, Please” for the T.A.M.I. Show and Ray put the cape on him. The drama of Brown dropping to his knees and and Ray ushering him away was unforgettable. Ray was responsible for working onstage and keeping Brown’s wardrobe in order for more than four decades. He put the cape on Brown for the final time at his 2006 memorial service in Augusta, Georgia. The following year Ray hung the famous item on a microphone at a Grammy tribute to his late boss.

Share