Does anybody remember Ray Conniff? When I was growing up, he was a favorite of just about every mother and grandmother that I knew. Ray (and his singers) produced easy-listening albums chock full of covers of hits of the day, done in a very imitable style. Most of Ray’s album covers were as bland as his music. Here are a few to prove my point:
Once, though, Ray outdid himself on the creepy front. Take a gander at THIS album cover:
I think that Ray fulfilled a need in moms and grandmoms to feel hip, even though they never listened to the radio anymore. So, they’d buy his latest LP of Conniffized tunes and be able to honestly say, “Why of COURSE I’ve heard ‘Brand New Key’!”
Ray sometimes ended his songs with a fade out, and occasionally he’d just hold a note until he stopped it. I say that Ray’s style was imitable, though, because after hearing hour upon hour of Ray’s music growing up, I had noticed that most of his songs had the same sort of ending, one in which Ray would have the chorus hold a note and have his drummer put in a fill that ended the song. After hearing it SO MANY TIMES, this method for ending a song began to amuse me, and I started imitating it. Sometimes, during conversations with my high-school pals, I would randomly say “Ray Conniff ending!” and do my best imitation of it, which, transcribed, went something like this: “Ahhhhhhhhh………….chiggity-bomp.” It began to be an inside joke between me and my friends. One of them would say, out of the blue, “Ray Conniff ending!” and I’d go, on cue, “Ahhhhh………chiggity-bomp.”
Ray had a few variations on this ending, the most frequently-used of which went a little something like this: “Ahhhhhhh…..chiggy-bomp.” Note the difference between CHIGGY-bomp and CHIGGITY-bomp. It’s a subtle difference, but it’s there.
What all this is leading up to, I suppose, is that I found myself thinking about Mr. Conniff today, and, being trapped in the house by inclement weather, I took a few minutes to listen to some of Ray’s music. Again, I got tickled by the patented Ray Conniff Ending ™, and I felt that it would be fun to make a compilation of some of these endings.
So, without further ado, and until somebody makes me take it down, here’s a sampling of thirty-one of Ray’s greatest song endings. I hope you enjoy it.