DONNY D' RAYMOND
Don's musical career started in a 1952 Chevy on route to Yosemite National Park, when the spanish guitar licks of the song "El Paso" danced out the front 2" speaker. Only 5 years old Don asked his dad: "What instrument is that and I want to learn to play it". A month later his dad returned home from the music store, not with a guitar but an accordion. And that how it all got started!
Studied classical guitar for 7 years, joining rock bands in High School, Don later studied music at SMC and UCLA. Had a small record deal in Hollywood at 20 years old, guided by manager Ray Augustine ( Al Wilson ) recorded a single "White Clouds" with little success but cool learning experience. Moved to Detroit in late 70's after meeting a great musician/songwriter Gary Griffin and played 6 nights a week all over Michigan. Joined a punk band called The Brunettes and recorded a 45 single "Me and You" had some local success. Before moving back to LA, Don joined a cool rock/motown vocal band called "The Movies" and played all the local clubs.
Returning to LA after 4 years was like starting over again. Playing solo guitar in restaurants and writing songs living in a single flat in Playa del Rey till a small part on NBC's "FAME" TV show as guitar player in Lee's band came along. A few small lines here and there, lots of fun for 2 seasons. New Wave music hit the LA scene and clubs like Madame Wong's and the Music Machine were packed. The band (Z-Dogs) was formed with Melinda Raymond and a few members of her old band. Great original songs and heavy new-wave grooves, the Dogs rocked the club scene.
Big Daddy was already cruising along in early 1986 when Don joined the band. Recording LP's "Cutting Their Own Groove" and "Sgt. Peppers" for Rhino Records. Touring in Australia we landed a record deal with Virgin Records with our single "The Land Down Under" and filmed a MTV music video. Later with fellow Big Dads, Marty and Bob we recorded "Chantmania" and filmed a 120 minute made for Blockbuster Documentary/Video. The Best of Big Daddy came a few years later where along with our old catalog we recorded our last record "My Heart Will Go On" (Theme from the Titanic".
Don joined the Jan & Dean Band in 1993 and is currently touring with them. Don along with other members of Jan & Dean formed The Surf City Allstars playing corporate parties all over the world. Don coproduced the first surf 5.1 surround sound DVD "I Get Surround" featuring a guitar duet with Don & Jeffrey "Skunk" Baxter ( Steely Dan & Doobie Brothers) on AIX Records. In 2001 co-produced for DVD, "Weird Al Live" and Mannheim Steamroller's "Christmas Angel" for AIX Media Group.
From 2000 - current, Don has been the musical director for Universal Studios Theme Park shows. Produced-Arranged-Recorded all musical tracks for live shows in the parks. Shows include: Blues Brothers, Grammy Award Show, Michael Jackson Tribute, The Beatles "Imagine" and many others.
Composer for Asylum Films feature film "Sunday School Musical" in 2007. Composer for Jay Silverman's production "Zakland" featuring Zak Morgan. A pilot made for DVD release. Composer and creator for the "MrGig Show" an animated reality episodic series.
Don re-edited the movie "Titanic" to Big Daddy's recording of "My Heart Will Go On" in 2012. It's a rocking MTV style music video and can be view on bigdady59.com as well as on YouTube.
Highlights of Don's musical career include performing with: The Ventures, Jan & Dean, The Beach Boys, The Drifters, The Coasters, Little Richard, Brian Setzer, LA Philharmonic, Paul Williams, Lori Lieberman, Big Daddy, Lou Christy, The Monkees, The Rivingtons, Leslie Gore, America, John Stamos, Al Jardine, Jeffrey "Skunk" Baxter and all the LA & Detroit musicians!
For more info: donraymondmusic.com