Local Music Legend Battles Serious Illness

Tools

For Ray John, music is everything.

He started playing with his first band, Rockin Angels, in 1958 when he was just 17.

He has been hooked ever since.

"Actually, I wasn't supposed to be in the bar after 9 p.m. without my parents, so what I would do?  I would go in the back room and hide if the police were called if they had a disturbance," he said.

Since then, John has taken his music all over the north country, tTeaming up with organizations like UNICEF and the Children's Miracle Network to put his music to good use.

John still plays when he can but it's getting hard.

He's suffering from renal failure, a kidney disease.

It's slowly taking his life.

His music is what gets him through the struggle.
 
"I'm in pain all the time, I'm in pain right now. But as long as I can, If I have to do anything, or if somebody wants me to, I'll be there, 'cause I think that's my calling," he said.

For decades, Ray John has brought his music to the north country, now his friends and family are paying him back by putting on a benefit for him.

The benefit will feature a number of live bands and of course a performance from Ray John.

He says nothing can keep him from getting people to tap their feet.

The benefit will be held on October 20 at the North Side Improvement League.

Monday, November 24, 2014
, Watertown, NY

On Demand

This content requires the latest Adobe Flash Player and a browser with JavaScript enabled. Click here for a free download of the latest Adobe Flash Player.

On Wall Street

What's On TonightFull Schedule