Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Former UA Player Ray Johnston going on tour with band

Cut and paste below...Ray is a good guy, check them out if/when they come to your city.


The Ray Johnston Band Fall Tour 09 featuring: Keith Anderson, Bobby Sparks, William Barnes, Cooper Appelt, & Jeff Randall.

Ray and the Band will be hitting the road in late August and Mark Cuban's HDNet network is following along to film a 10 episode "docu-series" about Ray and the group. The tour starts now, and the show will debut on Sunday nights in January.

Most of dates are still being worked out, so this list is only partial. If your area isn't on this list, then stay tuned, it should be soon.

Check the website for more confirmed dates:
www.rayjohnstonband.com
Aug 25 Georges-Fayetteville, AR (arkansas bar)
Aug 26 "747"-Norman, OK (ou bar)
Aug 27 Library-Oxford, MS (ole miss bar)
Aug 28 Innisfree-Tuscaloosa, AL (alabama bar)
Aug 29, SAE House, Auburn, AL (SAE, SIgma Nu, KA party)
Sep 1 Bogies-Baton Rouge
Sep 4 TCU Frat Party-Coppell, TX
Sep 5 Watermark Launch Retreat Private-Tyler, TX
Sep 12 Private Party-Wedding-Dallas, TX
Sep 15 Rabbs Steakhouse-Ruston, LA
Sep 19 Tour De Fleurs 10k-Dallas Arboretum-Dallas, TX (5000 people plus)
Sep 19 Private Party-Wedding-Frisco, TX
Oct 8 Library-Oxford, MS (olemiss)
Oct 10 Library-Oxford, MS (olemiss vs bama)
Oct 14 Delta Gamma Party-Ole Miss
Oct 15 Alabama Frat Party-Tuscaloosa, AL
Oct 16 Innisfree-Tuscaloosa, AL (alabama)
Oct 17 Innisfree-Tuscaloosa, AL (alabama)
Oct 18 Chutewei Plantation Private Friends and Fam Party-Elmore County, AL
Dec 5 Andrews Upstairs-Atlanta, GA

More info:
HDNET TO PRESENT THE INSPIRATIONAL JOURNEY OF THE RAY JOHNSTON BAND WITH "ROAD DIARIES"

Ten-part series to focus on the band's leader, Ray Johnston, his battle with cancer, and his new challenge to build success for the band

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DALLAS (July xx, 2009) -HDNet is proud to present a ten-part series presenting the journey of cancer survivor and former Dallas Maverick Ray Johnston and his band as they travel across the country trying to make it in the music business.

The band's journey is only a part of the story, however. The larger part of this behind-the-scenes series is the uplifting story of the band's leader, Ray Johnston and his heroic battle with leukemia.

"Ray's story is more than amazing," said Mark Cuban, president and co-founder of HDNet. "It is truly inspirational. We're honored to be a part of Ray's journey and we're very happy that he agreed to share his travels with our viewers. He has faced every challenge in his life with dogged determination - both before and after cancer. This story, following the band on their road to success is no different."

Due to hard work and endless practice, Ray Johnston found himself living his dream as an NBA player when his life would change forever.

Johnston, a walk-on at the University of Alabama, was a 24 year-old loan officer with Mavericks season tickets, when he was discovered by a scout at the 2004 Hoop-it-Up tournament in Dallas. Johnston's ensuing tryout won him a spot on the Mavericks' summer league team, making him teammates with the likes of Josh Howard and Devin Harris.

All of that changed when a bump on the shin from a pickup game led to surgery - and a coma. All because of the leukemia no one knew he had - a rare form of the disease known as acute promyelocytic leukemia. During this battle with this deadly disease, Johnston would be shocked back to life, twice. His lungs collapsed, five days apart, with an irregular heartbeat in between. His kidneys failed twice and blood clots in his brain led to seizures.

But, after successfully beating leukemia, not once but four times (Johnston is now in remission) he is pursuing a new dream, traveling across Texas, the Southwest and the Southeast with The Ray Johnston Band. Some of the band's performances will be fundraisers for The Ryan Gibson Foundation or TRGF." (http://www.trgf.org) is a Dallas based non-profit organization that supports leukemia research throughout the U.S. Ryan Gibson, like Ray Johnston, had a passion for finding a cure for leukemia. Now, through the talent of he and his band, Ray will be spreading the word about the importance of leukemia research as well as raising funds for TRGF.

Ray Johnston, and his group of talented musicians will also record their first album in early August at Palmyra Studio in Palmer, TX.

"I realized my dream of making it in the NBA because I was determined, knew my strengths, and had the best talent around me," said Johnston. "As this documentary will showcase with the band, it's the same deal here."

"The Ray Johnston Band: Road Diaries" is set to air this January on HDNet. Times and dates are to be determined.
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The Ray Johnston Band

In 2008 former University of Alabama and Dallas Mavericks basketball star Ray Johnston was recovering from his battle with Leukemia when he decided to put all of his energy, efforts, and passion for music into a new band and full-time career in the music business. Johnston met world-renowned saxophonist Keith Anderson while playing acoustic gigs around Dallas, and after forming a fast friendship and and musical connection, they began assembling different groups of musicians into what finally became The Ray Johnston Band. "I realized my dream of making it in the NBA because I was determined, knew my strengths, and had the best talent around me," said Johnston, "it's the same deal here." And indeed it is. The band is packed with seasoned musicians featuring G.R.A.M.M.Y. winners, sidemen for Kanye West, Marcus Miller, Herbie Hancock, Kirk Franklin, Roy Hargrove, and alums of the prestigious music programs at Berklee College of Music and University of North Texas. In the year that they have been together, the Ray Johnston Band has already been included in the House of Blues "Tomorrows Headliners" series, served as a backing band for Erykah Badu, performed on ESPN radio, and performed for 5,000 people at this year's Tour de Fleurs 5k in Dallas.

One of Ray's favorite scriptures is "A cheerful heart is good medicine for the soul, a downcast spirit dries the bones," and he is a living testament to this fact. This attitude carries over into his high energy, feel-good, happy music, and into every other area of his life as well. As he continues to fight his ongoing battle with Leukemia, he is making the best of it by spreading awareness about the disease and by helping raise research funds through The Ryan Gibson Foundation. Ray's story and example are so inspiring that an old friend from his Mavericks days, Mark Cuban, decided to film a 10 episode "docu-series" on Ray and his band for Cuban's HDNet television station. "Ray's story is more than amazing," said Cuban. "It is truly inspirational. We're honored to be a part of Ray's journey and we're very happy that he agreed to share his travels with our viewers. He has faced every challenge in his life with dogged determination - both before and after cancer. This story, following the band on their road to success is no different."

Ray and his band (featuring: Keith Anderson, Bobby Sparks, William Barnes, Cooper Appelt, and Jeff Randall), recorded their debut album "Sweet Tooth" at legendary Palmyra Studios in Texas in August, and it is set for a September 09 release in conjunction with the group's Fall Tour. HDNet filmed the recording session, and the film crew will follow the band on the road this Fall. So, be looking out for "Sweet Tooth" on iTunes and the radio, go check the band out live in a city near you, and get ready for "The Ray Johnston Band: Road Diaries" on HDNet starting Sunday nights in January 2010. As Ray often likes to say, "Smile Hard!" And you should...cause it's gonna be big fun. www.rayjohnstonband.com

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