Ed:Cetera: Swan Songs in the Key of Ray Baby

By Ed Zahniser


Decades before customized playlists there was Ray Baby. Decades before there was no iThing but iHOP, there was Ray Baby, aficionado and uber-hysterian of the Civil Wart. Ray Baby cut his playlist iTeeth in the sweet biz of 8-bit Atari “software sharing.” He early joined regionally renowned Saturday Morning Club, hosted by Mumford “Muddy” Littlewood. “Muddy was an 8-bit character with 16-bit dreams,” Ray Baby later said. “Easy as slipping a disk, software cascaded from I don’t know where into iDon’t KnowWare.” By contrast, Ray Baby modeled dignity and a probing rectitude. Sampled here are songs from one such vintage playlist suggestive of dynamic hints of a self-possessed aromatic graphic design bouquet.

“UniGrid Qui Mal y Grind”
Massive Vanilla
Its title a play on the Middle French Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense (Evil is in the Mind of the Beholder), this song was originally scored in Italy with Swiss influences whisked across the border in a vintage Fiat by a full-service graphic designer about to tell the entire world to “Go to Helvetica.” Massive Vanilla, a revival group fronted by roots-rocker Mica el Bayroot, here hews to the original grand design.

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