Raynard Miner


Raynard Miner. (Born March 18, 1946 in Chicago, IL,).

Pianist/songwriter Raynard Miner co-wrote the number one R&B hits by Little Milton ("We're Gonna Make It"), Fontella Bass ("Rescue Me" and Jackie Wilson ("(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me)Higher and Higher," originally recorded by The Dells and a 1977 million-selling hit for Rita Coolidge). Other Dells hits co-written by Miner were the double-sided hit, "There Is" b/w "Show Me" (#11 R&B, #20 Pop, early 1968) from the There Is LP, "Run For Cover" and "Open Up Your Heart" from the LP, Like It Is, Like It Was.

Born March 18, 1946 in Chicago, IL, Miner lost his sight at an early age. Raised by his grandparents after the death of his parents, he started playing piano in his teens. He began writing songs and became a member the vocal group The Gems, who recorded for Chicago-based Chess Records. They were made of fellow Marshall High students and included Minnie Riperton. Briefly in 1963, Miner worked at the Chicago office of New York-based Roulette Records. Miner joined the songwriting staff of Chicago-based Chess Records under the leadership of songwriter/producer/A&R director Billy Davis, not to be confused with Billy Davis, Jr. of The Fifth Dimension.

Chess co-owner Leonard Chess and Davis at first thought "We're Gonna Make It" was a little too pop sounding for blues singer/guitarist Little Milton. But both to varying degrees accepted the track as being something different for Milton. Recorded at Chess on February 16, 1965 at Chess Studios under the direction of saxophonist Gene Barge with arrangements by Phil Wright, "We're Gonna Make It" parked at #1 R&B spot for four weeks and made it to #25 Pop on Billboard's charts in spring 1965.

Produced by Billy Davis with assistance from Doris Smith and Miner, Fontella Bass' "Rescue Me" held the #1 R&B spot for four weeks and peaked at #22 Pop in fall 1965. The song was formed out of a jam session at Chess Studios one weekend in August 1965. Miner also co-wrote Bass' follow-ups, "Recovery," "I Surrender" and "Safe and Sound."

Around 1969, Miner went to work for Motown Records.


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