Ray Stinnett was born in Memphis in 1944. He got his start in Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs, playing guitar on their huge 1965 hit “Wooly Bully.” But by the end of that year Stinnett, along with bassist David Martin, saxophonist Butch Gibson, and drummer Jerry Patterson, quit the band because of a dispute over money with Sam the Sham, who promptly replaced them. In 1966 the former Pharaohs recorded two singles seemingly about Sam, “The Hanging” and “You Sure Have Changed,” under the name The Violations.
After living for a year in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury, in 1968 Stinnett returned to Memphis and began working with producer Booker T. Jones on his solo debut. The album was originally to be put out by A&M Records in 1971, but ended up going unreleased. That is, until this month, when Light in the Attic made A Fire Somewhere available for the first time.