Ray Peterson (April 23, 1939
– January 25, 2005) was an American
pop singer who was best remembered for singing "Tell Laura I Love Her" and "Corrina, Corrina" (incorrectly printed as
"Corrine, Corrina" on some record labels) in the 1960s.
Ray T. Peterson was born in Denton, Texas. As a boy he had to overcome polio. Blessed with a four-octave singing
voice, Peterson moved to Los Angeles, California, where he was signed to a recording contract by RCA
Victor Records in 1958. He recorded
several songs that were minor hits until "The Wonder of You" made it into the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot
100 chart on June 15, 1959.
The song would later be recorded by Elvis Presley, with whom Peterson became friends. Peterson scored a Top 10
hit with the teenage tragedy song, "Tell Laura I Love Her". In the UK, Decca Records made the decision
not to release the latter recording on the grounds that it was "too tasteless and vulgar," and destroyed about twenty thousand copies that had already been pressed. A cover version by Ricky
Valance, released by EMI on the Columbia label, was No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart for three weeks.
In 1960, Peterson created his own record label with his manager Stan Shulman, called Dunes Records, and enlisted the help of record producer Phil Spector with "Corrine, Corrina". Peterson's dramatic ballad, "I Could Have Loved You So Well", written
by Barry Mann and Gerry Goffin and produced by Spector, only reached #57 on the U.S. chart. He then tried another death disc, "Give Us Your Blessing", but this time the record only made #70 in the Hot-100. (The later song was
covered by the Shangri-Las five years later and became a Top 30 hit.)