Ramsey Lewis

Ramsey Lewis


5/27/1935, Chicago, Illinois

Birth Name

Ramsey Emmanuel Lewis, Jr.


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One of the true jazz artists, Ramsey Emmanuel Lewis, Jr. captivated countless listeners through sharing the love he had for that one genre of music we like to call jazz. Ramsey Lewis was born in May 27, 1935 in Chicago Illinois to Ramsey Lewis, Sr. and Pauline Lewis.…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • He gave the commencement address and received an award at DePaul University, Chicago, IL in June of 1993.

    • He won Person of the Week from ABC Nightly News in February of 1995.

    • He performed at the White House for the State Dinner President Bill Clinton held for President Fernando Henrique and Mrs. Cardoso of Brazil in April of 1995.

    • He gave the commencement address and received an award at the University of Illinois in Chicago in May of 1995.

    • He received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL in May of 1996.

    • He received the Citizen of the Year Award from the Gateway Foundation in Chicago, IL in May of 1996.

    • He received the "Laureate" Award in Springfield, IL in April, 1997.

    • There was a Ramsey Lewis Week in Chicago in May 25 - May 29, 1978.

    • He received the Recording Academy Governor's Award in the year 2000.

    • He won the R&R Industry Achievement Award for Radio Personality of the Year in both 1999 and 2000.

    • He gave the commencement address and received an award at the University of Southern Carolina at Spartanburg in May of 2000.

    • He gave the commencement address and received an award at St. Xavier University, Chicago, IL in January of 2001.

    • He had the honor of carrying the Olympic Torch in the Winter of 2002 for the Ravina segment during its journey to Salt Lake City.

    • He won the award for Outstanding Jazz Artist at the NAACP Image Awards in 2004.

    • He received the Best Gospel Instrumental Album with "With One Voice" at the Stellar Awards in 2006.

    • He won the Jazz Masters Award at the National Endowment for the Arts in January of 2007.

    • He received the Doctor of Humane Letters in May of 2008 in Loyola University, Chicago, IL.

    • He received the Legendary Land Mark Award in March of 2007.

    • He has won the National Endowment for the Arts in January of 2007 at the Jazz Master Awards.

    • He was awarded the Honorary Doctorate in May 2008 in Loyola University, Chicago, IL.

    • Ramsey Lewis' Gold Records:
      In 1965, "The "In" Crowd"; In 1966, "Hang on Sloopy"; In 1966, "Wade in the Water"; In 1968, "The Sound of Christmas"; In 1976, 1976 "Sun Goddess".

    • Ramsey had been nicknamed "The Great Performer", which reflects upon his ability to play many forms of music, like jazz, gospel, and classical.

    • He has his own show called the Ramsey Lewis Morning Show.

    • Ramsey Lewis' Grammies:
      1965 - Best Jazz Performance - Small Group or Soloist with Small Group with "The In Crowd".
      1966 - Best Rhythm & Blues Group Performance - Vocal or Instrumental with "Hold It Right There".
      1973 - Best Rhythm & Blues Instrumental Performance with "Hang on Sloopy".

    • His mother's name is Pauline Lewis, and his father's name is Ramsey Lewis, Sr.

    • Ramsey Lewis has recorded over 80 albums, received five gold records, and has won three Grammy awards.

  • Quotes

    • Ramsey Lewis: I think that we have been able to come up with great content in terms of conversation and information. We're trying not to be a documentary, but have a more powerful conversation, and then an 'Oh, by the way, will you play?' sort of thing.

    • Ramsey Lewis: It's corruption from the inside. Not thievery or mischievousness, but falling prey to needing money quickly to pay the execs and shareholders.

    • Ramsey Lewis: They don't encourage quality today. When I was coming along, Columbia Records would sit with you and assume it would take two or three albums to get the act where it needed to be. Then the company would structure its promotion based on one, two or three years. They encouraged quality and innovation - that's why groups like the Beatles would use sitars, string orchestras and so forth.

    • Ramsey Lewis: Our intention is to not only attract the hardcore jazz fan, but we're doing it in such a way that it will also be easy to take for those who are not necessarily steeped in the ways of jazz.

    • Ramsey Lewis: Not all are die hard jazz fans. Some people are just curious about quality music. We researched broadening the radio idea to television, and we think interest will explode.

    • Ramsey Lewis: This show will succeed in bringing jazz back to the publics' attention.