Hey, Ghostheads-

I hope you all had a happy Ghostbusters: Afterlife Day and weekend (Nov. 19-21) and got to see “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” on the big screen.

After seeing the movie on Friday and a full day of bustin’ Saturday afternoon fellow Memphis Ghostbuster Kevin L. Williams and I headed to downtown Memphis so we could catch Ray Parker, Jr. performing live at The Halloran Centre for Performing Arts & Education – next door to the haunted Orpheum Theatre on Main Street and Beale.

Yep, there’s a ghost inside the Orpheum..!

The show, Garry Goin Presents: A Tribute to Ray Parker Jr., was hosted by musician (and Memphis Grizzlies House Band musical director) Garry Goin. Garry has backed Sly Stone and been known to be out on the road with folks like Memphis’ own Kirk Whalum, or in the studio with Millington son Justin Timberlake.

Ray was backed by the all-star Ray Parker JR Tribute Band, and had special guests such as the legendary Kirk Whalum.

When Kev and I got downtown and first turned off Beale Street onto Main we immediately spotted the DeSoto County Ghostbusters’ Ecto-17 sitting out front of the venue.

Their version of the Ecto-1 is a 2006 Cadillac hearse that the group has had for a few years now, and have put a lot of work and money into.

It (and the DeSoto County Spider-Man) can be seen driving all over DeSoto county and attending events in Southaven, Horn Lake, Hernando, Olive Branch, and more locations- especially in October-December.

I used to be jealous of having an Ecto-1, but after hearing about the actual maintenance upkeep costs of having one (Ray Stantz wasn’t kidding!), I’ll pass and just enjoy seeing Ectos out in the wild.🚨👻

We posed for pics with the DeSoto franchise before and after the show, including some of the Orpheum ushers, and we even met one of Ray’s sound guys- Chris.

We had a some time before the show so we decided to do some walking in Memphis and look for something to eat on Beale.

Most places had a long outside and at least an hour wait for a table. We didn’t have that long since the show was starting at 7:30pm, but noticed the line wasn’t too bad at “King” Jerry Lawler’s Hall of Fame Bar and Grille (159 Beale Street). While waiting we got to watch the Beale Street Flippers perform. They were featured in the movie “The Firm“, which was shot in/around Memphis (including Blues City Cafe at the end of the street- 138 Beale St.).

Like all the other places on Beale that night the place was packed and jamming. Once inside we had our order taken fairly quickly and enjoyed some iced tea while listening to the house band. We were keeping an eye on the clock and had to chow down once I food arrived.


Burgers were great, but I don’t recommend cramming one down in 10min or less! We paid our tab and headed back up Beale to the Halloran Centre. When we got there we ran into the Desoto County Ghostbusters in the lobby who were waiting in line to be seated.

Once inside the theater we made our way towards the stage and found out we had front row seats!

Any closer and we would’ve been on stage! We had an usher come by a few minutes later and tell us we were in the wrong seats. I thought, “I knew this was too good to be true…”

The seat numbers were on the chair arms and apparently we were off by one when we sat ourselves. We moved sown one which made us even closer to being front row center..! First time at a concert I haven’t had to strain my neck or stand on my tip-toes to see the show. Kev did good!

Garry came out and introduced Ray- “Heeeeres, Ray!

Ray followed behind and had a drink in one hand and his camera in the other. He took a few pics of the crowd. This is a pic of me taking a pic of Ray taking a pic of me taking a pic of him..! 📷

Ray and Garry sat down on the right side of the stage and discussed Ray’s early childhood and his musical career, which honestly coincided with each other. He started recording and touring very young!

I really enjoyed the format of the show. Garry interviewed Ray, but it was more of a conversation mixed with a music history lesson. Occasionally the band would play one of the songs Ray wrote or performed on like “Jack and Jill”, “A Woman Needs Love”, “The Other Woman”, “You Can’t Change That”, “Want Ads”, and “Mr. Telephone Man” – before or after them Ray would share some background info on the music and what was going on in his life at that time.

He’d even get up and play along with many which was a real treat. You could really see how much Ray loves music and playing the guitar. Which reminds me, I need to pick mine up and actually learn how to play- they’re dying of loneliness and neglect.

A couple times they took questions from the audience. During one of the Q&A times, Garry said audience member David Porter had a question. Wait, THAT David Porter..?!! Yep, legendary Memphian and musician/songwriter/producer David “Soul Man” Porter. Wish Kev and I could have gotten to meet him, but was cool to just be in the same room as him. (That’s a pic of Ray talking to David- who he called “a mentor“- David had been one for Garry and many musicians over the years.)

When the next special guest, Kirk Whalum (and his saxophone) hit the stage he walked up behind Ray and gave him a big hug.

As Kirk played with the band, Ray and Garry got out their camera-phones, which is funny since the whole show was being recorded by the crew from several angles. This just shows how big of fans of Kirk they are.

It was great to see these guys perform together- a first time for me to see either perform. The Whalum family are a huge part of the Memphis music scene, especially gospel, R&B, and jazz.

Kirk has a Masters of Art in Religion, is a Grammy Award winner, has been honored with a Brass Note on the Memphis Walk of Fame and a Star on the Nashville Walk of Fame, toured with Whitney Houston for more than seven years, and soloed in her single “I Will Always Love You”. He’s 63 and shows no sign of slowing!

It was amazing to watch Ray and Kirk play- Detroit meets Memphis! I got chills, man!

Garry got into the act, too.

It was not only awesome to watch Ray and these amazing musicians perform in person, but to learn more about Ray’s songwriting career, what songs he’d produced, and which he played guitar on.

The man has gotten around, between touring with folks like Stevie Wonder and all his session and producer work, to his Raydio band and solo days, and of course his most famous hit- the theme song for “Ghostbusters“!

And yes, he did play that song…and bustin’ made us all feel good! (If you want to learn how to play it, click here and Ray will teach you!)

It was the finale and a definite crowd favorite- especially for the Ghostheads in the crowd! We were all up on our feet.

Garry even came on stage and joined in. The guy’s got some moves. Hey, maybe he picked up some from the Grizz Girls at the basketball games..?

I think Ray would have kept on playing and talking, but they did have to call it a night. Garry announced they’d meet us out in the lobby, and then said, “C’mon, Ray- we gotta go..!”

There were several fans who stuck around to meet Ray and Garry.

One fan had a Raydio band logo tattoo!

Ray was excited to see it and had to get a pic.

I had to as well!

Kevin got his Ghostbusters” soundtrack CD cover signed by Ray, and I got a Memphis Ghostbusters patch signed. I gave Ray a patch and some MemGB swag. (You can pick up some free swag for yourself at local comic shops around Memphis.)

Ray’s a lot taller than I thought- or I’m a lot shorter than I thought..!

Was pleased to get to meet Garry, and thanked him for putting on such a great show. Hope they release the footage that was shot. I’d definitely buy a copy. Would love to watch the show again, and again. (You can check out some of the shaky footage I shot on my iPhone on the Memphis Ghostbusters’ Facebook page.)

We posed for a few more pics with the DeSoto GB members before calling it a night and headed outside.

We also took a few pics outdoors, watched the Ecto-17 drive off, and then made our way back to Kevin’s van.

Had to listen to the Ghostbusters” soundtrack on the way home. I never get tired of that theme song. Kev told Ray it’d been his theme song since ’84. Ray replied, “Mine, too!

Here are a few more memories…

Me and Kevin front row! (Photo by Frank Chin)

Me and Kevin with Ray Parker, Jr.! (Photo by Frank Chin)

Me and Kevin with Garry Goin and the DeSoto County Ghostbusters. (Photo by Frank Chin)

Me and Kevin with Garry Goin and the DeSoto County Ghostbusters. (Photo by Frank Chin)

Oh, and if you’d like to join or follow our local Ghostbusters franchise, just follow the link below…

Memphis Ghostbusters

“Who y’all gonna call..?”

Memphis Ghostbusters on Instagram: @901ghostbusters
Memphis Ghostbusters on Facebook: MemphisGhostbusters
Memphis Ghostbusters on Twitter: @901Ghostbusters

Other links:

Beale Street – www.bealestreet.com

South Main – www.gosouthmain.com

Downtown Memphis – www.downtownmemphis.com

Memphis Tourism – www.memphistravel.com

Choose 901 – www.choose901.com

“Bustin’ Makes Me Feel Good!” – Pt1: Memphis Ghostbusters

“Bustin’ Makes Me Feel Good!” – Pt2: DeSoto County Ghostbusters

Southern Living – The Orpheum Theatre in Memphis Has a Resident Ghost

The Bitter Southerner – ‘David Porter Takes Us To School’

The Tri-State Defender – ‘Garry Goin Presents’ set to debut with ‘A Tribute to Ray Parker Jr.’

G3 (R&B showband under the direction of Garry Goin)

Follow Garry on Twitter: @GarryGoin

Follow Ray on Twitter: @rayparkerjr

Follow the DeSoto County Ghostbusters:
@ desoto_county_ghostbusters (Instagram)
@ midsouth_maniac (On instagram)
@ desoto county ghostbusters (facebook)
Ecto-17 GoFundMe campaign

Me and Kev online:

“Wimpbusters” video by Jerry Lawler.