Club owner and local legend Ray Barnett passed this week and we remember his legacy through the words and reflections of Radio One’s DJ Walter D.
MyHoustonMajic.com: How long have you known Ray Barnett?
DJ Walter D: Wow, it’s been over 30 years. Ray was like a father and a great friend to me, so we were pretty close. He gave me opportunities and was well respected among a lot of the DJ’s in Houston.
MyHoustonMajic.com: What was Ray Barnett best known for?
DJ Walter D: His clubs!! You know back in the day, MLK Blvd was a strip, full of clubs and Ray owned about 25-30 clubs at one time. He owned more clubs than anyone in the city.
MyHoustonMajic.com: Really? What were some of his clubs?
DJ Walter D: There was The Cinder Club, where big acts like Diana Ross, Lou Rawls and James Brown came to perform. It was big acts that were big during the Motown era. Then there was The Big Apple too. And if you were a DJ at one any of his clubs, it put you on. He set the standard for great DJ’s and that’s why he is so well respected among us.
MyHoustonMajic.com: Any other fond memories about the legend Ray Barnett?
DJ Walter D: Ray was actually one of the first club owners who started using the airwaves to promote his clubs. It took off and now everybody does it…he was definitely a trend setter, a truly missed one at that.
Check out DJ Walter D’s dedication mix to Ray Barnett with his legendary intro line: ‘Walter! Release The People’