Ray Parker Jr., the R&B star and singer-songwriter best known for the theme from “Ghostbusters,” gets the documentary treatment in “Who You Gonna Call?,” from Sony Pictures Entertainment, which premieres on digital platforms on June 7 — watch the trailer below.
As the documentary shows, there’s much more to Parker’s career than that theme song: He had many R&B hits under his own name and as leader of the group Raydio, and in his mid-teens became an in-demand session guitarist, particularly with Motown acts, like Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, the Temptations and especially Stevie Wonder, even touring with his band when they were the opening act on the Rolling Stones’ legendary 1972 U.S. tour. He later worked with Herbie Hancock, Barry White, Boz Scaggs and many others. Wonder and Hancock both appear in the film.
Parker granted filmmaker Fran Strine to his archives and stories to tell his history — from growing up on the segregated streets of Detroit in the 1960s to winning a Grammy and even getting his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Parker says, “At a very young age, I knew I wanted to be a musician. It was my dream. My life. I did everything and anything I could to make that happen. I’d like to say that luck was very much on my side, but I think dedication and determination to make my dreams come true played a larger part. I always tell young musicians that if you want something then work hard at it and go after it. When you find something you’re good at, the fun part just comes along for the ride! Also don’t think about Option 2. Make Option 1 a reality. You are the only one to make it happen. Know that creating music is a collaborative process, so always deliver, have fun and enjoy the process. This usually guarantees call backs.”
Strine says, “When I interviewed Ray for my previous documentary ‘Hired Gun,’ I knew there was a bigger story to tell. From the moment I sat down with him, I was instantly hooked on telling his life’s story. When most people think of Ray Parker Jr they think of ‘Ghostbusters.’ Yes, he’s had great success with that song, but Ray is so much more than that. The list of legendary artists Ray has performed with and written for is staggering and people don’t know this side of him. After learning more about him I knew right away I needed to tell his story. I’m positive people will draw inspiration from his life story, as I still do, by watching this film.”