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A Bit of Rainey's Life To Date

RAINEY was born in Memphis, Tennessee, under a full moon, on an early Sunday morning in August, 1964. It was noticed that the little girl could sing before she could talk well. Early on, at the age of three, she astounded her parents by slipping away from them and marching up the aisle during a break at her older brother's kindergarten graduation, going up alone to the center of the auditorium's stage and performing two songs: "How Much Is That Doggy In the Window?" and "Yellow Rose of Texas". Family lore has it that it all seemed like part of the show, with the tiny girl bowing after each song and the audience applauding, after which Rainey walked back down the aisle and quietly took her seat with her amazed parents.

At age five she started writing songs. At age six, she was singing a song in the back seat of the family car, inciting her father to ask her what song was that? She answered that it was a song about Christmas that she just made up. He liked it so much that he borrowed a tape recorder, and had the little girl sing it into a microphone he'd also borrowed. And thus was Rainey's first recording session. He then took the song to a man he knew, legendary American Studios producer Chips Moman, who produced such hits as "Suspicious Minds", and "In the Ghetto", for Elvis Presley. Chips Moman liked the song as well and invited little Rainey and her dad to American Studios, where he recorded "On Christmas Eve" with Rainey. Later that year Rainey performed her song with a thirty-member choir as a finale to a Christmas show in Memphis.

Rainey taught herself the guitar and began to appear at PTA and other local organizations' functions, singing from an ever-expanding repetoire of folk and original songs.

At age thirteen Rainey cowrote and recorded an album for renowned Memphis songwriter and producer Dan Penn (the Box Tops' "The Letter", "Cry Like A Baby"; B.J.Thomas' "Hooked On A Feeling"; Leon Russell's "Tight Rope").

At sixteen, she cowrote and recorded an album for producer Steve Cropper (legendary producer and guitar player with Booker T. and the M.G.'s, The Blues Brothers) at Trans Maximus Studios in Memphis.

At eighteen, Rainey moved to New Orleans, played her guitar on the streets of the Vieux Carré for tips; formed a rock and roll band, played for many city-wide functions, Mardi Gras krewe parties, Heritage Jazz Festival two years in a row, played the Crescent City Classic 10K Concert for an estimated audience of 25,000; she wrote and recorded a national Popeye's Fried Chicken commercial which stopped the Super Bowl when it was played over the loud-speaker system and 70,000 people all sang it with her. Later that year, she went to Canada for a tour of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Now in her early twenties, Rainey played the Southern road-house circuit from Houston, to Atlanta, to New Orleans with her band. She also went for a three month Department of Defense tour to Europe and the Near East to entertain our troops.

After returning to the states she performed with her band on a tour which included cities from Los Angeles to Portland.

Signed by MCA Records in Nashville she recorded an album with venerated producer Ron Chancy. Nominated "Most Promising New Artist of the Year" by the CMA, she ultimately left the label over artistic direction.

At twenty-four Rainey moved to Los Angeles, reformed her band into something of a local legend with members including Steve Farris (guitarist of Mr. Mister) and Bob Birch (bass player for Elton John), Rocket Ritchotte (guitarist, David Lee Roth), Kenny Rarrick (keyboards, Melissa Manchester), Michael Dorian (keyboards, Terence Trent D'Arby) among many others, playing in venues all over the Los Angeles area. Notable bands’ members that dropped by regularly to jam with Rainey were from Tower of Power, Earth Wind and Fire, Toto, REO Speedwagon, Steppenwolf, and Chakka Chan’s band, just to name a few.

She studied acting and dance at the National Academy of Performing Arts in Hollywood under the guidance of Hollywood actor/writer and director Francis Liederer, (“The Bridge at San Luis Ray”, “Romance in Manhatten”, "My American Wife"), read for casting directors Bonnie Timmerman and Junie Lowry, and director Paul Schraeder (Taxi Driver) and was considered for the lead role opposite Michael J. Fox in the film, "Light of Day" (which finally went to Joan Jett) and also the lead in “Streets of Fire” (which was awarded to Diane Lane).A vehicle for her to star in was being developed by writer/producer/director Marc Abraham (“For Love of the Game”, “Air Force One”, “A Thousand Acres”), which was shelved when a parallel project “The Rose” starring Bette Midler in her first dramatic role, was released first by a rival studio.

She recorded an album with producer of Fleetwood Mac, Ken Caillat and Mick Fleetwood, which was never released; recorded "My World Is Empty Without You" for MCA/Curb Records, a duet with John Farnham with the Little River Band included in the movie "When The Rain Begins To Fall", a sizable hit in Europe where the film was released under the title "Rock Alien". It was released in '87 on U.S. cable T.V. Rainey had two compositions included in the film, "A Different Affair" starring Anne Archer and Tony Roberts, and performed the theme song to the T.V. series "Dancin To the Hits".

Rainey composed and sang "Old Enough To Rock and Roll" for the hit movie and cult classic "Iron Eagle", recorded numerous episodes of the T.V. hit show "Fame", recorded two songs for another movie which has also attained cult classic status, the film "Girls Just Want To Have Fun", starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Helen Hunt (soundtrack on Mercury Records) one song of which, "I Can Fly", subsequently became a Top Ten Hit on the Billboard Dance Chart. Rainey composed and performed the title track for the Playboy video production of "Girls of Rock and Roll", in which she appeared twice. She then performed for an extended run in the Las Vegas production of same at the Maxim. She was the only performer in the both the video and the show that kept all her clothes on.

In 1986 Rainey composed her first rock musical, "White Light", which was evaluated as a film project for Universal Studios, wrote songs for Tina Turner ("Another Day At the Rock"), three U.K. Top Ten hits for German Artist Udo Lindenberg. She also studied video production for the next two years with director Raymond Nassau (a veteran of Old Hollywood, Nassau was cinematographer for Cecil B. DeMille, Douglas Fairbanks, among others).

Rainey then traveled to France where she toured for six months as backup vocalist arranger for French superstar Johnny Hallyday, in which show she was featured nightly in two solos and a duet with Johnny himself. It was during that tour that, among many extraordinary events, the show sold out an amazing ten nights in a row in the Bercy Sports Arena in Paris, averaging over 20,000 people in the audience each night.

In 1988, Rainey appeared on the American Idol prototype T.V. show "Star Search" and won Best Female Vocalist three times.

During the next year, Rainey was cast by casting director Junie Lowry in a singing role on the cult-classic television show "Cop Rock". She also began work on her rock musical "Hunchback", based on the story of the Hunchback of Notre-Dame, by Victor Hugo.

In 1990-91, Rainey co-wrote "He's A Friend of Mine"; with Michael Bolton and Duane Hitchings, became a regular on the Hanna-Barbera animated cartoon show "Alvin and The Chipmunks" as the voice of Alvin's girlfriend, Brittany. Rainey sang the voice of Brittany in two of the Hanna-Barbera Chipmunk movies, where she was and is still recognized as the funkiest chipmunk ever.

The next year, 1992, brought huge changes in Rainey's life when she moved to an island north of Seattle, and with her family built their new home and studio. Toward the end of 1992 she completed "Hunchback" including a 21 song demo recording and book.

In 1994, Rainey produced, directed, and starred in a small but well-received production of her musical "Hunchback", in Seattle at the Playhouse Theater on August 5 of that year.

The next year, Rainey began composing another rock musical, this one entitled "Vieux Carré", a lush love-letter to her beloved city of New Orleans, and she was seen and heard performing jazz in local Seattle night-spots.

She began preproduction of a full-scale version of her rock musical "Hunchback" with a target opening date of October 1998.

And then in 1998, Rainey traveled to Hamburg, Germany where she co-wrote and recorded "Wild Lives", the theme to a popular UK television show of the same name, which later became a top-ten hit in Japan. Rainey also cowrote and recorded five other songs in Germany with composer/producer Detlef Petersen and Bob Dylan's current touring band.

After returning to the United States Rainey staged, produced and directed the fully realized production of "Hunchback" with a cast and crew of fifty persons, at the King Cat Theater in Seattle, which completed a five week run during the October/November season.

In 1999, Rainey signed a recording contract with EMI/ BMG Europe for the European and Asian release of the single "Wild Lives". She wrote and recorded a jazz album project interperating the songs of Joni Mitchell in her studio on Whidbey Island with Windham Hill artist Hank Curtis.

In 2000, Rainey composed and recorded the music for a pilot of a tv series shot in the Seattle area called "Possession Point". During that experience Rainey had the opportunity to write jazz tunes for the show and began working on a jazz CD of her own original jazz tunes, some completely instrumental.

In the years 2001-2013, Rainey organized, produced and performed benefit concerts for local Seattle charities, raising and donating many thousands of dollars.

And now in 2014, you will find Rainey continuing to write and record songs for her CD projects in her studio in Seattle. Much to her surprise, her song “Old Enough to Rock and Roll” from the movie “Iron Eagle” has proved to be something of an international sleeper hit, with people contacting her from all parts of the globe to buy a CD of the song. She receives over five hundred hits a day on her website raineyonline.com, and corresponds regularly with her fans from all around the world.

Besides being a talented sculptor of stone and portrait artist, she is preparing a gallery showing of a series of dreamscapes in oil. She is also working on a suspense novel based on intrigue within the art world, along with a book of poetry and photographs of her beloved farm and garden.