Ray Parker Jr. is a popular guy this time of year.
The “Ghostbusters” singer is swamped with appearance requests around Halloween. This year, he is stopping by the State Farm Stadium to perform his trademark hit during halftime of the Arizona Cardinals game.
Parker is still stunned the song still resonates.
“I can’t believe it’s been that huge of a song in the first place,” he said with a laugh. “I did it in a few days and, for some reason, it captured the hearts of everyone on planet Earth. It never dies. Every year some 6- or 7-year-olds find out about the song.”
Parker is quick to remind that he’s had other hits—“The Other Woman,” “A Woman Needs Love,” “It’s Our Own Affair” and “Over You.”
“There’s this large group of people on the planet Earth who think I woke up, wrote ‘Ghostbusters’ and went back to sleep,” he said.
He’ll hammer home the point next year when he releases a documentary about himself to coincide with “Ghostbusters 2020” with Paul Rudd, Ernie Hudson and Bill Murray.
“The movie will educate you about when I grew up in Detroit,” he said. “It’s an eye-opener. They learn about all the clubs in Detroit and how, right after high school, Stevie Wonder took me out on tour with the Rolling Stones. My parents didn’t want me to go. They wanted me to get a job building cars at Ford.”
Parker will expand his musical repertoire next year as well.
“I’m also going to have a new album,” Parker added. “I’m trying to finish that as fast as possible. The record, for me, sounds like it’s from 1984 or 1983. There’s none of that new-sounding stuff. There’s no rap on it. There are no stars from today on it. It’s old-school music.”
Parker is pleased he’s able to return to Arizona, as he’s spent a lot of time here. His son attended ASU for a short time before transferring to Belmont University in Tennessee to study music. Parker is good friends with musician George Benson, who lives in the Valley.
A pilot, Parker took his first flying lesson at what is now Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport “when it was small enough for private planes.”
He was often inspired by the desert, too, when he was writing songs.
“I used to write lyrics on Camelback Mountain,” he said. “Just to get away from the world, I would drive to Phoenix and I’d write the lyrics in the car, sitting in the middle of nowhere. It had a big influence on me.”