Ray Erskine Parker, Jr. is a 1972 graduate of Northwestern High School who gained international acclaim as a guitarist, songwriter, producer and recording artist.
Controversy surrounding Ghostbusters Theme
Parker was accused of plagiarizing the melody from Huey Lewis and the News song "I Want a New Drug" for his 1984 #1 hit theme to Ghostbusters, released only six months after Lewis' hit reached #6 in the Billboard Hot 100. The accusations lead to Lewis suing Parker, and the pair settled out of court in 1985. According to Parker, Lewis sued Columbia Pictures and he was named in it.
They returned to court once again in 2001, when Parker sued Lewis for breaching a confidentiality agreement regarding their original settlement. Lewis had revealed in a VH1 Behind The Music special that Parker paid a financial settlement as part of the original agreement.
- In Ghost Busted (manga), on chapter one, page 26, Peter Venkman notices Ray Parker, Jr.'s photo on the wall of celebrities but has no idea who he is.
- On page nine of Ghostbusters Issue #12, Ray Parker, Jr. can be seen in the extreme right side of the room wearing a No Ghost logo shirt in a photo.
- On page 14 of Ghostbusters Year One Issue #3, in panel 4, tossed up the air from the explosion in the top left is Chartbusters, a Ray Parker Jr. compilation album from 1984.
- Detroit Free Press "37 years after 'Ghostbusters,' Ray Parker Jr. has a story to tell in new documentary" 9/19/2021 Ray Parker Jr. says: "I think it was misconstrued in the press that Huey Lewis was suing me or something similar to that. It was really a lawsuit against Columbia Pictures and I was just named in it. I never met him. When people asked me what happened, I said I don’t know what happened. Nothing happened to me. I mean, right now, if you check the song, it says, “Written by Ray Parker Jr., published by Raydiola Music.” So it’s the same as it was when I wrote it."
- Detroit Free Press "37 years after 'Ghostbusters,' Ray Parker Jr. has a story to tell in new documentary" 9/19/2021 Ray Parker Jr. says: "We can’t talk about it, because there’s a gag clause. First of all, I don't know about it. So I can't talk about it. The only time anyone has spoken about it — I think it was a VH1 “Where Are They Now?” and Huey Lewis was on the TV talking about it, and I sued him and I won. … So obviously we wouldn’t put that in the film because that could be a liability."