Baby Huey, was an American rock and soul singer. A native of Richmond, Indiana, James early age baby book the son of Robert and Ernestine Ramey. He moved to Chicago, Illinois at the age of nineteen, and worked with several local bands as a singer.
One, while he was still in high school, was called the Vets. Family Stone and became a psychedelic soul act. Huey began wearing an Afro and donned psychedelic African-inspired robes, and adding sing-song, self-referential rhymes to his live performances. In 1969, the band’s agent Marv Heiman secured them an audition with Curtom Records arranger Donny Hathaway.
Heiman states that Hathaway came by the Thumbs Up club and was very impressed by the act, and got Curtom Records head Curtis Mayfield to come the following night. By 1970, Ramey had developed an addiction to heroin, and his weight had increased to over 400 pounds. He began regularly missing gigs or turning up late, and, at the insistence of his bandmates, briefly entered rehabilitation in the spring of 1970. In addition to the heroin problem, Ramey was also drinking. On October 28, 1970, James Ramey died of a drug-related heart attack at the age of twenty-six in a Chicago motel room.
His funeral was held on November 1, in his native Richmond, Indiana, and he was buried there in Glen Havens Memorial Gardens. Baby Huey’s album, The Baby Huey Story: The Living Legend, was released posthumously. On October 7, 1971, Jet magazine ran a small piece claiming his mother was granted authorization to audit the records of two recording firms including Curtom Records. The order also permitted her to evaluate an undetermined estate left by him. According to Chicago attorney Vernon M. Several songs from The Baby Huey Story, including “Hard Times”, “Listen to Me”, and “Mighty Mighty Children”, have been frequently sampled by hip hop producers since the 1980s.