A Father Of Note

An Adopted Son Explores His Roots

Thirty-nine-year old James Raymond bears absolutely no physical resemblance to his famous father.

Living in the suburbs of Los Angeles with his wife Stacia and their 6-year-old daughter Grace, Raymond is a professional musician.

Adopted as an infant, James didn't learn his father's identity until he was in his 30s. "Yeah, it totally caught me by surprise," he says.

He discovered that his birth father is a world-famous entertainer. Correspondent Bill Lagattuta reports.

"It's a fairy tale type of... story, if you will," says John Raymond, the man James has always called Dad.

John Raymond, a retired financial consultant, and his wife Madeline, a homemaker, adopted James from Los Angeles County's Bureau of Adoptions.

The Raymonds went on to have two girls of their own. James is the oldest child. They were all raised in small-town San Bernardino, Calif., in a traditional home with strong Christian values.

John Raymond recalls how James would go into the chapel "right up to the organ and finger the keys; I don't even know if he turned them on but it intrigued him."

By the time James turned 2, the Raymonds discovered their adopted son was musically gifted.

"My parents got me a little organ, and I used to just love to rush home from school and just kind of go in my room and just start making up songs," James Raymond says.

The Raymonds didn't know the name of James' birth father; that was confidential.

All they knew was the following:

"The natural father at the time of the baby's birth was 20 years old. He was 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighed 130 pounds," says John Raymond. "He had completed a year of college and was employed in the field of music."

So James' birth father was a musician by trade, and that might well explain a lot. As a teen-ager, he had become an accomplished keyboardist. He went professional at age 23 and began touring with jazz bands and groups like the Spice Girls.

But James wasn't all that curious to know whether his talent was genetic. Actually it was his adoptive father - John Raymond - who encouraged him to look for his birth parents.

"He's 30 years old, and he has every right to know who they are," said John Raymond last year.

"My father gave me the papers that I had to sign to kind of initiate the search," James Raymond adds.

A continent away, the woman who was his biological mother had submitted the same papers.

Celia Crawford Ferguson lives in Australia now but in the early 1960s she was in Hollywood. "We were on Sunset Boulevard and going around listening to different bands and people playing," she says.

Celia, still a teen-ager, met James' biological father, whom she describes as an "absolutely physically beautiful young man.".

"And he was always very self-confident and always very talented, and we really just hit it off," she adds.

It was a different time. he '60s were about to explode. And the young man she was traveling with ended up playing a big part in that era. But for the young couple, there was no future - at least together.

Celia discovered she was pregnant.

"He was perhaps even more shocked than I was," Celia Crawford Ferguson recalls. "Basically his reaction was 'I've got to go now.'"

He didn't want to be a parent. She didn't want to be a single teen-age mother. Crawford Ferguson decided to give up her child for adoption.

"I was devastated and heartbroken," she says. I saw a little blanket being carried out of the room by the Catholic nuns, and that was it."

James Raymond recalls of his recent journey to the Los Angeles County offices: "(A woman) brought out this big book with all the - my birth certificate, and all the adoption information."

"I sat there just kind of blown away," he adds.

With Crawford Ferguson's authorization to open the file, James Raymond saw the name of his biological father staring him right in the face.

"I was just kind of disbelieving," he says.

The name is a legend in the history of rock 'n' roll, a world-famous musician with a controversial past.

"I knew he was a gifted songwriter and singer and had an amazing history," James Raymond says.

"I think overall he's proud of me," his biological father says. "But you've got to remember; it comes with a lot of baggage."

Who is James Raymond's biological father? Find out.

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