Ray Davies
rock musician
Ray Davies
Raymond Douglas "Ray" Davies, CBE is an English rock musician. He is best known as lead singer and songwriter for The Kinks, which he led with his younger brother, Dave. He has also acted, directed and produced shows for theatre and television. Since the dissolution of the Kinks in 1996, Ray Davies has embarked on a solo career as a singer-songwriter.
Biography
Ray Davies's personal information overview.
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The Kinks' Ray Davies Teams Up With The Jayhawks On 'Poetry'
NPR - 28 days
We have new music from The Kinks' Ray Davies. This British songwriter's fascination with U.S. culture culminates in a new album with The Jayhawks called Americana. (Image credit: Steve Gullick/Courtesy of the Artist)
Article Link:
NPR article
UK Olympic athletes, Posh Spice and Andy Murray honored in Queen's New Year List
Yahoo News - about 2 months
By Adela Suliman LONDON (Reuters) - Olympic athlete Mo Farah, tennis star Andy Murray, actor Mark Rylance, comedian Ken Dodd and Kinks musician Ray Davies have been knighted in Queen Elizabeth's New Year's Honors List. Spice Girl and designer Victoria Beckham was awarded an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) while other fashion notables included Anna Wintour editor-in-chief of "American Vogue" and accessories designer, Anya Hindmarch. The biannual honors list is released on the Queen's official birthday in June and at the end of each year.
Article Link:
Yahoo News article
How we made Waterloo Sunset
Guardian (UK) - about 1 year
Ray Davies: ‘I’d had a breakdown. At first, I didn’t show the lyrics to the band in case they sniggered’ Waterloo is a part of London that has always had a lot of significance for me. When I was a kid, my father took methere to see the 1951 Festival of Britain. As we looked at the Skylon tower, he said: “I think that’s meant to be the future.” Then, when I was 13, I had a bad injury and my ward in St Thomas’ hospital overlooked the river and Parliament. It’s a very vivid memory. Also, as a student at Croydon College of Art, I used to change trains at Waterloo. There was a romantic element too: as a teenager, I used to walk along Waterloo Bridge with my girlfriend. Continue reading...
Article Link:
Guardian (UK) article
The Altercation Black Friday Gift-Giving Guide, Part I
Huffington Post - about 1 year
So my extremely occasional blog, "Altercation" has migrated here. I use it largely to follow up on things that I couldn't include in my Nation columns and write about music, books, theater, etc, but mostly music. It's pretty lazy, to tell the truth. But I do hope the recommendations are worthwhile. Anyway, below are links to my last few Nation columns, and what I hope are helpful recommendations for gift-giving this year, which I'm doing early because Hannuka comes so early this year. Here are the column links. The guide starts just below together with some live music recommendations. Hope you find it worth this click. The Crazier the Republican Candidates Sound, the More Popular They Become Meet Paul Ryan, Media Darling. He's Sensible, Serious, and Totally Made-Up. 2 Things You Won't Learn From the New Steve Jobs Film The Altercation Gift Giving Guide: The Beatles Video Collection It is a rite of passage, I suppose, to discover the magic of the Beatles; about ...
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Huffington Post article
All About That Bar: Bemelmans Hosts Kate Davis
Huffington Post - almost 2 years
The celebrity boîte in the Hotel Carlyle enshrining today's only public mural art of Ludwig Bemelmans is a fitting incubator for the blossoming musical talents of multi-instrumentalist/singer Kate Davis. The painter Bemelmans, known well for his illustrations in The New Yorker, Vogue and Town and Country but most famously for creating the Madeline series of children's books, also once owned perhaps the oldest bistro in Paris. Likewise anointed with his murals, La Colombe became the launchpad for singers through the 1950's and '60's when the next owner ran it as a cabaret. Ascribing credit to the wall art would make for good superstition, but Davis comes to this storied scene with her merits well earned. She is pleased with the 12 million+ views of her jazzy video cover of the bubblegum hit "All About That Bass" by Meghan Trainor. But she yearns to be heard on singular terms as a gifted songwriter with a voice all her own - despite her ease with performing in an anachronist ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Ray Davies On World Cafe, Part 2
NPR - about 2 years
Hear the second part of a wide-ranging interview with The Kinks' lead singer. » E-Mail This
Article Link:
NPR article
Donovan, Kinks' Ray Davies lead Songwriters Hall inductees
Reuters.com - about 3 years
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Scottish singer-songwriter Donovan and English rocker Ray Davies headline this year's inductees into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the organization said on Tuesday.
Article Link:
Reuters.com article
Donovan and Ray Davies to Join Songwriters Hall of Fame
NYTimes - about 3 years
The hall will also induct Graham Gouldman, Mark James and Jim Weatherly in a ceremony on June 12.
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Music Monday! The Harmony Motel, Us Lights, Mandarin Dynasty & More
The Portland Mercury - about 3 years
It's Music Monday! Here's some great Portland music you may not have heard before. "Straight To My Head" / "Dead Bird" by The Harmony Motel The Harmony Motel have a new two-song single released today: "Straight to My Head" backed with "Dead Bird," available for free download (do it). Both tracks are exquisitely ornamented brain-pop, with enough dapples of light to work wonderfully on this uncharacteristically sunny January day. The Harmony Motel is the project of Stanton Hall, who also plays in the Zags, and these two studio confections were recorded with producer/engineer Jack Saturn (of the band Queued Up). This is classic pop songwriting with inventive arrangements and subtle but undeniable, earwormy hooks; it reminds me of the aptitude of British songsmiths like Paddy McAloon, Andy Partridge, Ray Davies, and the Brewis brothers (of Field Music). It other words, it's terrific. Hall says that the Harmony Motel is not really a live band, per se, but he will be playing a release show ...
Article Link:
The Portland Mercury article
Ray Davies, the Salon interview: “I can still perform most of my songs with dignity”
Salon.com - over 3 years
In January 2004, Ray Davis lay in a hospital bed in New Orleans, in shock and out of his head on morphine for the gunshot wound he had just received. He was still officially anonymous, having given none of his information to the nurses when he was admitted into the E.R. Instead, he was known only as “Unknown Purple,” which had been written on his wristband. “In the files of Charity Hospital, that’s who I would be.” After doctors had taken X-rays and nurses had pumped the fragments of cloth and bullet from the wound, Davies was rolled out of the trauma room. “Then as I was being wheeled away on the gurney,” he writes in his new memoir, “someone asked me, ‘Would you sign this for me? I’m a fan.’ Damn. It was actually a copy of my X-ray.” That incident makes for a bleakly comic scene in “Americana: The Kinks, the Riff, the Road: The Story” (Sterling), which recounts Davies’ long and rocky relationship with the country that produced all the music he loves so dearly. The irony, of course, ...
Article Link:
Salon.com article
Madonna, Davies up for Songwriters Hall of Fame
USA Today - over 3 years
So are Ray Davies, Cyndi Lauper, John Mellencamp, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant.
Article Link:
USA Today article
Beyond America's Cup: Sailing in New Zealand
Huffington Post - over 3 years
"There's nothing in the world -- and no place in world -- like sailing in the South Pacific," said Warren Douglas, head of communications for Emirates Team New Zealand team. San Francisco is playing host to the world's most prestigious sailing competition, the 34th America's Cup. New Zealand -- the only country represented officially as a partner in an America's Cup racing team -- created a series of activities to celebrate their nation, and the Kiwi way of life, while on shore. The programs ranged from food and wine events to a new venue at Emirates Team New Zealand's official base on Pier 32. Designed to mirror the shape of a traditional "Waka" or Maori canoe (pictured), the 200-capacity venue can't be missed on the San Francisco waterfront. At the time of publishing, the race was still going on, but the Kiwis are still the favorite to take home first prize. Nothing is for certain, though, in the world of sports and as these professional sailors will tell you, anything can happ ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
The secrets of songwriters
Guardian (UK) - over 3 years
The day the Kinks overtook the Beatles, why the Clash wrote 'Rock the Casbah', when Johnny Marr first drove to Morrissey's house … Daniel Rachel has interviewed many of the nation's best songwriters. Here are some highlights Ray Davies, the Kinks Can you recall the sentiment behind writing "Lola"? It was about love, but not directly. The song was designed. I didn't show the words to the band. We just rehearsed it with the la-la la-la Lo-la chorus which came first. I had a one-year-old daughter at the time and she was singing along to it. But I was bothered by the arpeggio guitar at the beginning. I said, "It's got to be hit in the first three seconds." Later I went back in the studio and took the phrase at the end of the verse, C C C C D E, and replayed it at the beginning to grab people's attention. I had a new Martin acoustic guitar which I tracked three times all slightly out of time to give it character. And then I put a National guitar on top of it. What was the ambition at th ...
Article Link:
Guardian (UK) article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Ray Davies
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2015
    Age 70
    The musical won four awards at the 2015 Olivier Awards, including one for Ray Davies: the Autograph Sound Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music.
    More Details Hide Details Ray Davies has been married three times and has four daughters. Two of them, Louisa Davies and Victoria Davies, are from his first marriage to Rasa Dicpetris. Ray Davies' second marriage was to Yvonne Gunner. The couple had no children. Davies had a relationship with Chrissie Hynde of the The Pretenders during the 1980s, and their daughter is named Natalie Rae Hynde. His third marriage was to Irish ballet dancer Patricia Crosbie. The union produced one daughter Eva Davies. Davies has had a tempestuous relationship with younger brother Dave (the band's lead guitarist) that dominated the Kinks' career as a band.
    On 18 December 2015 Ray joined his brother Dave for an encore at London's Islington Assembly Hall.
    More Details Hide Details The two performed "You Really Got Me," marking the first time in nearly 20 years that the brothers had appeared and performed together. In 1981, Davies collaborated with Barrie Keeffe to write his first stage musical, Chorus Girls, which opened at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, London, starring Marc Sinden and also had a supporting cast of Michael Elphick, Anita Dobson, Kate Williams and Charlotte Cornwell. Directed by Adrian Shergold, the choreography was by Charles Augins and Jim Rodford played bass with the theatre's "house band". Davies wrote songs for a musical version of Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days; the show, 80 Days, had a book by playwright Snoo Wilson. It was directed by Des McAnuff and ran at the La Jolla Playhouse's Mandell Weiss Theatre in San Diego from 23 August to 9 October 1988. The musical received mixed responses from the critics. Davies' multi-faceted music, McAnuff's directing, and the acting, however, were well received, with the show winning the "Best Musical" award from the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle.
  • 2012
    Age 67
    In August 2012, Davies performed 'Waterloo Sunset' as part of the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Summer Olympics, watched by over 24 million viewers in the UK, but which was subsequently cut by NBC from the US broadcast in favour of a failed marketing attempt for their upcoming show Animal Practice.
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  • 2011
    Age 66
    In autumn 2011, Davies toured with the 88 as his backing band.
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    2011 also marked Davies' return to New Orleans, Louisiana, to play the Voodoo Experience Music festival.
    More Details Hide Details Davies' setlist included material by the Kinks and solo material.
    In 2011 Davies was "grounded" for six months following discovery of blood clots in his lungs.
    More Details Hide Details After the malady Davies programmed the line-up for the upcoming Meltdown Festival in London. At the festival he performed a rendition of the Kinks' Village Green Preservation Society album with the London Philharmonic and the Crouch End Festival Chorus. He was working on his second book: a memoir that Davies described as "kind of fictionalized".
  • 2010
    Age 65
    Davies played at Glastonbury Festival 2010 where he dedicated several songs to the late Kinks' bassist, Pete Quaife.
    More Details Hide Details Davies was seen to visibly almost break down in tears while singing an a cappella intro to the song "Days". A collaborations album, See My Friends, was released in November 2010 with a US release to follow in early 2011. Davies performed with Mando Diao in their MTV Unplugged live show.
  • 2009
    Age 64
    In October 2009, Davies performed "All Day and All of the Night" with Metallica at the 25th Anniversary Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Concert.
    More Details Hide Details Davies was a judge for the 3rd (in 2004) and 7th (in 2008) annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists' careers.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1997
    Age 52
    In 1997, he published a book of short stories entitled Waterloo Sunset, described as "a concept album set on paper."
    More Details Hide Details He has made three films, Return to Waterloo in 1985, Weird Nightmare (a documentary about Charles Mingus) in 1991, and Americana (subtitled "A Work In Progress") which was included on DVD with the Working Man's Cafe disc release in 2008. A choral album, The Kinks Choral Collection, on which Davies had been collaborating with the Crouch End Festival Chorus since 2007, was released in the UK in June 2009 and in the US in November 2009. The album was re-released as a special extended edition including Davies' charity Christmas single "Postcard From London" featuring Davies' former girlfriend and leader of the Pretenders, Chrissie Hynde. The video for the single was directed by Julien Temple and features London landmarks including Waterloo Bridge, Carnaby Street, the statue of Eros steps and the Charlie Chaplin statue in Leicester Square. The duet was originally recorded with Kate Nash. His first choice had been Dame Vera Lynn.
  • FORTIES
  • 1994
    Age 49
    Davies published his "unauthorised autobiography", X-Ray, in 1994.
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  • 1985
    Age 40
    Aside from the lengthy Kinks discography, Davies has released five solo albums: the 1985 release Return to Waterloo (which accompanied a television film he wrote and directed), the 1998 release The Storyteller, Other People's Lives in early 2006, Working Man's Café in October 2007 and The Kinks Choral Collection in June 2009.
    More Details Hide Details Other People's Lives was his first top 40 album in the UK since the 1960s, when he worked with the Kinks. The release of Working Man's Café was followed on 28 October 2007 with a performance at the BBC's Electric Proms series, at The Roundhouse, Camden, accompanied by the Crouch End Festival Chorus. The concert was broadcast the same evening on BBC Two. An edited version of Working Man's Café, excluding two bonus tracks and liner notes, was given away with 1.5 million copies of the Sunday Times on 21 October. In 2005, Davies released The Tourist, a four-song EP, in the UK; and Thanksgiving Day, a five-song EP, in the US.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1979
    Age 34
    On "(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman", Davies vented his existential angst about the 1979 energy crisis over a thumping disco beat; on "A Gallon of Gas", he addressed the same concern over a traditional acoustic twelve-bar blues shuffle.
    More Details Hide Details In contrast, "Better Things" (1981), "Come Dancing" (1982), "Don't Forget to Dance" (1983) and "Good Day" (1984) were sentimental songs of hope and nostalgia for the aging Air Raid Generation. However, with "Catch Me Now I'm Falling" (1979), "Destroyer" (1981), "Clichés of the World (B Movie)" (1983) and "Do It Again" (1984), the Davies brothers cranked out strident, heavy-riffing hard rock that conveyed an attitude of bitter cynicism and world weary disillusionment.
  • 1976
    Age 31
    When the Kinks changed record labels from RCA to Arista in 1976, Davies abandoned his then-recent propensity for ambitious, theatrical concept albums and rock operas—the RCA era (1971–75) had produced Muswell Hillbillies, Everybody's in Show-Biz, Preservation Act 1 and Act 2, Soap Opera and Schoolboys in Disgrace—and returned to writing more basic, straightforward songs.
    More Details Hide Details The group would also employ newer production techniques to achieve a more refined studio sound on the albums Sleepwalker (1977) and Misfits (1978), as Davies' focus shifted to wistful ballads of restless alienation ("Life on the Road", "Misfits"), meditations on the inner lives of obsessed pop fans ("Juke Box Music", "A Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy"), and exhortations of carpe diem ("Life Goes On", "Live Life", "Get Up"). A notable single from late 1977 reflected the contemporary influence of punk rock: "Father Christmas" (A-side) and "Prince of the Punks" (B-side—inspired by Davies' troubled collaboration with Tom Robinson). By the early 80s, the Kinks revived their commercial fortunes considerably by adopting a much more mainstream arena rock style; and the band's four remaining studio albums for Arista—Low Budget (1979), Give the People What They Want (1981), State of Confusion (1983) and Word of Mouth (1984)—showcased a decidedly canny and opportunistic approach.
    Between 1976 and their break-up 20 years later, Davies and the group reverted to their earlier mainstream rock format and enjoyed a second peak of success, with other hit songs, like "Destroyer", "Come Dancing" and "Do It Again".
    More Details Hide Details The Kinks disbanded in 1996, and Ray Davies has performed solo since then. In 1990, Davies was inducted, with the Kinks, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and, in 2005, into the UK Music Hall of Fame. On 4 January 2004, Davies was shot in the leg while chasing thieves who had snatched the purse of his companion as they walked in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. The shooting came less than a week after Davies was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II. The Kinks' early recordings of 1964 ranged from covers of R&B standards like "Long Tall Sally" and "Got Love If You Want It" to the chiming, melodic beat music of Ray Davies' earliest original compositions for the band, "You Still Want Me" and "Something Better Beginning", to the more influential proto-metal, protopunk, power chord-based hard rock of the band's first two hit singles, "You Really Got Me" and "All Day and All of the Night".
  • TWENTIES
  • 1973
    Age 28
    In 1973, Davies attempted suicide by overdose following the breakup of his first marriage.
    More Details Hide Details He was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder. On 4 January 2004, Davies was shot in the leg while chasing thieves who had snatched the purse of his companion as they walked in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. In 2011 Davies was "grounded" for six months following discovery of blood clots in his lungs. Solo albums Collaborative albums Compilation albums Chart singles written by Davies The following is a list of Davies compositions that were chart hits for artists other than The Kinks. (See The Kinks discography for hits by The Kinks.) Sources
  • 1969
    Age 24
    A definitive testament to Davies' reputation as a songwriter of insight, empathy and wit can be heard on the Kinks' landmark 1969 album Arthur (or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire).
    More Details Hide Details Originally conceived as the soundtrack to a television play that was never produced, the band's first rock opera affectionately chronicled the trials and tribulations of a working class everyman and his family from the very end of the Victorian era through World War I and World War II, the postwar austerity years, and up to the 1960s. The overall theme of the record was partly inspired by the life of Ray and Dave Davies' brother-in-law, Arthur Anning, who had married their older sister, Rose—herself the subject of an earlier Kinks song, "Rosie Won't You Please Come Home" (1966)—and had emigrated to Australia after the war. Over the course of a dozen evocative songs, Arthur fulfils its ambitious subtitle as Davies embellishes an intimate family chronicle with satirical observations about the shifting mores of the English working class in response to the declining fortunes of the British Empire.
  • 1967
    Age 22
    On his 1967 masterpiece "Waterloo Sunset", the singer finds a fleeting sense of contentment in the midst of urban drabness and solitude.
    More Details Hide Details Davies' mid-period work for the Kinks also showed signs of an emerging social conscience. For example, "Holiday in Waikiki" (1966) deplored the vulgar commercialization of a once unspoiled indigenous culture. Similarly, "God's Children" and "Apeman" (both 1970), and the songs "20th Century Man", "Complicated Life" and "Here Come the People in Grey" from Muswell Hillbillies (1971), passionately decried industrialization and bureaucracy in favour of simple pastoral living. Perhaps most significantly, the band's acclaimed 1968 concept album The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society gave an affectionate embrace to "Merry England" nostalgia and advocated for the preservation of traditional English country village and hamlet life.
  • 1966
    Age 21
    By late 1966, Davies was addressing the bleakness of life at the lower end of the social spectrum: released together as the complementary A-B sides of a single, "Dead End Street" and "Big Black Smoke" were powerful neo-Dickensian sketches of urban poverty.
    More Details Hide Details Other songs like "Situation Vacant" (1967) and "Shangri-La" (1969) hinted at the helpless sense of insecurity and emptiness underlying the materialistic values adopted by the English working class. In a similar vein, "Dedicated Follower of Fashion" (1966) wittily satirized the consumerism and celebrity worship of Carnaby Street and 'Swinging London', while "David Watts" (1967) humorously expressed the wounded feelings of a plain schoolboy who envies the grace and privileges enjoyed by a charismatic upper class student. The Kinks have been called "the most adamantly British of the Brit Invasion bands" on account of Ray Davies' abiding fascination with England's imperial past and his tender, bittersweet evocations of "a vanishing, romanticized world of village greens, pubs and public schools". During the band's mid-period, he wrote many cheerfully eccentric—and often ironic—celebrations of traditional English culture and living: "Village Green" (1966), "Afternoon Tea" and "Autumn Almanac" (both 1967), "The Last of the Steam-Powered Trains" (1968), "Victoria" (1969), "Have a Cuppa Tea" (1971) and "Cricket" (1973). In other songs, Davies revived the style of British music hall, vaudeville and trad jazz: "Dedicated Follower of Fashion", "Sunny Afternoon", "Dandy" and "Little Miss Queen of Darkness" (all 1966); "Mister Pleasant" and "End of the Season" (both 1967); "Sitting By the Riverside" and "All of My Friends Were There" (both 1968); "She's Bought a Hat Like Princess Marina" (1969); "Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues" and "Alcohol" (both 1971); "Look a Little on the Sunny Side" (1972); and "Holiday Romance" (1975).
    Davies led the Kinks through a period of musical experimentation between 1966 and 1975, with notable artistic achievements and commercial success.
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  • TEENAGE
  • 1964
    Age 19
    After the Kinks obtained a recording contract in early 1964, Davies emerged as the chief songwriter and de facto leader of the band, especially after the band's breakthrough success with his early composition "You Really Got Me", which was released as the band's third single in August of that year.
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  • 1963
    Age 18
    Davies then joined the Hamilton King Band until June 1963; the Kinks (then known as the Ramrods) spent the summer supporting Rick Wayne on a tour of US airbases.
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  • 1962
    Age 17
    In late 1962 he became increasingly interested in music; at a Hornsey College Christmas dance he sought advice from Alexis Korner who was playing at the dance with Blues Incorporated and Korner introduced him to Giorgio Gomelsky, a promoter and future manager of the Yardbirds.
    More Details Hide Details Gomelsky arranged for Davies to play at his Piccadilly Club with the Dave Hunt Rhythm & Blues Band, and on New Year's Eve the Ray Davies Quartet opened for Cyril Stapleton at the Lyceum Ballroom. A few days later he became the permanent guitarist for the Dave Hunt Band, an engagement that would only last about six weeks. The band were the house band at Gomelsky's new venture, the Crawdaddy Club in Richmond-upon-Thames; when the Dave Hunt band were snowed in during the coldest winter since 1740, Gomelsky offered a gig to a new band called the Rolling Stones, who had previously supported Hunt at the Piccadilly and would take over the residency.
    Davies was an art student at Hornsey College of Art in London in 1962–1963.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1944
    Born
    Born on June 21, 1944.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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