Happy birthday Ray Davies!

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Ray Davies (June 21, 1944) is an English musician and the lead singer and songwriter of The Kinks. Ray and his brother Dave founded the band when they were 18 and 16, respectively, in their childhood London home. During his time in The Kinks, Davies wrote many of the band's major hits, including "You Really Got Me", "Lola", "Come Dancing" and "All Day and All of the Night." The Kinks split up in 1996 and Davies continues to perform as a solo artist.

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Raymond Douglas Davies was born in London England to Annie and Fred Davis. Ray was the couple's first boy and seventh child. He received his first guitar from his oldest sister Rene when he was 13, and played his first show with his brother Dave when he was 16. The next year, he formed his first band, The Ray Davies Quartet.

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Davies dropped out of college to reform the band, which went through many names, and briefly included his fellow classmate, Rod Stewart. In 1964, The Kinks signed with Pye Records and released their debut album and included "You Really Got Me" and "All Day and All of the Night."

 

The next year, the group toured Singapore, Hong Kong, and Australia. The group also stopped over in India, which inspired Davies to write the song "See My Friends" which incorporated traditional Indian styles of music, and was extremely well-regarded by his peers.

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The Kinks often had problems because of the group's infighting, especially between the Davies brothers, as well as Dave Davies and drummer Mick Avory, who once knocked Dave unconscious in the middle of a show. For a while, the group was banned from performing onstage in the United States because of the violence that became associated with their live shows. Shortly thereafter, Ray Davies suffered a nervous breakdown, although he recovered in time to release their third album, The Kink Kontroversy

 

 

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Davies flew to Los Angeles to arrange the band's re-entry into the United States, after four years of the performance ban. Davies wrote and released "Lola," one of his most well-known songs. Next, Davies began experimenting with different styles of music and wrote the rock opera Preservation, which led to The Kinks Present a Soap Opera.

 

 

In 1977, The Kinks released Sleepwalker, the first of their rock albums which tremendously increased their profile in the U.S. and allowed them to sell out Madison Square Garden. Although the band achieved considerable mainstream success, the group became disillusioned with the music that led to their popularity, and its members continued to be at odds. In 1996, The Kinks disbanded.

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Since then, Ray Davies has performed independently, and has released four solo albums so far: The Storyteller, Other People's Lives, Working Man's Café and The Kinks Choral Collection. In 1990, The Kinks were inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

 

Related links:

Dave Davies' birthday biography 

Additional Info

  • Birthday Date: Saturday, 21 June 2014
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