Ray Davies

Ray Davies, one of the most successful and influential songwriters to emerge from the British Invasion of the 1960s, founded the rock band The Kinks with his brother Dave and Pete Quaife in London in 1963. Davies was born in Muswell Hill London, the seventh of eight children, including six older sisters and younger brother Dave.

The band’s string of top 10 international hits began with "You Really Got Me", followed by "All Day and All of The Night", "Tired of Waiting", "Set Me Free", "See My Friends", "Till The End of The Day", "A Well Respected Man", "Waterloo Sunset", "Lola", "Sunny Afternoon", "Dedicated Follower of Fashion", "Apeman", and "Come Dancing", among many others, all written by Ray. Davies also composed several pioneering rock operas including Arthur, Preservation and Soap Opera.

Following the initial British Invasion, further State-side success continued with The Kinks becoming a major stadium and chart act over the next two decades, selling out Madison Square Gardens and putting "Come Dancing" into the top 10 in 1982.

Ray’s artistic talents are not just limited to music, as he also directed his first film for Channel 4, Return to Waterloo in 1983 and in 1994 directed and produced Weird Nightmare, a portrait of Charles Mingus for Channel 4’s jazz series. Davies collaborated with Barrie Keeffe in 1981 on his first stage musical, Chorus Girls, and in 1988 wrote 80 Days with Snoo Wilson for the La Jolla Playhouse. He returned with his third musical Come Dancing in 2008 at Stratford East which won the What’s On Stage Best off West End Musical award.

In 1995 Davies published his unauthorised autobiography, X-Ray, and a few years later released live album Storyteller from his one-man touring show. In 2006 Ray released his first studio solo album Other People’s Lives and followed it up with his second solo album Working Man’s Café in 2008. Just a year after this, Ray released The Kinks Choral Collection featuring Ray and the Crouch End Festival Chrous interpreting many of The Kinks classic hits.

Affectionately referred to as the Godfather of Brit Pop, Ray Davies is cited as a major influence on artists such as Pete Townshend, Paul Weller, Morrissey,  Noel Gallagher, Damon Albarn, and many more. Ray Davies’ songs have become hits for bands including The Jam, Van Halen, The Pretenders and The Stranglers.

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