Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
(b 22 April '40, Vancouver, B.C., Canada) Country singer, pianist with bluesy style, songwriter, publisher. Grew up in Winfield, Alberta; played drums in local band the Winfield Amateurs; formed own band the Blue Echoes, playing high school hops, weekend gigs, local TV; sent demos to Nashville. Johnny Horton recorded his "Mr Moonlight'; Jim Reeves recorded his religious song "Where Do I Go From Here', encouraged him to come to Nashville '64; he worked in a piano factory, formed Blue Echo Music Company; Marty Robbins recorded "She Means Nothing To Me Now' and Ray signed contract with RCA/Groove '65; first hit on MGM "Your Lily White Hands' '67, biggest hit on Royal American "The Mornin' After Baby Let Me Down' '71. Records on several labels without major chart success, but won several BMI songwriting awards; among his successes were "Canadian Pacific' (George Hamilton IV), "Baby' (Wilma Burgess), "Step Aside' (Faron Young), "Who's Gonna Play This Old Piano' (Jerry Lee Lewis), "It Couldn't Have Been Any Better' (Johnny Duncan), "Where Love Begins' (Gene Watson).