On Thursday, 4 January 2017, the world lost Ray Thomas, founding member of the Moody Blues. Thomas sang and played flute, and was responsible for writing a number of the band's most memorable songs. He was 76.
by Jon Davis, Published 2018-01-05
Ray Thomas and Mike Pinder were the core founders of The Moody Blues in 1964, having worked together in a number of earlier bands. With Days of Future Passed, Thomas began contributing his own songs, notably "Another Morning" and "Twilight Time." His flute became one of the band's distinguishing trademarks. On later albums, several of Thomas's compositions became Moodies staples, including "Legend of a Mind," "Dr Livingston, I Presume," "Nice to Be Here," and "For My Lady."
During the Moodies' hiatus, Thomas released two solo albums, From Mighty Oaks (1975) and Hopes Wishes and Dreams (1976). After the Moodies resumed activity, his songwriting contributions were much less frequent, though he did pen "Veteran Cosmic Rocker," which serves as a sort of theme song for both the band and for Thomas himself. He continued to sing lead vocals on a number of the band's songs, though his contibutions tended to diminish as the albums relied more on synthesizers.
In 2002, his declining health led to his retirement, and revealed in 2014 that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, the illness which claimed him in the end.
Filed under: Obituaries
Related artist(s): The Moody Blues
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more