Happy Birthday, Ray!

And yet another rock and roll June birthday. Today we honor Sir Raymond Douglas Davies of The Kinks on his 78th!

Formed as a rhythm-and-blues band in 1963 by brothers Ray and Dave Davies, the Kinks originated in Muswell Hill in northern London. Built on power chords, their third single, You Really Got Me, provided their big break.

Over the years, Ray Davies built his legend as one of rock’s great eccentric wits, the poet laureate of England, rooting for the losers and outsiders, and always feuding with his younger brother and lead guitarist Dave.

Their lack of American success in the late 1960s was surely influenced by the ban the American musicians’ union had placed on The Kinks in 1965 (which, in effect, prevented them appearing on TV or in concert in the U.S. between late 1965 and 1969.) While no specific reason was ever given for the ban, it’s widely believed to have stemmed from rowdy onstage behavior between Dave Davies and drummer Mick Avory.

In early 1969, bassist Pete Quaife, fed up with the bickering between the Davies brothers and the onstage fisticuffs between Dave and Mick, announced he was leaving.

“The band was fighting all the time and I was getting sick of it,” Quaife said in a 1998 interview. “I wanted to run as fast as I could in the other direction. I just couldn’t take the constant brawling amongst everybody any more.”

That brings us up to 1970 … but that’s a story for a different time. Today, you’re getting ten hits from the 1960s and one from early 1970; all written and sung by Ray Davies.

Memories … That’s What We’re All About

Play buttons are on the left … Volume sliders are on the right

Ray Davies Birthday Medley

Comments (6)

  1. Rosa-Lee Gould/Lee

    Well Ray, today is proof that you’re never to old to learn something new. Your background report on the Kinks & Ray Davies does not seem at all familiar to me. ‘Course I am a year older now & the memory may be going but I don’t really think so. One of my 1st thoughts was he wasn’t that much older than I was but then when we were in school anyone 6 yrs. older was old. The concept of time & age definitely changes. I have to admit there are a few songs that I didn’t know but will be be checking to see if today’s fashion world brings out stripes & polka dots any time soon. Have a good day & thank you for the songs 🙂

    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thanks, Lee 🥰
      I wouldn’t be surprised if there were several songs people won’t recognize. As the column said, the ban from late ’65 through ’69 took the Kinks off the musical map. Die hard fans like Don Doyle probably remembers those songs but casual fans were left in the dark.
      By the way, you may be a year older but you’re still as sharp as a tack! 🙂

  2. Sandy Gaither

    Well this was definitely an eye-opener! In lots of ways, most of the songs I am familiar with, but there were a few I didn’t know. I want to thank you for the good explanation on the history of the kinks! I do remember that there was squabbling at some point but you know seems like every band had their squabbles. Because they were limited on what we could hear in the US may have been the reason that I wasn’t aware. They were good no doubt about it, and I do appreciate listening to their music again after all this time is gone by. Thank you Ray, you are the best!

    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thanks, Sandy 🥰
      The Kinks have no one to blame but themselves, They were a great band but the squabbles turned into something much too big and they paid the price. Very sad, really, because Ray Davies was one of the great songwriters of our time. He may have had a bit of a John Fogerty ego problem as he insisted on having complete control of, well, everything, but the man wrote some wonderful songs.

  3. Mary Helen

    Just love the Kinks
    Had no idea what a contentious bunch they were…again your intros are so revealing

    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thanks, Mary Helen 🥰
      I didn’t even mention the time Mick Avory hit Dave Davies with his drum pedal in reprisal for Davies kicking over his drum kit as revenge for a drunken fight the previous night in a Taunton hotel, apparently won by Mick. He then fled into hiding for days to avoid arrest.
      Yeah, they were a fun bunch of fellows. 🤣


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