Ray Davies

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Ray Davies (2006)
Entry ticket signed by Ray Davies

Sir Ray Davies , CBE (* 21st June 1944 in Muswell Hill , London as Raymond Douglas Davies ) is a British musician , composer and writer . He was the band leader , lead singer and guitarist of the rock group The Kinks , which he founded in 1963 with his brother Dave .


Ray Davies wrote almost all of the songs in the Kinks repertoire, including numerous hits such as You Really Got Me , Sunny Afternoon and Lola .

In 1995 he published his semi-fictional autobiography X-Ray , which he presented in readings. From this arose his storyteller tour (initially under the titles "X-Ray" and "20th Century Man"), which he presented together with accompanying guitarist Pete Mathison until 2001 in concert halls in Europe, Japan, Australia and the USA. He told stories about the songs that made him famous. In 1998 Davies released a solo album, which was also titled Storyteller . This project also gave rise to the VH1 format “ Storytellers ”, which was based on the Davies concept.

After he released an EP with the new title The Tourist in the UK at the end of September 2005 and a little later in the US with Thanksgiving Day , his long-announced studio album Other People's Lives was released . It was recorded together with other studio musicians from his new band made up of Mark Johns (guitar), Toby Baron (drums) and Dick Nolan (bass), with whom he performed in England, Scandinavia and at festivals in Belgium and Spain and which was founded in 2002 has been. The album became a commercial failure. Davies hit the headlines in January 2004 when he was shot in the street in New Orleans by a mugger who he was chasing after trying to steal his friend's purse. On March 17, 2004, he was awarded the Commander of the British Empire (CBE) by Queen Elizabeth II . On October 26, 2007, Davies released another solo album, Working Man's Cafe . Together with the Crouch End Festival Choir, he recorded the album The Kinks Choral Collection in 2009 . In October 2013, an autobiography, Americana , was published in which Davies looks back on his experiences in the United States. In 2014 the musical Sunny Afternoon celebrated its premiere in London. The play is about the career of the Kinks. In 2017, he was appointed Knight Bachelor .

After the Kinks ended in 1996, Davies guest-starred a few times with other performers such as Damon Albarn , The New Pornographers , Yo La Tengo , Bon Jovi , Metallica, and The Kooks . In autumn 2008, his musical Come Dancing , based on his 1982 song of the same name, was performed in London with Davies in the role of narrator. In 2012 he sang the song Waterloo Sunset at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London .

Davies was married twice (until 1973 with Rasa Didzpetris, until 1981 with Yvonne Gunner). Until 1984 he was in a relationship with the American rock musician Chrissie Hynde ( The Pretenders ); from this relationship comes a daughter. Davies has a total of four daughters with three different wives.

In the course of the New Year Honors 2017, Davies was raised to the nobility by the British Queen as a Knight Bachelor . The accolade took place on March 16, 2017 by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace .

Konk Records

In 1973, after building his own studio (Konk) in north London, Davies founded the Konk Records label, on which the following albums were released:

  • 1974: Claire Hamill: Stage Door Johnnies , Konk 101
  • 1975: Cafe Society: Cafe Society , Konk 102
  • 1975: Andy Desmond: Living on a Shoestring , Konk 103
  • 1975: Claire Hamill: Abracadabra , Konk 104

Konk was later used as a label for the Kinks re-releases.


The French band Tahiti 80 dedicated the song Mr. Davies to him on the album Puzzle in 2000 .

The Kinks and especially Ray Davies were great role models for Wolfgang Niedecken and his band BAP . In recognition of Ray Davies, the Kinks song Waterloo Sunset appeared in the BAP film by Wim Wenders. The Kinks classic Celluloid Heroes was re-recorded under the title Hollywood Boulevard by BAP and Ray Davies on the anniversary album Three Times Ten Years .

In 2015, Rolling Stone listed Davies as 27th of the 100 best songwriters of all time .

Solo projects

  • Ray Davies: X-Ray . Viking / Penguin, London 1994 (420 pages) ISBN 0-670-82926-9 (semi-fictional memoirs)
  • Ray Davies: Waterloo Sunset . Viking / Penguin, London 1997 (249 pages) ISBN 0-670-86640-7 ; the US edition of the book was published by Hyperion Verlag in 2000, ISBN 0-7868-6535-0 (short stories)
  • Return to Waterloo (film and soundtrack 1985, on CD 2005)
  • Weird Nightmare (documentary film about Charles Mingus , 1991)
  • The Storyteller (CD 1998)
  • Other People's Lives (CD 2006)
  • Working Man's Café (CD 2007)
  • The Kinks Choral Collection (CD 2009)
  • See My Friends (CD 2010, UK: silversilver)
  • Americana (CD 2017)
  • Our Country: Americana Act II (CD 2018)


Web links

Commons : Ray Davies  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Biography at VH1
  2. Rolling Stone :Ray Davies Shot in New Orleans, January 5, 2004
  3. ^ The London Gazette (Supplement) no. 61803. p. N2
  4. New Year Honors 2017: Anna Wintour, Ken Dodd and Ray Davies on list , BBC December 30, 2016, accessed January 13, 2017
  5. www.billboard.com: The Kinks' Ray Davies Knighted by Prince Charles , accessed March 17, 2017
  6. The 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time. Rolling Stone , August 2015, accessed August 7, 2017 .
  7. Music Sales Awards: UK