Music & Lyrics
Ray Davies CBE, 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 in London in 1964. The band’s string of 14 top ten international hits began with You Really Got Me, followed by All Day and All of The Night, Tired of Waiting, Set Me Free, Dedicated Follower of Fashion, Sunny Afternoon, Waterloo Sunset, Lola, Apeman and Come Dancing among many others.
Davies has released two solo albums, a choral collection of Kinks classics and his recent collaborations album See My Friends saw him return again to the top ten working with the likes of Metallica, Bruce Springsteen and Mumford and Sons.
Davies collaborated with Barrie Keeffe in 1981 on his first stage musical, Chorus Girls, and in 1988 wrote 80 Days with Snoo Wilson, which was produced at the La Jolla Playhouse. He returned with his third musical, Come Dancing, in 2008 at Stratford East which won the WhatsOnStage Best Off-West End Musical award. In between the musicals Ray penned his unauthorized autobiography, X-Ray, from which he featured readings during his Storyteller tour.
August 2012 saw him perform at the London Olympics followed by his most successful solo tour to date. Ray returned in 2013 with his second autobiography, Americana, focusing on his time spent in the United States, which the band first conquered in 1965 but were banned from shortly after by the Musicians’ Union until 1969. It takes the story through to the band’s second wave of success in the 1980s and up to Ray’s shooting by a mugger in New Orleans at the beginning of 2004.
2014 saw the Kinks 50th Anniversary with a new box set and the following year saw Ray winning an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music for the Sunny Afternoon musical. Ray is currently finishing his next album of songs from his book Americana, which takes over where Sunny Afternoon leaves off.