He is a drummer, percussionist and background singer born in Scotland who worked in the Glasgow area during the 1950s and ’60s.
He initially worked as a chef and then in 1962 he joined up as the drummer for Dean Ford & The Gaylords. The group became very popular throughout Scotland and signed a contract with EMI Columbia in 1964. Often dubbed as “Scotland’s Top Group” they decided to try their hand in Germany and then in 1965 moved to London where they soon became acclaimed on the club circuit. In 1966, on the advice on their manager they changed their name to The Marmalade who would later find success on an international level.
Ray, however, left the group sometime during 1966 or ’67 and went back to working as a chef but this would be fairly short lived as by 1970 he was performing with Matthews’ Southern Comfort and was the drummer on their UK No. 1 hit single “Woodstock “. After Iain Matthews left the group he continued recording with the band, which were now known as Southern Comfort.
Once they disbanded in 1972 he began to work extensively with the successful Scottish duo Gallagher & Lyle, staying with them throughout the ’70s and appearing on the majority of their hit singles which included “Heart on My Sleeve”, “Breakaway” and “I Wanna Stay With You” and “Every Little Teardrop”. He also went back to working with Junior Campbell, who he had worked with in The Gaylords, and as his drummer he saw success with the hits “Hallelujah Freedom”, which Doris Troy sang backing on, and “Sweet Illusion” in 1972 and 1973 respectively.
Appearing on many albums during the course of his career, his work has been heard on Guts by John Cale, Breakaway, Love on the Airwaves and Showdown by Gallagher & Lyle, Second Spring and Later That Same Year by Matthew’s Southern Comfort and Frog City, Southern Comfort and Stir Don’t Shake by Southern Comfort.
Matthews’ Southern Comfort recordings
Woodstock (Joni Mitchell )
Old Gold OG 9795-A (UK 7″)
Here’s Gallagher & Lyle’s “Breakaway”….