Raymond Thomas ” the Moody Blues ” nous a quittés RIP

Raymond Thomas


Raymond Thomas (29 December 1941 – 4 January 2018) was an English musician, flautist, singer and composer in the UK rock band The Moody Blues.

Contents [hide]
Early years
The Moody Blues
Band hiatus and reformation
Diminishing role and declining health
Resilience and final years in the band
Final years and prostate cancer diagnosis
The Moody Blues
External links

Early years[edit]
Thomas was born in Stourport-on-Severn, England, of Welsh descent.[1]
In the 1960s Thomas joined the Birmingham Youth Choir then began singing with various Birmingham blues and soul groups including The Saints and Sinners and The Ramblers.[2] Taking up the harmonica he started a band, El Riot and the Rebels, with bass guitarist John Lodge.[3] After a couple of years their friend Mike Pinder joined as keyboardist. El Riot and the Rebels once opened for The Beatles in Tenbury Wells;[4] Thomas and Pinder were later in a band called Krew Cats, formed in 1963, who played in Hamburg and other places in northern Germany.
The Moody Blues[edit]
Thomas and Pinder then recruited guitarist Denny Laine, drummer Graeme Edge, and bassist Clint Warwick to form a new, blues-based band, The Moody Blues. Signed to Decca Records, their first album, The Magnificent Moodies, yielded a No. 1 UK hit (No. 10 in the US) with “Go Now”. Thomas sang lead vocals on George and Ira Gershwin’s “It Ain’t Necessarily So” from the musical Porgy and Bess.
When Warwick left the band (followed by Laine a few months later) he was briefly replaced by Rod Clark. Thomas then suggested his and Pinder’s old bandmate John Lodge as a permanent replacement and also recruited Justin Hayward to replace Laine. With this line-up the band released seven successful albums between 1967 and 1972 and became known for their pioneering orchestral sound.
Although they initially tried to continue singing R&B covers and novelty tunes, they were confronted over this by an audience member, and with their finances deteriorating they made a conscious decision to focus only on their own original material.
Following the lead of Pinder, Hayward, and Lodge, Thomas also started writing songs. The first he contributed to the group’s repertoire were “Another Morning” and “Twilight Time” on Days of Future Passed. His flute had featured on three songs on the debut album—”Something You Got”, “I’ve Got a Dream”, and “Let Me Go”—as well as the single “From the Bottom of My Heart”, but it would become an integral part of the band’s music, even as Pinder started to use the Mellotron keyboard. Thomas has stated that a number of his compositions on the band’s earlier albums were made in a studio broom closet, with Thomas writing songs on a glockenspiel.[5] Hayward has spoken of Thomas’s learning transcendental meditation in 1967, along with other members of the group.[6]
Thomas and Pinder both acted as the band’s onstage emcees, as heard on the live album Caught Live + 5 and seen in the Live at the Isle of Wight Festival DVD. Thomas started to become a more prolific writer for the group, penning songs such as “Legend of a Mind”—an ode to LSD guru Timothy Leary, and a popular live favourite—and “Dr. Livingstone, I Presume” for In Search of the Lost Chord, “Dear Diary” and “Lazy Day” for On the Threshold of a Dream as well as co-writing “Are You Sitting Comfortably?” with Hayward.
The Moody Blues formed their own record label Threshold Records, distributed by Decca in the UK and London in the US, and their first album on the Threshold imprint was To Our Children’s Children’s Children, a concept album about eternal life. Thomas wrote and sang “Floating” and “Eternity Road”.
When the band began to realise that their method of heavy overdubbing in the studio made most of the songs very difficult to reproduce in concert, they decided to use a more stripped-down sound on their next album A Question of Balance, to be able to play as many songs live as possible. It was their second UK No. 1 album. Thomas wrote and sang “And the Tide Rushes In”, reportedly written after having a fight with his wife, and was credited with co-writing the album’s final track “The Balance” with Edge, while Pinder recited the story.
The Moodies went back to their symphonic sound and heavy overdubbing with Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, their third UK No. 1 album, and Thomas wrote and sang “Our Guessing Game” and “Nice to Be Here”, also singing a co-lead vocal with Pinder, Hayward and Lodge on Edge’s “After You Came”. All five members wrote “Procession”.
The final album of the ‘core seven’ was Seventh Sojourn, their first album to reach No. 1 in the USA. By this time, Pinder had replaced his mellotron with the chamberlin, which produced orchestral sounds more realistically and easily than the mellotron. Thomas wrote and sang “For My Lady”.
Band hiatus and reformation[edit]
Thomas released the albums From Mighty Oaks (1975) and Hopes Wishes and Dreams (1976) after the band temporarily broke up in 1974. During this period he earned his nickname ‘The Flute’. Within the band he was also known as ‘Tomo’ (pronounced tOm-O). The band reformed in 1977 for Octave, which was released in 1978. Thomas provided the songs “Under Moonshine” and “I’m Your Man”, and the group continued to release albums throughout the 1980s, with Thomas’s “Veteran Cosmic Rocker” and “Painted Smile” being featured on the album Long Distance Voyager. The former song has often been regarded as a theme song for the band itself as a whole and for Thomas in particular, and it again features his use of the harmonica. After contributing “Sorry” and “I Am” (both on the 1983 album The Present) Thomas temporarily stopped writing new songs for the band, for reasons unknown. He took featured lead vocal on Graeme Edge’s song “Going Nowhere” (on The Present).
Diminishing role and declining health[edit]
During the group’s synth-pop era, Thomas’s role in the recording studio began increasingly to diminish, partially due to the band’s synth-pop music being unsuitable for his flute and partially because he was also unwell during this period, meaning that his involvement in recording sessions was further limited. Despite contributing backing vocals on The Other Side of Life and Sur la Mer, he took no lead vocal role and it is unclear how much, if any, instrumentation he recorded for these two albums; but in any case, none of his instrumentation or vocals ended up on Sur la Mer. Although he is included in the childhood photos depicted on the album’s inner sleeve and is given an overall ‘group credit’, significantly (unlike the others) he is then not given an actual performing band credit at all. Patrick Moraz, who had replaced Pinder as the band’s keyboardist, objected to Thomas’s exclusion from the album and pushed for the band to return to the deeper sound that they had achieved with Pinder. It is possible that during the sessions for The Other Side of Life Thomas contributed tambourine, harmonica or saxophone, but it is unknown how many, if any, instrumental contributions of his ended up on the released version of the album, and at this point he was largely relegated to the role of a backup singer.
Resilience and final years in the band[edit]
On The Moody Blues’ 1991 release Keys of the Kingdom, Thomas played a substantial role in the studio for the first time since 1983, writing “Celtic Sonant” and co-writing “Never Blame the Rainbows for the Rain” with Justin Hayward. He contributed his first ambient flute piece in eight years; however, his health declined and his last album with the group was Strange Times to which he contributed his final compositions for the group. He also provided a co-lead vocal with Hayward and Lodge on their song “Sooner or Later (Walking On Air)”. His last three songwriting contributions for the Moodies were “Celtic Sonant” and “Never Blame the Rainbows for the Rain” on Keys of the Kingdom, and “My Little Lovely” on Strange Times.
Thomas permanently retired at the end of 2002. In a 2014 interview with Pollstar.com, drummer Graeme Edge stated that Thomas had retired due to illness. The Moody Blues–consisting only of Hayward, Lodge and Edge (Edge being the only remaining original member) plus four long-serving touring band members, including Gordon Marshall on percussion and Norda Mullen who took over Thomas’ flute parts–have released one studio album, December, since his departure from the band.
Final years and prostate cancer diagnosis[edit]
In July 2009 it became known that Thomas had written at least two of his songs– “Adam and I” and “My Little Lovely”– for his son and his grandson Robert, respectively. It was also revealed that he had married again, to his longtime girlfriend Lee Lightle, in a ceremony at the Church of the Holy Cross in Mwnt, Wales, on 9 July 2009.[7][8]
Thomas released his two solo albums, remastered, in a boxset on 24 September 2010. The set includes, with the two albums, a remastered quad version of “From Mighty Oaks”, a new song “The Trouble With Memories”, a previously unseen promo video of “High Above My Head” and an interview conducted by fellow Moody Blues founder Mike Pinder. The boxset was released through Esoteric Recordings/Cherry Red Records.
In October 2014, Thomas posted this statement on his website:[9]”After the tragic death of Alvin Stardust and the brave response to Prostate Awareness by his widow, Julie, in following up on what Alvin had intended to say about the disease, I have decided to help in some small way. I was diagnosed in September 2013 with prostate cancer. My cancer was in-operable but I have a fantastic doctor who immediately started me on a new treatment that has had 90% success rate. The cancer is being held in remission but I’ll be receiving this treatment for the rest of my life. I have four close friends who have all endured some kind of surgery or treatment for this cancer and all are doing well. While I don’t like to talk publicly about my health problems, after Alvin’s death, I decided it was time I spoke out. A cancer diagnosis can shake your world and your family’s but if caught in time it can be cured or held in remission. I urge all males to get tested NOW. Don’t put it off by thinking it won’t happen to me. It needs to be caught early. It’s only a blood test – a few minutes out your day to save yourself from this disease. Love and God Bless, Ray.”
Thomas died on 4 January 2018 of prostate cancer, at his home in Surrey, at the age of 76.[10][11]
Although he most commonly played flute, Thomas was a multi-instrumentalist, who also played piccolo, oboe, harmonica, saxophone, and, on the album In Search of the Lost Chord, the French horn. He frequently played tambourine and also shook maracas during the group’s R&B phase. The 1972 video for “I’m Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band)” features Thomas playing the baritone saxophone, although Mike Pinder says on his website that this was just for effect in the video and that Thomas did not play saxophone on the recording.[12]
The Moody Blues[edit]
1967: “Another Morning” from Days of Future Passed
1967: “Twilight Time” from Days of Future Passed
1968: “Dr. Livingstone, I Presume” from In Search of the Lost Chord
1968: “Legend of a Mind” from In Search of the Lost Chord
1968: “Visions of Paradise” (with Justin Hayward) from In Search of the Lost Chord
1969: “Dear Diary” from On the Threshold of a Dream
1969: “Lazy Day” from On the Threshold of a Dream
1969: “Are You Sitting Comfortably?” (with Justin Hayward) from On the Threshold of a Dream
1969: “Floating” from To Our Children’s Children’s Children
1969: “Eternity Road” from To Our Children’s Children’s Children
1969: “Watching and Waiting” (with Justin Hayward) from To Our Children’s Children’s Children
1970: “And the Tide Rushes In” from A Question of Balance
1970: “The Balance” (with Graeme Edge) from A Question of Balance
1971: “Procession” (with Justin Hayward, John Lodge, Mike Pinder, and Graeme Edge) from Every Good Boy Deserves Favour
1971: “Our Guessing Game” from Every Good Boy Deserves Favour
1971: “Nice to Be Here” from Every Good Boy Deserves Favour
1971: “The Dreamer” (with Justin Hayward): an out-take now added to the Every Good Boy Deserves Favour CD
1972: “For My Lady” from Seventh Sojourn
1978: “Under Moonshine” from Octave
1978: “I’m Your Man” from Octave
1981: “Painted Smile” from Long Distance Voyager
1981: “Reflective Smile” from Long Distance Voyager
1981: “Veteran Cosmic Rocker” from Long Distance Voyager
1983: “I Am” from The Present
1983: “Sorry” from The Present
1991: “Celtic Sonant” from Keys of the Kingdom
1991: “Never Blame the Rainbows for the Rain” (with Justin Hayward) from Keys of the Kingdom
1999: “My Little Lovely” from Strange Times
1975: “From Mighty Oaks” from From Mighty Oaks
1975: “Hey Mama Life” from From Mighty Oaks
1975: “Play It Again” from From Mighty Oaks
1975: “Rock A Bye Baby Blues” from From Mighty Oaks
1975: “High Above My Head” from From Mighty Oaks
1975: “Love Is The Key” from From Mighty Oaks
1975: “You Make Me Feel Alright” from From Mighty Oaks
1975: “Adam And I” from From Mighty Oaks
1975: “I Wish We Could Fly” from From Mighty Oaks
1976: “In Your Song” from Hopes, Wishes and Dreams
1976: “Friends” from Hopes, Wishes and Dreams
1976: “We Need Love” from Hopes, Wishes and Dreams
1976: “Within Your Eyes” from Hopes, Wishes and Dreams
1976: “One Night Stand” from Hopes, Wishes and Dreams
1976: “Keep On Searching” from Hopes, Wishes and Dreams
1976: “Didn’t I” from Hopes, Wishes and Dreams
1976: “Migration” from Hopes, Wishes and Dreams
1976: “Carousel” from Hopes, Wishes and Dreams
1976: “The Last Dream” from Hopes, Wishes and Dreams
2010: “The Trouble With Memories” from From Mighty Oaks/Hopes, Wishes and Dreams box set
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^ “Ray Thomas (Moody Blues) Interview: “Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll are a Thing of Memories; I’ve had More Than My Fair Share””. www.classicrockmusicwriter.com. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
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^ “Ray Thomas”. SoundHound. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
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^ User, Super. “El Riot & The Rebels – 1959”. raythomas.co.uk. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
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^ Brian Viner, “Tales Of The Country: When Beatlemania hit Tenbury Wells”. Archived from the original on 1 January 2009. Retrieved 30 September 2008. . Independent.co.uk. 2 May 2003
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^ http://blog.musoscribe.com/index.php/2015/01/08/go-now-and-then-the-ray-thomas-interview-part-2/
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^ Gleason, Paul (2 April 2013). “Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues on His Days of Future Passed (and Present)”. Rockcellar Magazine. Retrieved 2 September 2015. We went to the TM Center at the same time that The Beatles did. Four of us went: me, Mike, Graeme, and Ray. We went through the whole process.
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^ “Moody Blues News Archives – 2009”. Moodyweb.tripod.com. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
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^ “Congratulations, Mr and Mrs Thomas in Moody Blues Hall Forum”. Travellingeternityroad.yuku.com. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
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^ “Home”. Raytthomas.me. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
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^ “Ray Thomas R.I.P”. Teamrock.com. 5 January 2018. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
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^ “Moody Blues star Ray Thomas dies suddenly aged 76”. metro.co.uk. 7 January 2018. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
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^ Pinder, as stated on his website
External links[edit]
Official Ray Thomas website
The Moody Blues
Graeme EdgeJustin HaywardJohn Lodge
Ray ThomasMike PinderDenny LaineClint WarwickRodney ClarkPatrick Moraz
Studio albums
The Magnificent MoodiesDays of Future PassedIn Search of the Lost ChordOn the Threshold of a DreamTo Our Children’s Children’s ChildrenA Question of BalanceEvery Good Boy Deserves FavourSeventh SojournOctaveLong Distance VoyagerThe PresentThe Other Side of LifeSur la MerKeys of the KingdomStrange TimesDecember
Live albums
Caught Live + 5A Night at Red Rocks with the Colorado Symphony OrchestraHall of FameLovely to See You: LiveLive at the BBC: 1967-1970Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970
This Is The Moody BluesVoices in the Sky: The Best of The Moody BluesPreludeGreatest HitsTime TravellerThe Best of The Moody BluesAnthologyGoldAn Introduction to The Moody Blues
“Go Now””I Don’t Want to Go On Without You””Nights in White Satin””Tuesday Afternoon””Voices in the Sky””Ride My See-Saw””Never Comes the Day””Watching and Waiting””Question””The Story in Your Eyes””Isn’t Life Strange””I’m Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band)””Steppin’ in a Slide Zone””Driftwood””Gemini Dream””The Voice””Talking Out of Turn””Blue World””Sitting at the Wheel””Your Wildest Dreams””The Other Side of Life””I Know You’re Out There Somewhere””No More Lies””Say It with Love””Bless the Wings (That Bring You Back)””English Sunset”
Related articles
Band membersDiscographyJustin Hayward and Friends Sing the Moody Blues Classic HitsMoody Bluegrass
Authority control
WorldCat IdentitiesVIAF: 107544530LCCN: n95091366ISNI: 0000 0000 8922 4908BNF: cb14016401t (data)BIBSYS: 7054176MusicBrainz: 98d71fda-06f5-4127-a660-ccb1b811b1f0
Categories: 1941 births2018 deathsBritish harmonica playersBritish rhythm and blues boom musiciansEnglish baritonesEnglish flautistsEnglish male singersEnglish multi-instrumentalistsEnglish rock flautistsEnglish rock saxophonistsEnglish singer-songwritersEnglish songwritersMaracas playersMusicians from WorcestershirePeople from Stourport-on-SevernPeople with cancerTambourine playersThe Moody Blues membersTranscendental Meditation practitionersEnglish rhythm and blues musiciansEnglish rhythm and blues singersRock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees


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