Ray Thomas, Moody Blues flautist, vocalist, dies at 76
UPI News Service, 01/09/2018
Ray Thomas, a flautist and vocalist for band the Moody Blues, has died at age 76.
The musician's label, Esoteric Recordings/Cherry Red Records, announced Thomas' death on Facebook Sunday. A cause of death was not disclosed.
"It is with profound sorrow and sadness that Cherry Red Records and Esoteric Recordings regret to announce that Ray Thomas, founder member, flautist and vocalist of the Moody Blues, passed away suddenly at his home in Surrey on Thursday 4th January 2018," the label said.
"We are deeply shocked by his passing and will miss his warmth, humor and kindness. It was a privilege to have known and worked with him and our thoughts are with his family and his wife, Lee, at this sad time."
Thomas formed the band in 1964 with keyboardist Mike Pinder, drummer Graeme Edge, bassist Clint Warick and guitarist Denny Laine. The Moody Blues would soon replace Laine with Justin Hayward and Warwick with John Lodge to form the group's most well-known lineup that was recently selected to join the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
"Ray and I have been on this magical journey through life together since we were 14...two young kids from Birmingham who reached for the stars...and we made it together. El Riot you will always be by my side #moodyblues @rockhall #Moodiescruise," Lodge wrote on Twitter Sunday, referring to the band El Riot, which Thomas and Lodge first performed in.
Thomas appeared on all of The Moody Blues' albums including Days of Future Passed, In Search of the Lost Chord, A Question of Balance and Every Good Boy Deserves Favour among others until he retired from the band in 2002 due to health issues.
Thomas wrote and provided vocals on tracks such as "Twilight Time," "Legend of the Mind," "Dr. Livingstone, I Presume," "Dear Diary" and "And the Tide Rushes In."
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He also released two solo albums, 1975's From Mighty Oaks and 1976's Hopes, Wishes and Dreams.
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