Wormhole #56 (For The Late Great Ray Collins)

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12 Comments

  • 1
    December 26, 2012 - 11:19 | Permalink

    so, what, did Ray pass away? He was always number one THEE best vocalist Frank ever had.
    I heard that he eventually wopund up working at a gas station… Or was that just a myth?

    • 2
      Willard
      December 26, 2012 - 11:26 | Permalink

      Yeah, Don From Oregon popped a link in C-Box about it. I guess I should do the same on the post. Haven’t kept up on Ray in recent years but it was sad to hear he passed. The old Crusin’ music is just so warm and fun it was impossible not to appreciate what he did for FZ’s music.

  • 3
    December 26, 2012 - 11:31 | Permalink

    Thanx, Willard.
    T

  • 4
    Don from Oregon
    December 26, 2012 - 13:33 | Permalink

    Hey guys. Here are a couple of other links, including an announcement in “Variety”. Needless to say, it is not getting much attention in the larger trades so far.
    http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118063951/
    http://www.allaccess.com/net-news/archive/story/113644/original-mother-ray-collins-passes

  • 5
    December 27, 2012 - 09:30 | Permalink

    Loved his vocals, especially on Uncle Meat‘s “The Air”.

    • 6
      Willard
      December 30, 2012 - 23:46 | Permalink

      He was one of the unsung greats.

  • 7
    Duncan Walls
    December 28, 2012 - 08:51 | Permalink

    I think Ray’s vocals made the early Mothers’ music almost acceptable to some…llke my Dad who wouldn’t complain about the doo-wop stuff but couldn’t handle it when I played the more outre pieces The Mothers presented. As much as the scary stuff excited and confused me, Ray’s voice was somehow reassuring that this was music I could relate to if I just opened my mind a little more to what Frank had to say.Though I truly never identified the vocalists until much later and viewed them all as a GROUP called The Mothers of Invention, it must have been around the time that the original group dissolved into the next phase that my initial interest started to wane. Of course there was SO MUCH happeninig otherwise, too, and I was such a musical whore that I was lured to the curd for the next new thing and though I followed Frank & Co up until THINGFISH at a slight distance, catching up here and there, I still yearned for that initial rush that I felt with The Mothers on the LPs up to and including Cruisin’ With Reuben & The Jets…and a big piece of that was Ray Collins. RIP, brave soul. Thanks for the memories.

    • 8
      Willard
      December 30, 2012 - 23:45 | Permalink

      Crusin’ and Sha Na Na were my first, barely teenage tastes of 50s doo-wop nostalgia. I knew the stuff was around before, having an older brother, but always thought it was old time music and never really studied it until FZ pointed the way. Just one of many genres of music FZ and the boys opened these young ears up to. Because of that, Ray’s serious/tongue in cheek approach always seemed the way this music should sound. Just one of many genres of music FZ and the boys happily perverted for me forever. Thanks as always for commenting Duncan.

  • 9
    buzzbabyjesus
    December 31, 2012 - 19:20 | Permalink

    I made the mistake of buying the cd with the wrong bass and drums. It took awhile for it to sink in what was wrong. I felt so betrayed, I got rid of it right away. I found a vinyl rip of the original and can say that “Greasy Love Songs” sounds real fine. One of my favorite Zappa albums.

    • 10
      Willard
      January 1, 2013 - 09:36 | Permalink

      Putting that CD out was one of FZ’s biggest blunders. He said the masters were waterlogged and proceeded to re-record parts for it. He did it on a few other tracks and albums, too. Then he found better original versions and released those. I have no idea where the GLS versions came from. I’m guessing they mastered it from an original LP, but don’t know. What a fucked catalog, and his “Family Trust” hasn’t helped matters much.

  • 11
    miles
    January 3, 2013 - 20:09 | Permalink

    Ray was a character, huh? Well actually, all those Mothers were pretty zany, but none of them could sing quite like Ray. And his humor was truly funny, not the adolescent locker room/toilet humor that Zappa seemed to embrace later (particularly with Flo & Eddie). The latters brand of comedy and singing couldn’t hold a match to Ray’s (and I’m sure there’s a joke in there that those two would’ve pounced on). But I do miss that band, The Mothers of Invention. Odd too, didn’t Motorhead pass away in 2011 on Christmas day —- one day shy of a year earlier?

    If I can insert a blatant and shameless personal plug, Willard, here’s a link to a lot of Ray’s contributions to the M.O.I. assembled in what I hope is a novel way: http://birdswithbrokenwings2.blogspot.com/2011/10/wplj-radio.html

    • 12
      Willard
      January 4, 2013 - 10:21 | Permalink

      Thanks Miles. You know you’re always welcomed to drop pearls-of-wisdom links around here. Thanks.

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