Obit of the Day: Ray Manzarek, Founding Member of The Doors
Ray Manzarek, one of the original members of The Doors, has died at the age of 74. He is considered one of the greatest keyboard players in rock and roll history.
A native of Chicago, Manzarek met Jim Morrison while attending film school at UCLA in 1965. Manzarek and Morrison would recruit drummer John Densmore and guitarist Robby Krieger from another local band. But it was Morrison’s voice and Manzarek’s skill on the keys that would create the band’s signature sound.
They signed their first contract with Elektra Records in 1966 and released their self-titled album in 1967 which featured their first number one hit, “Light My Fire.”
The group would release seven top ten albums with Morrison as lead vocalist until his untimely death in 1971 at the age of 27. The remaining members of the group tried to stay together and recorded two more albums Other Voices (1971) and Full Circle (1972) with Manzarek on vocals. Sales were poor with neither album breaking the top 25 in the United States.
Manzarek would take a few years off before getting back into music forming Nite City in 1977 with Blondie bassist Nigel Harrison. They would produce two albums.
Since 2001 Manzarek and Krieger have toured as Manzarek-Krieger, Ray and Bobby, The Doors of the 21st Century, and The Riders of the Storm playing Doors hits. They have not recorded any albums. (John Densmore turned his attention to dance and has not performed with his former bandmates.)
Ray Manzarek, who also served as producer on the seminal punk album Los Angeles by X, died on May 20, 2013.
Sources: AllMusic.com, www.rayandrobby.com, and Wikipedia
(“People Are Strange” - an OOTD favorite because of The Lost Boys - and Strange Days are copyright of Elektra Entertainment, 2006.)
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