Who was/is Ray Griff ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more
Ray Griff was largely unknown on the southern side of the U.S./Canadian border when he turned up on Victor’s rejuvenated Groove subsidiary at the dawn of 1965, although the Vancouver, British Columbia native (he was born there April 22, 1940 and raised in Winfield, Alberta) made a rocking ’61 single, The Racing King b/w I Would If I Could, for the Canadian Quality label under the mangled name of Ray Greff.
Griff got his early musical experience playing with his Blue Echoes on Calgary TV. He wrote songs for Johnny Horton and Jim Reeves prior to moving to Nashville in 1964. The singer unleashed a high-energy approach on his rollicking self-penned Groove debut That Weepin’ Willow Tree, which came attached to another Griff original, the more country-oriented Don’t Lead Me On. Bob Ferguson produced Griff’s rocking Groove followup Tongue Twistin’ Time, but Ray soon segued into aiming his output squarely at the country demographic. He broke through on the C&W charts at the end of ’67 with Your Lily White Hands on MGM, then did well with a cover of Clarence Carter’s R&B smash Patches for Royal American in 1970. There were plenty more for Dot during the first half of the ‘70s and Capitol after that (If I Let Her Come In just missed the C&W Top Ten in 1976). Griff fought throat cancer before dying March 9, 2016 at age 75.
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