Ray Davies, one of the most successful and influential songwriters to emerge from the British music scene of the 1960s, founded the rock band The Kinks with his brother Dave in London in 1963 and shortly after began a relationship with the Kassner group that continues to this day. The band’s string of top ten international hits began with “You Really Got Me” followed by “All Day and All of The Night”, “Tired of Waiting”, “Set Me Free”, “See My Friends” and “A Well Respected Man” among many others.
Following the initial British Invasion, the appeal of The Kinks spread state-side and they became a major act globally over the next two decades. The Kinks were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 at which Ray was described as “almost indisputably rock’s most literate, witty and insightful songwriter” and the groundbreaking quality of “You Really Got Me” was recognised as the “forerunner of heavy metal”. To date, “You Really Got Me” has been certified by BMI as having been performed over 5 million times in the US, “All Day and All of the Night” in excess of 2 million and “Tired of Waiting” more than 1 million.
A string of awards have been conferred on Ray by numerous sources in the past decade, each honouring his unique talents of musical composition. Mojo bestowed its prestigious Songwriter Award on him, BMI identified him as a BMI Icon and, perhaps most significantly, for his lifetime contribution to the art of songwriting he was awarded the CBE by Queen Elizabeth II at the beginning of 2004.
Affectionately referred to as the “Godfather of Brit Pop”, Ray Davies is cited as a major influence on artists such as Pete Townshend, Paul Weller, Morrissey, Damon Albarn and many more. It is a testament to the enduring appeal of Ray’s music that his songs have frequently been covered and yielded hits for performers including Van Halen, The Pretenders and The Stranglers.