Ray Davies: Sixty Years a Kink

Published: 2004-06-21
Sixty years ago on this very day (June 21st), the man who would eventually become the driving force behind the Kinks was born in London, England. That man is Ray Davies, the lead singer and primary songwriter for the British band.

Along with his brother Dave, his schoolmate Peter Quaife and drummer Mick Avory, Ray formed the first incarnation of the Kinks in 1963. Caught up in the skiffle craze of the sixties, the Kinks put their own spin on the genre, and eventually broke through in 1964 with their first number one hit – a song penned by Ray.

Never as appreciated as the Beatles or the Rolling Stones, the Kinks still rightfully hold their place as one of the most influential British Invasion groups. Although they deserve much more reverence than they receive, many people are familiar with the Kinks' music without even knowing it. That first number one hit the Kinks scored in '64 has spanned the ages and still receives heavy play today.

Even though it was released forty years ago, absolutely everyone (even the young'uns) knows the song 'You Really Got Me'. Not only do people recognize the tune, but most know all the words, and everyone has played air guitar to that killer riff at least once in their life.

But by no means is 'You Really Got Me' the only song the Kinks gave the world. The band would go on to release 'All Day and All of the Night', 'Sunny Afternoon', and what very may well have been the first top ten hit about a cross dresser, the ever-popular 'Lola'.

So it's a good thing that those sixty years ago Ray Davies was born, because without that event no one would ever have been able to belt out 'YEAHHH you really got me now, you got me so I don't know what I'm doin''. And that, my friends, would be a tragic loss to mankind.

Writer: Jaclyn Arndt



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