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Barrel Organ Music Book

whotrhg-0113 October 2014 Back in the studio with John 'Rocker' Lodge and producer Greg Walsh.
whotrhg-01Laying down flute tracks on song for John's new solo album.


It is with profound sorrow and sadness that Cherry Red Records and Esoteric Recordings regret to announce that Ray Thomas, founder member, flautist and vocalist of the Moody Blues, passed away suddenly at his home in Surrey on Thursday 4th January.


We are deeply shocked by his passing and will miss his warmth, humour and kindness. It was a privilege to have known and worked with him and our thoughts are with his family and his wife Lee at this sad time.


Born in Stourport on Severn on 29th December 1941, Ray was a member of various Birmingham Blues and Soul groups in the early 1960s, notably with El Riot and the Rebels, who also featured John Lodge and Mike Pinder at various stages in their existence. Ray formed The Krew Cats with Mike Pinder in 1963 and the group performed on the Hamburg club scene that year. Returning to Birmingham, Thomas and Pinder formed the Moody Blues with Denny Laine, Graeme Edge and Clint Warwick. The band signed to Decca Records and enjoyed a worldwide hit with their cover of Bessie Banks’ “Go Now” in January 1965.


In October 1966 the Moody Blues line-up changed with the recruitment of Justin Hayward and John Lodge to replace the departing Denny Laine and Clint Warwick. The musical style of the group changed dramatically with the incorporation of the Mellotron into their sound, along with Ray’s evocative flute playing.


The band’s 1967 single “Nights in White Satin” (from the ground breaking album “Days of Future Passed” - a number one album in the USA in 1972) was graced by a magical flute solo from Ray, contributing to the evocative arrangement of the song.

Over seven albums released between 1967 and 1972 the Moody Blues enjoyed major success, and each album was graced with compositions by Ray such as “Legend of a Mind” (about the psychedelic champion Timothy Leary), “Eternity Road”, “And the Tide Rushes In” and “For My Lady”.


In the mid 1970s Ray recorded two successful solo albums; “From Mighty Oaks” (1975) and “Hopes Wishes and Dreams” (1976). The Moody Blues success continued into the 1980s. Ray’s song “Veteran Cosmic Rocker” (from 1981’s “Long Distance Voyager) highlighted Ray’s marvellous sense of humour.


Ray remained with the Moody Blues until 2002 when he retired from the band due to health issues. Despite mobility issues, Ray continued to play and record occasionally, contributing a new song, “The Trouble with Memories” to a 2010 boxed set release of his two solo albums and more recently to the John Lodge album “10,000 Light Years Ago” in 2014.

Welcome to my website

september 2017 story

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Hit Channel horizontal logo 800pxHIT CHANNEL EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW:
July 2016. We had the great honour to talk with a legendary musician: Ray Thomas. He is best known as a founding member, flautist, singer and songwriter of the Moody Blues. He recorded backing vocals on “I Am the Walrus” and played harmonica on “The Fool on the Hill” by The Beatles. In the ‘70s he released two solo albums (“From Mighty Oaks” and “Hopes Wishes and Dreams”) in collaboration with Nicky James. Last year, Esoteric Recordings released the 50th Anniversary re-mastered edition of “The Magnificent Moodies” debut album of the Moody Blues. Read below the very interesting things he told us:

Click here to read the full article

After the tragic death of Alvin Stardust and the brave response to Prostate Awareness by his widow, Julie, in following up on what Alvin had intended to say about the disease, I have decided to help in some small way. I was diagnosed in September 2013 with prostate cancer. My cancer was in-operable but I have a fantastic doctor who immediately started me on a new treatment that has had 90% success rate. The cancer is being held in remission but I'll be receiving this treatment for the rest of my life. I have four close friends who have all endured some kind of surgery or treatment for this cancer and all are doing well. While I don't like to talk publicly about my health problems, after Alvin's death, I decided it was time I spoke out. A cancer diagnosis can shake your world and your family's but if caught in time it can be cured or held in remission.

I urge all males to get tested NOW.

Don't put it off by thinking it won't happen to me. It needs to be caught early. It's only a blood test - a few minutes out your dayto save yourself from this disease.

Love and God Bless, Ray


- 50th Anniversary Deluxe Remastered 2CD & Expanded Edition -


Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce the release of a newly remastered edition of "Natural Avenue”, the 1977 solo album by the MOODY BLUES’ bass player, vocalist and writer JOHN LODGE. John’s contribution to the Moody Blues as a key member and songwriter is well known, and in 1977, whilst the band was on a hiatus, he recorded this solo album. Featuring contributions from guest musicians such as Kenney Jones, Chris Spedding, Mel Collins and Mick Weaver, the album was produced by Moody Blues’ producer Tony Clarke and was a UK Top 40 hit.

"Natural Avenue” has been remastered from the original master tapes and includes two bonus tracks, ‘Street Café’ and ‘Threw it All Away’, originally released as a single in 1980. The reissue also features a lavish booklet that fully restores the original album artwork.

CD - http://www.cherryred.co.uk/shopexd.asp?id=4522
Limited edition LP - http://www.cherryred.co.uk/shopexd.asp?id=4523

 A couple of years ago, when my wife, Lee, was going thru some old clippings she came across this blurb about a film made my Halas (not Halee!) & Batchelor that I couldn’t remember anything about. Halas & Batchelor were the ‘Disneys’ of the UK and their time. Lee was finally able to get in touch with Vivien Halas, the daughter of Halas and Batchelor who promised to find the illusive film. Some months later, Vivien made good on her word and sent us a copy of this 1969 never seen before film. We are very pleased that she has allowed us to reveal to the public for the first time ever this whimsical film with music from “To Our Children’s Children’s Children”. Enjoy!


This has been a long time coming but we are finally proud to announce the release of the re-mastered “From Mighty Oaks” and “Hopes, Wishes & Dreams”. Both albums will be included in a boxset along with a never released quad version of “Mighty Oaks”, a never before seen video performance of “High Above My Head”, an interview hosted by Mike Pinder and a new song, “The Trouble with Memories” written and performed by myself and Bias Boshell along with a very special guest appearance by Finbar Furey. All of this has been pulled together by Mark Powell of Esoteric Recordings, a division of Cherry Red Records Ltd. Phil Smee has worked wonders with the original art work to produce a very memorable cover.

**Signed boxsets are available thru Phil Pavling, Musicfans92, at Amazon.co.uk. Press to order from Amazon

From Mighty Oaks


New remastered single CD edition of the first solo album by Moody Blues flautist & vocalist Ray Thomas, with lavish booklet and interview with Ray Thomas. Reviews & features in "Uncut", "Mojo", "Record Collector" & "Classic Rock" magazines and coverage on BBC radio & relevant websites & fanzines! Esoteric recordings is pleased to announce the release of a new remastered single CD edition of the album. This edition has been remastered from the original master tapes, fully restores the elaborate album artwork and includes an interview with Ray Thomas.

Hey Mama Life / Play It Again / Rock-A-Bye Baby Blues / High Above My Head / Love Is The Key / You Make Me Feel Alright / Adam And I / I Wish We Could Fly

Hopes, Wishes & Dreams


Released 28/03/11.
Esoteric Recordings is pleased to announce the release of a new re-mastered single CD edition of From Mighty Oaks. This edition has been re-mastered from the original master tapes, fully restores the elaborate album artwork and includes an interview with Ray Thomas.

n Your Song / Friends / We Need Love / Within Your Eyes / One Night Stand / Keep On Searching / Didn’t I / Migration / Carousel / The Last Dream
Available through Cherry Red. Press here to Order Now

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