Posted by themusicsover on May 20, 2013
February 12, 1939 – May 20, 2013
Ray Manzarek was the co-founder and keyboardist for legendary rock band, the Doors. Born in Chicago, Manzarek moved to Los Angeles to attend UCLA film school during the early ’60s. It was there that he met Jim Morrison who told him he had written some songs and sang him a rough version of “Moonlight Drive,” and the Doors was born. In January of 1966, John Densmore and Robby Krieger were added to the mix, and the group soon became the house band at The London Fog in Hollywood. Unfortunately, the group did very little to bring new patrons into the dingy bar so they were eventually fired only to be picked up by the Whiskey a Go Go the very same day. Their first gig at the Whiskey was opening for Them which got them some notice, and lead to a contract with Columbia Records. After languishing there for a few months they asked to be released from their contract and were soon signed by Jac Holzman to Elektra Records. The band’s first album, simply titled The Doors debuted in January of 1967 and soared to #2 on the Billboard charts on its way to selling over 12 million copies. The album included the band’s biggest single, “Light My Fire.” The Doors went on to become one of the most important rock bands all time thanks to their brilliant compositions and Morrison’s dynamic stage presence. After Morrison’s untimely death in 1971, the band forged on as a trio until calling it quits in 1973. In later years, the Doors occasionally reformed for special engagements. Outside of the band, Manzerek released several solo albums and formed a group he called Nite City. He also collaborated with the likes of X, Echo & the Bunnymen, and Iggy Pop. On May 20, 2013, Ray Manzarek died from bile duct cancer. He was 74.
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