Tributes to The Moody Blues' Ray Thomas
The Moody Blues’ Justin Hayward and John Lodge have paid tribute to their former band member Ray Thomas, following his death at the age of 76.
Hayward said: “My heartfelt condolences to Ray’s family. All my thoughts are with them, and I send them my love. Ray was a kind, generous and giving musician and friend through all those magical years for the group, and I treasure all the music we made together.”
Lodge said: “Ray and I have been on this magical journey through life together since we were 14... two young kids from a council estate in Erdington, Birmingham, who reached for the stars... and we made it together. El Riot you will always be by my side.”
Thomas, the flautist and vocalist in the Birmingham-based band, died suddenly on Thursday, his record label confirmed.
Cherry Red Records and Esoteric Recordings said in a statement: “It is with profound sorrow and sadness that weCherry 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 2018.
“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.”
In 2014, Thomas revealed on his website that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
He said he received his diagnosis in 2013, writing: “My cancer was inoperable but I have a fantastic doctor who immediately started me on a new treatment that has had 90 per cent success rate.”
“The cancer is being held in remission but I’ll be receiving this treatment for the rest of my life.”
Born in Stourport-on-Severn on December 29, 1941, Thomas started out in blues and soul groups in the 1960s and later formed The Moody Blues alongside Mike Pinder, Denny Laine, Graeme Edge and Clint Warwick. The rock band’s hits include Go Now, Nights In White Satin and Question.
Thomas also enjoyed solo success with albums From Mighty Oaks and Hopes Wishes And Dreams.
The Moody Blues, including Thomas, were to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.