Collin Raye Biography

Floyd Collin Wray, 22 August 1959, DeQueen, Arkansas, USA. Country rock and ballad performer Raye was raised in Texas, where his mother often opened shows for visiting star performers. For many years he and his brother Scott worked in Oregon and then in casinos in Las Vegas and Reno, but their contract to record for Warner Brothers Records as the Wray Brothers and as the Wray Brothers Band led nowhere, other than minor hits with ‘Until We Meet Again’, ‘I Don’t Want To Know Your Name’, ‘You Lay A Lotta Love On Me’ and Tim Hardin’s glorious song ‘Reason To Believe’. When the brothers split, Collin was signed as a solo act to Epic Records by producer Bob Montgomery. A collection of romantic songs, All I Can Be, became an immediate bestselling country album in the USA and ‘Love Me’, ‘In This Life’ and ‘That Was A River’ all topped the US country charts. ‘Love Me’ has since become a popular song at funerals! The soft-voiced tenor was equally romantic on In This Life, and the title song became another US country number 1. By the time of his third album Extremes, Raye was expanding his balladeer image, and this forceful collection included ‘That’s My Story’, which was written by Lee Roy Parnell, and ‘Little Rock’, about a recovering alcoholic. By 1995, Raye had achieved six country number 1s, and further hits in the Top 5. Although Raye is divorced he still lives with his ex-wife and children in Greenville, Texas. His album I Think About You includes the perplexing lyric of ‘What If Jesus Came Back Like That’, in which Christ returns to Earth as a vagrant and a single mother. Since then Raye has built a substantial following, although he has so far failed to recapture the commecial success he experienced in the 90s.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.