Ray Thomas, flutist and founding member of Moody Blues, died on Thursday at age 76.
The Thomas Esoteric Recordings / Cherry Red Records label confirmed the multi-instrumentalist's death on Facebook, adding that Thomas died suddenly at his home in Surrey, England. No cause of death was announced.
"We are deeply shocked by his passing and will miss his warmth, humor and kindness," the seal wrote. "It was a privilege to have met and worked with him and our thoughts are with his family and his wife Lee at this sad time."
Moody Blues bassist John Lodge tweeted on Sunday: "Ray and I have been on this magical journey through life together since we were 14 … two little boys from Birmingham who they reached the stars … and we achieved it together, the Riot will always be by my side ". Thomas and Lodge played together in their band The Riot and the Rebels in the early sixties.
In 1964, after the separation from El Riot, Thomas and keyboardist Mike Pinder formed Moody Blues with drummer Graeme Edge, bassist Clint Warwick and guitarist Denny Laine. That line-up would launch the hit "Go Now" and the 1965 LP The Magnificent Moodies that featured Thomas on the lead vocals of Gershwin's cover "It's not necessarily So".
The Moody Blues will soon replace Laine with Justin Hayward and Warwick with Thomas El Riot's bandmate, Lodge, to form the band's classic lineup. As a flutist, multi-instrumentalist and singer in Moody Blues, Thomas appeared on all albums of the progressive rock band, including his classic LPs such as Days of Future Passed In search of the lost chord, A question of balance ] and Every good boy deserves the favor until his retirement in 2002.
Thomas also wrote and sang Moody Blues songs such as "Twilight Time", "Legend of the Mind". "Dr. Livingstone, I suppose," "Dear Diary" and "And the tide is rushing." In addition to his time with Moody Blues, Thomas also released a couple of solo albums, 1975 by Mighty Oaks and 1976 Hopes, Wishes and Dreams while the group came to a break in mid-March. the seventies.
Thomas retired from Moody Blues in 2002 after suffering a series of health problems. In 2013, Thomas revealed that he suffered from "inoperable" prostate cancer. "Cancer is in remission but I will receive this treatment for the rest of my life," Thomas wrote on his website.
In December, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced that the classic Moody Blues lineup – Thomas, Hayward, Edge, Lodge and Pinder – would be included as part of the 2018 promotion.
Following the announcement Lodge said in an interview that he hoped that Thomas and Pinder, who left the band in 1978 – would return for the induction ceremony. "If it works, it will be great because it's a natural thing to do, I'm not trying to force it, it's because it's supposed to be," Lodge said. "They've been an integral part of my life, it can not be discarded, it's blocked there." Hayward also told Rolling Stone that it would be open to a meeting of the classic lineup of the Moody Blues.