Tuesday, April 23, 2024

You Can Call Him “Sir Ray”: Ray Davies of the Kinks Knighted by Queen Elizabeth in New Year’s Honours


Die hard Kinks fans around the world can rejoice today: Ray Davies has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth in her New Years Hohours. You can call him Sir Ray.

The two other honourees that jump out of a long list are the brilliant actress Helen McCrory, aka the wife of “Billions” star Damian Lewis, and Mark Rylance, winner of Best Supporting Actor last winter for “Bridge of Spies.” They each received honours.

Ray Davies has a special place in my heart because I was watching him rehearse for Clive Davis’s annual Grammy party several years ago in the Beverly Hilton at the same time Whitney Houston tragically died upstairs. We didn’t know what was going on, obviously. What a terrible night!

But the Kinks have a special place in everyone’s hearts for their off-kilter songs and beautiful melodies. After the Beatles and Stones, the next “tier” so to speak of the British Invasion were the Who and the Kinks. But because Ray and his brother Dave fought all the time, their legacy was diminished. Eventually– even after being saved by Clive Davis for a second career– the Kinks imploded. Many people may know their songs from commercials.

“You Really Got Me,” “All Day and All of the Night,” “Sunny Afternoon,” are three of the big hits. But there’s a vast, long list. The Pretenders had a hit with “Stop Your Sobbing.” Then Chrissie Hynde and Ray briefly married. Elvis Costello turned the beautiful “Days” in a haunting staple of his set. My own favorites are “Ape Man” and “Something Better Beginning.”  And then of course, there’s “Lola,” from 1970– a trans song 47 years too early.

So here’s to Sir Ray– well played!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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