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Dobie Gray

Dobie Gray

(1940 – 2011)

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United States

Dobie Gray

Dobie Gray
(1940 – 2011)

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Dobie Gray

(1940 – 2011)
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About Dobie
This is an online obituary dedicated to Dobie Gray who was an American singer and songwriter, whose musical career spanned soul, country, pop and musical theater. His hit records included "The 'In' Crowd" in 1965, and "Drift Away", which was one of the biggest hits of 1973, sold over one million copies, and remains a staple of radio airplay.
He was born near Houston, Texas, by his own account in Simonton although some sources suggest the nearby town of Brookshire. His birth name was probably Lawrence Darrow Brown, who is listed in the Fort Bend County Birth Records as being born in 1940 to Jane P. Spencel and Jethro Clifton Brown. Other sources suggest he may have been born Leonard Victor Ainsworth, a name
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About Dobie
he used on some early recordings.
Dobie Gray continued to record, though with little success, for small labels such as Charger and White Whale, as well as contributing to movie soundtracks. He also spent several years working as an actor, including 2½ years in the Los Angeles production of Hair. In 1970, while working in Hair, he joined a band, Pollution, as singer and percussionist. They were managed by actor Max Baer Jr. (best known as "Jethro" in The Beverly Hillbillies), and released two albums of soul-inspired psychedelic rock, Pollution I and Pollution II. The band also included singer Tata Vega and guitarist/singer James Quill Smith. After that, he worked at A & M Records on demo recordings with
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About Dobie
songwriter Paul Williams.
In 1972, he won a contract with Decca Records, shortly before it became part of MCA, to make an album with producer Mentor Williams, Paul's brother, in Nashville. Among the songs that they recorded at the Quadrafonic Sound Studios, co-owned by session musicians Norbert Putnam and David Briggs, was Mentor Williams' song "Drift Away", featuring a guitar riff by Reggie Young. Released as a single, the song rose to # 5 on the US pop charts, and remains Dobie Gray's best known song today. The follow-up, a version of Tom Jans' much-covered song "Loving Arms", made # 61 in the chart. Dobie Gray also released three albums with MCA, Drift Away, Loving Arms, and Hey, Dixie, but later stated
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About Dobie
that MCA were unsure of how to market the albums - "They didn't know where to place a black guy in country music."
In the mid-1970s he moved permanently to Nashville and signed for Capricorn Records, writing songs in collaboration with Troy Seals. His biggest hit singles in the late 1970s were "If Love Must Go", # 78 in 1976, and "You Can Do It", # 37 in late 1978, his last solo chart hit to date. He increasingly concentrated on songwriting, writing songs for a variety of artists including Ray Charles, George Jones, Johnny Mathis, Charley Pride and Don Williams. Dobie Gray also toured in Europe, Australia and Africa in the 1970s. He performed in South Africa only after persuading the apartheid authorities
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About Dobie
to allow him to play to integrated audiences, becoming the first artist to do so in that country. His popularity in South Africa continued through numerous subsequent concert tours.
He re-emerged as a recording artist for Capitol Records in the mid-1980s, recording with producer Harold Shedd. Dobie Gray placed two singles in the US Billboard country chart during 1986 and 1987, including "That's One to Grow On" which peaked at #35. His country albums included From Where I Stand in 1986, and he made several appearances at Charlie Daniels' popular Volunteer Jam concerts. He also sang on a number of TV and radio jingles. In 1997, he released the album Diamond Cuts, including both new songs and re-recordings of
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About Dobie
older material.
Dobie Gray died on December 6th, 2011. This is an online memorial dedicated to his life and his music. May he rest in peace.
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Dobie Gray - tribute extract

Dobie Gray

This is an online obituary dedicated to Dobie Gray who was an American singer and songwriter, whose musical career spanned soul, country, pop and musical theater. His hit records included "The 'In' Crowd" in 1965, and "Drift Away", which was one of the biggest hits of 1973, sold over one million copies, and remains a staple of radio airplay.
He was born near Houston, Texas, by his own account in Simonton although some sources suggest the nearby town of Brookshire. His birth name was probably Lawrence Darrow Brown, who is listed in the Fort Bend County Birth Records as being born in 1940 to Jane P. Spencel and Jethro Clifton Brown. Other sources suggest he may have been born Leonard Victor Ainsworth, a name...

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Rest in peace Dobie
I first met Dobie at ****
My sincere condolences to all friends and family of Dobie
My fondest memory of Dobie was ****
Dobie used to really enjoy ****
What I will miss the most about Dobie is ****
Dobie inspired me to ****
Dobie changed my life by ****
If I had to sum up what Dobie meant to me it would be ****
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