Ray Beach and the Driftwoods
Canton, mid 1960s - mid 1970s
Ad from January, 1972
Ray Beach and the Driftwoods were a rockin' country band led by their namesake on guitar. The other members were Gary McCray on steel guitar, Jim Grant on drums, and J. King on bass. The band had the 'country combo' lineup that mirrored the rock bands of the day. Jim Grant came from a rock background, having played in the Silvertones before taking the country road.
The band played locally, and recorded a 45 of Ray's songs in December of 1967. They self-released the 45, pressed at Rite (we don't know where ir was recorded) and must have sold a number of copies. "Walking Blues" is a nice uptempo record that showed Ray also having some rock influences.
The band recorded a second 45 at Mills Audio in 1971, a midtempo lament titled "Saturday Night". Like the first 45, it seems to have sold pretty well in the area.
The 45 must have given the band momentum, as the local papers are full of bookings for the next couple years. In fall of 1971 through the summer of 1972 they were playing at a club called the Driftwood Town House in Massilon. Seems like they had a part or full interest in running the club.
The last newspaper ad we could find was in July 1975, in New Philadelphia.
Gary McCray is deceased.
Here We Are Again / Walking Blues - no label, no number (Rite master 20663/4)
You're Just Mine / Saturday Night - Maarc 1547, 1971