Collin Raye Biography

Review The Artist (17)

Collin Raye-photo
BORN: August 22, 1959, DeQueen, AR

What started with a simple desire to entertain has turned into something that is almost a holy calling for Collin Raye.

The man with the most muscular tenor in country music still puts on shows that are electrifying in their intensity. But as album after album sells Platinum and single after single hits No.1 on the charts, Collin has found that there is something deeper and more profound about what he does than merely entertaining people.

"In the beginning, I wanted hits and all that," he reflects. "But what drives me now is what this music means to people. Songs have landed on -me that made me realize there's more to this than I thought. It's about entertaining people one minute and healing them the next. It's kinda like a ministry."

People have carved the lyrics to "Love, Me" on tombstones and gotten married to the strains of "In This Life." The Tennessee Task Force on Domestic Violence lauded him for the social conscience of his video I Think About You." "Not That Different" carried an anti-racist message. Nearly 200,000 calls poured into Al-Anon's 1-800 number after Collin included it in his video for "Little Rock." And millions have danced to such joyous performances as "On the Verge," "My Kind of Girl," "That's My Story" and "Every Second."

"Music can make a difference," says the performer of such powerful material as "One Boy, One Girl," "That Was a River" and "What the Heart Wants." Winning an award isn't enough incentive for me. People come to these shows because these songs are inspiring to them. That's what gets me on that tour bus every week. That's what keeps me interested in making records."

It has been two-and-a-half years since Collin Raye issued a set of new country songs. So he approached My Walls Came Down with conviction, respect *and determination.

"I've poured more blood, sweat and tears into this record than any in the past," says the man with five Platinum Records and nine No.1 singles under his -belt. I co-produced some of the new songs on the -hits album, but this is the first full-fledged album where I've sunk in my teeth from beginning to end. This time, I was there throughout the creation of every note of music."

He also contributed as a songwriter. "Start Over Georgia" and "My Walls Came Down" signify Collin Raye's blossoming as a tunesmith like never before. Always a peerless lyric interpreter, he brings pangs of regret to "I Can Still Feel You," fatherly concern to "I Wish -1 Could" and sweet bliss to "April Fool."

There's, a renewed commitment to classic country music in such "hurtin" tunes as "Someone You Used to Know" and "Make Sure You've Got It All." He sails through the groove of "Anyone Else" with the finesse of a rhythm master. And on "Corner of the Heart" Collin proves once again that few singers can equal him as a romantic.

What has always set Collin Raye apart is his willingness to tackle lyrics that go far beyond typical love songs and dance ditties. "All My Roads" and "Survivors" are relationship songs with hope that don't for a moment gloss over the troubles and difficulties that lovers must endure. "The Eleventh Commandment" is a harrowing indictment of child abuse.

"I think it's important to touch on issues. 'Little Rock, ''What If Jesus Comes Back Like That' and 'I Think About You' were songs that allowed me to become accepted as making statements. I think my whole seven years in country music have prepared me for this. I want to use 'The Eleventh Commandment' as a torch to bring this subject out into the light."

The father of two has always been passionate about children's issues. Collin says he wants this song to become a video vehicle to publicize and raise funds for the Kids Place organization that deals with America's epidemic of child abuse.

His own childhood was partly spent on stage. Both parents were musical and his mother, Lois Wray, was a regionally popular performer in East Texas who opened shows for Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins in the 1950s. Collin was on stage with her and performing professionally at age 7.

When he was 13 he and his older brother Scoff formed The Wray Brothers band. They began performing in the roadhouses of the Lone Star State as teenagers, then became headliners in Portland, Oregon and in the gambling casinos of Reno, Nevada. Then known as "Bubba Wray," Collin became a walking encyclopedia of songs and a passionate showman.

He first attracted Nashville's attention as the lead vocalist on a string of independent-label singles in the 1980s. Billed as "The Wrays," the act released a couple of singles on Mercury Records in 1986-87 before breaking up. Scott is now a songwriter for his brother's publishing company.

Collin had married in 1980 and by mid decade he was the father of daughter Brittany, born in 1983, and son Jacob, born in 1985. After The Wrays broke up he considered the prospect of giving up music for the first time in his life. He wanted to be a better father, a better provider for them. Although now divorced, he lives next door to ex-wife Connie in Greenville, Texas and takes an extremely active role in child rearing. Brittany appeared in her father's video "I Think About You" and both children are in -the clip for "Love, Me."

They say the darkest hour is just before dawn. With the prospect of factory work looming on Collin Raye's horizon, Epic Records signed him in 1990. A year later his solo career caught fire when "Love, Me" became the first of his many chart-topping hits.

His incendiary stage shows, unflagging charity work, sincere approach and unerring song taste have brought Collin Raye to the forefront of Nashville music. In 1996 and 1997 he competed as country's Male Vocalist of the Year. He has played to more than 2.2 million people. In short, Collin is a bona fide star.

But to the man with the larger-than-life voice, the philosophical bent, the sincere humanity and the undeniable stage mastery, this isn't about stardom. It's about making music that matters.

My Walls Came Down is a landmark recording in a career that's already studded with them. It is Collin Raye at his most passionate and personal.

Awards & Nominations
1998 Academy of Country Music Male Vocalist of the Year Nominee
1998 Dove Award for Country Recorded Song of the Year
1997 Country Music Association Male Vocalist of the Year Nominee
1997 Academy of Country Music Video of the Year Award for "I Think About You"
1996 Country Music Association Male Vocalist of the Year Nominee
1996 CMA Best Video Nominee for "Not That Different"
1994 CMA Song of the Year Nominee for "Little Rock"
1992 CMA Song of the Year Nominee for "Love Me"
1992 ACM Single of the Year Nominee for "Love Me"

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A gentleman with a great voice | Reviewer: Violet Coyne | 3/17/14

Collin,I am a fan for years seen you in dublin and Athboy .with my granddaughter Leah age 8 .nights I will always remember .your my granddaughter s hero .collin I was so sad when I read your story about your granddaughters passing. I love my granddaughter so much that words are not enough. I just can't imagine the pain you went through.may god bless you always. And thank you god for collin raye.

insperation | Reviewer: jerry chase | 1/10/14

im a musician and singer. collin raye is my idol. i saw you in concert twice. once in tampa fl. and the other in a casino in tunica ms. from that point on i started to model myself after you and train my voice based on your clean style and dynamics,and because of you ive become a way better singer. i love your voice,you are great,you are a huge star in my eyes and a great inspiration ,not only to heart and world through your messages and lyrics,but also a great inspiration to myself,because ive learned so much about singing from you,i use you,your songs as a template of performance. i have turned many other singers on to you,i tell them ,if you ant to sing like a pro,and train your voice to perfection then listen to collin raye,and if you listen and try to model yourself after him you will be a much better singer/performer. thank you man!

Everthing you sing. | Reviewer: Barbara Garner | 11/15/13

I don't think there is a single song that I would not like. Can't wait until November 23rd to see you at Mesquite Arena. I'm taking my 12 year old grand-daughter with me to see her 1st concert.

All I Can Be | Reviewer: Shirley Seibel | 1/27/13

You are absolutely the best country artist of all time. Your voice is so amazing and so beautiful if I could say that. I have most of your CD's Collin and I play them over and over. Saw you once in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada at our Casino a few years back. Please come back I will be first in line to purchase a ticket. There is not another voice like yours anywhere. I believe you have been so overlooked in the country music industry. Thank you for your beautiful music.

Love every song of his | Reviewer: Kristy J | 12/6/12

My husband loves country music. I was a fan of everything but country until we dated and later married. Every time I would hear one of Collin Raye's songs I would tell my husband that I loved this one also. Finally he said, "You like Collin Raye's music. He is always the singer of your favorite songs." He came to our small town of Preston, Idaho and did a concert around my birthday and we went. He will be in Logan, Utah next week. We plan on attending. He has an amazing voice. I feel music is the language of the soul.

Collin Raye | Reviewer: Anonymous | 8/5/12

His name and birthdate are incorrect on many sites. His given name is Floyd Elliot Wray and his birthdate is August 22, 1960. I love all his songs and could easily listen to him for the rest of my life. His songs are such a comfort to me. God Bless You Collin!

I knew him when | Reviewer: Kristi | 6/5/12

I live in Portland OOregon and began a follow "Bubba Wray and the Wray Brothers when they first started playing here. My friends, Shelly and Rhonda would go pretty long distinces to hear this band. We were also there to give Bubba and Conni a baby shower for there first child, a little girl. I have the first album ever put out by this band, and sighned by all. Sounds like his life is on track. That makes me happy. Kristi Fahsholz, Lover of "The Wray Brothers Band

"Little Rock" | Reviewer: Jerry | 8/15/11

In the lyrics, there's a line about the "Church of Christ", though I'm not anymore active in that church. The whole lyrics reflects my life. I used to drink much liquor. And had an unsuccessful marriage......

In Love!! | Reviewer: sue | 1/14/11

I Love...Love....Love Collin. I have only seen him in concert 3 times, but I would go plenty more times if he comes to our area again. Please come to Central Pennsylvania again!!!! Love your songs!!

Collin Raye is the best singer and person in country music! | Reviewer: kimberly givens | 3/29/10

I have been to several concerts not to mention the many times that I have met Collin! There isn't a more kinder, sweeter , nicer man in the world that you can met then Collin! He has a heart of gold! I am so very proud of you Collin! He has touched my life and changed my heart.! Your thwe Buddy I Love You Collin. Keep up the great job amnd I will see you on the road soon! Love you

collin is number 1 in my book! | Reviewer: kimberly givens | 3/29/10

I have been to several concerts not to mention the many times that I have met Collin! There isn't a more kinder, sweeter , nicer man in the world that you can met then Collin! He has a heart of gold! I am so very proud of you Collin! He has touched my life and changed my heart.! Your thwe Buddy I Love You Collin. Keep up the great job amnd I will see you on the road soon! Love you

Collin Raye | Reviewer: Angie Pierce | 2/3/10

Love, Me is the greatest song ever. When I was in my teens Collin Raye was giving a concert in Greenville, Tx. I won tickets, an autographed cd and picture of him from the local radio station. The concert was awesome. I just wished I still had the the autographed picture and cd but through the years of moving around I lost both. Collin Raye you are awesome.

amazing | Reviewer: Staci | 7/1/08

I have seen Collin Raye in concert many times over the years and he sounds just as good as he does on the CDs. I've been to many concerts over the years and that isn't always the case. He is so personable on stage and has a pure, clear voice.
I think he was and is highly overlooked in the country music world.

Love, me | Reviewer: M. McNay | 12/12/07

My daughter sang this song at her grandmother's memorial service and there wasn't a dry eye in the church. Absolutely beautiful song. Thank you for sharing your lovely music and letting us "borrow" it.

Tears to My eyes | Reviewer: Mary. Eire | 8/17/07

I have not heard the song "If you get there if before i do" in a long time,I didn't know the artist name that sung it.But since my mother died, I could not get that song out of my head. Mam and Dad had a love they shared since mam was 15 and dad 19 they are the only couple i have ever seen so devoted to each other their love I have not experienced in my life and his song expresses words what i believe real love is.

Thank you Mr Raye

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