By JT

In the early sixties, two kids from Birmingham, Ray Thomas and John Lodge played in the band El Riot.

After they split, Thomas went on to form the seminal group Moody Blues, along with keyboardist Mike Pinder, drummer Graeme Edge, bassist Clint Warwick, and guitarist Denny Laine.  Laine was soon replaced by Justin Hayward, and Warwick by Lodge, forming the group’s classic lineup, the one which spawned many of their greatest hits.

Unfortuantely, last Thursday, Thomas passed away at his home in Surrey, as confirmed by his label, Esoteric Recordings/Cherry Red Records.

Thomas appeared on all of the band’s albums as a flautist, multi-instrumentalist, and singer, and was the featured vocalist on many tracks as well, including “Twilight Time,” “Legend of the Mind,” “Dr. Livingstone, I Presume,” “Dear Diary” and “And the Tide Rushes In.”

He retired from the group in 2002 after a myriad of health issues, and revealed in 2013 he was suffering from “inoperable” prostate cancer.  The group was currently preparing, and excited for, the prospect of Thomas joining them onstage as they are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

A cause of death currently has not been revealed.

Via Rolling Stone

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