Ray Thomas, the flautist and singer, who has died aged 76, was a founding member of the Moody Blues, which began in 1964 as an R & B band in Birmingham before moving to a more full-bodied orchestral style, with psychedelic elements, which yielded the perennial favourite Nights in White Satin and helped to set the stage for such prog-rock groups as Yes, Genesis and Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
Though never favourites with the critics, the Moody Blues won a huge international following and were one of the few bands of the 1960s that managed to keep going into the new millennium, selling more than 70 million albums and scoring an impressive tally of hit albums and singles, with Thomas writing and singing such tracks as the trippy Legend of a Mind and Veteran Cosmic Rocker.
Along with the Rolling Stones and the Kinks, the band were members of a fraternity of veteran British rock bands that continued...
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