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Vernon Wray


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Vernon Aubrey Wray was the eldest of the Wray brothers, born on January 7, 1924 in Dunn North Carolina.

In 1943, along with the rest of the family, Vernon moved to Portsmouth Virginia. Vernon’s “day job” was a taxicab service, and it’s said he had the first taxi license in Portsmouth.

At night, Vernon and his brothers Doug and Link played the honky-tonks, clubs, and fairs in the area, backing many famous musicians of the day. The band, consisting of Vernon, Link, Doug, Shorty Horton and Dixie Neal, seemed to change names according to the venue they played - Lucky Wray and the Lazy Pine Wranglers and Lucky Wray and the Palomino Ranch Hands. It’s been said that Vernon picked up his nickname from his success at gambling.

In 1955, the entire Wray family moved to Washington DC and began to establish the Wray musical legacy that brought you to this web site.

Washington DC at that time was a hotbed of country music, with stars like Jimmy Dean, Roy Clark and Charlie Daniels playing clubs throughout the area. The Wray Brothers were no exception. In these clubs, they caught the attention of Ben Adelman, a local record producer.

It was here that Vernon (now known as ‘Ray Vernon’ - establishing himself as a solo performer) was probably first exposed to production and record work. Local Southern Maryland rockabilly Vince Maloy recalls first meeting Vernon working at Adelman’s studio when he went in to record a few sides.


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