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Ray Andersen -- Rock and Roller for All Ages

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Andrea Tarr

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Ray Anderson is a musician with two distinct audiences – adult rockers and kiddie rockers. I’m wondering which group has the toughest critics, but Ray will tell me. Growing up in the West Orange home that was once owned by legendary songwriters Carole King and Gerry Goffin must have inspired Ray; at a very early age he attempted playing piano, guitar and drums, and writing his own songs – all without a lesson. And then there is the zany side inspired by another set of characters including Danny Kaye, Jerry Lewis, Monty Python, Dick Van Dyke. In the early 80s, Ray was a member of the Stone Pony house-band, Cats On A Smooth Surface, and often had the chance to jam with Springsteen. Ray also had the opportunity to tour with and play guitar, keyboards and sing backup for Meat Loaf.  Additionally, he and Patti Maloney (future wife) formed a pop/rock duo, Blue Van Gogh.

In 1994 Fate arrived in the form of children, when Ray’s wife, who was working at a pre-school, asked him to perform for the kids. He quickly became known as "mr. RAY,". The kids were soon hooked and the rest is history. Singing about friendship, dinosaurs, and rainbows never sounded so cool. But after all, Ray is a serious rock and roller. It was such a success that parents started asking him to record his songs for those long car rides. Ray wrote and co-produced his own album entitled,Start Dreaming! It was released in April 2001. Many more CD’s have followed, and these days, Ray is playing to packed pre-schools and private parties, not only entertaining adoring kids but instilling in them a love for music and a desire to play an instrument themselves. He’s a busy guy these days, making music for kids of all ages. Lucky, right? After the interview, please check Jersey Coastal After Hours for additional information.

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