Ray Brown Rush, 83, of Houston, Texas passed away Tuesday, July 7, 2020. Ray was born December 6, 1936 in Beaumont, Texas to parents George E. Rush and Ethel “Tootsie” Pearl Brown Rush who preceded him in death along with his cousins, Patricia Wood, Judy Doerr, and John Seth Martin.
Mr. Rush is survived by his cousins, Wally Cox, George Cox, Sherrill Banhart, Susan Pettit, Terry Butts and Ben Manning.
Ray was an intriguing individual who was a singer, songwriter and producer in his youthful years. He began his musical career while attending Odessa Jr College in Odessa, TX. In 1956, Ray, along with David Bigham and Robert Linville, formed a vocal group known as The Roses. It was at this time they met Roy Orbison. By 1957, The Roses traveled with Roy to Clovis, NM to record at the Norman Petty Recording Studio. It was here they met Buddy Holly and the Crickets. Ray had the opportunity to work with Buddy as backup on some of his first records. As a member of The Roses, Ray became a backup singer to numerous artists who recorded there, including Waylon Jennings first recording. While part of the trio, Ray toured with Buddy Holly and the Crickets, performing on Alan Freed’s Fall Show of Stars. One of his many accomplishments includes being a cowriter with Roy Orbison and Joe Melton, of the original version of Pretty Woman.
When Ray left The Roses, he returned to Clovis to continue recording with Buddy Holly and Norman Petty. He and Buddy became partners in opening a recording studio known as Prism Records. It appears Buddy bought Ray out a short time later but Ray stayed on as Promotions Manager. This part of Ray’s life ended with the tragic plane crash and death of Buddy Holly in 1959.
By 1961, Ray recorded his first solo single on the Aura label. The “A” side was “Can This Be Love” and the “B” side was “So What” co-written with Jack Smith, a songwriter from West Texas. Ray then partnered up with Ted Groebl working studios in Big Spring, Odessa and Nashville. They later moved their local production activities to Odessa’s first professional recording studio, Coronado Studios, owned and operated by Charles “Hoot” Gibson.
In the mid 60’s, Ray made his move back to the Houston area and was hired by International Artists to work in production. He was instrumental in producing the groups, Thirteenth Floor Elevators and Bubble Puppy along with several others. The latter are back to performing in Austin and Ray was still in touch with many of the artists he worked with. He loved all of his music family and from the comments we have seen on his social page, his friends loved him.
The family would like to thank those who kept in touch with Ray through the years. There is a lot left to be said about Ray and a lot left to be known. He lost his battle to Covid-19 in just a little over a week after testing positive.
Ray will be laid to rest next to his parents at Stacy Memorial Cemetery in Devers, Texas on Friday, July 10, 2020 at 11:00 a.m.