SWAG

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Ray Parker

Ray was born into a musical family. His mom graduated from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and worked in one of the most demanding professions in the music business ... as a junior high school chorus teacher. There was always a piano in Ray's home and as a youngster he often sat with his mom playing music and singing together. She helped develop his ear, sense of rhythm and also taught him basic music theory.


In 7th grade Ray was showing more interest in sports than music but his mom insisted that he enroll in either chorus or band class for the coming year. He did put up some resistance at first (what 7th grade boy wouldn't) but Ray is so grateful now that his mother refused to take "no" for an answer. Ray chose "Intro to Concert Band" and picked the tuba on a whim because he liked a girl in class and wanted to make her laugh. This was the start of a long and torrid love affair but it wasn't with the girl. Ray continued playing tuba into high school and picked up the bass guitar at age 14. Music was all about the bass clef as Ray played tuba in the marching/concert band and bass guitar in the jazz band. His skills on bass guitar continued to develop after high school as he played in rock bands through the 70's and early 80's. 


Sometimes life gets busy and throws up detours. Ray's musical pursuits were first sidetracked during a very busy last year of college and it was during this time that he sold his bass and amp. Then it was time for a career in the Navy and then his time was demanded by this or that. You know the drill. Still, through the years Ray always kept an old classical guitar around the house and played more bass riffs on that guitar than anything else! 


A few years ago a very good friend helped put an end to the detour. Ray had sometimes mentioned that he wished he still played bass so, having heard enough, the friend lent Ray his son's old bass and said, "Well, why don't you start playing bass then!" The things we pick up as kids are often engrained into our brains and this is certainly the case when it comes to Ray and the bass guitar. In no time he developed his chops and was playing out in bands for the first time in 30 years. Today Ray loves creating bass lines for SWAG originals and playing the music of his youth. It's like being back home again.


Ray works as a System Administrator for the  Social Security Administration. He is married to the lovely and beautiful Diane Beth.

Ray is one of the kindest people you will ever meet. He has the biggest heart, a wonderful smile and emotional intelligence that many can learn from. His view and outlook on life makes him somebody you want to be friends with for the rest of your life. Combined with his love for music and the arts that makes him a pretty amazing kind of person. 


"Playing music with others is an awesome experience and I love being the guy who lays down the "bottom end".