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The Kinks' Ray Davies Celebrates His 70th Birthday Today

Image courtesy of Ian Brodie/Decca Label Group (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of Ian Brodie/Decca Label Group (via ABC News Radio)

Sending out Happy Birthday wishes to Ray Davies , who turns 70 Saturday.  As the lead singer and main songwriter of The Kinks , Davies amassed an impressive body of work that was critically acclaimed, commercially successful and hugely influential.

During The Kinks' 30-plus-year history, Ray was responsible for penning such classic songs as "You Really Got Me," "All Day and All of the Night," "Sunny Afternoon," "Waterloo Sunset," "Lola," "Celluloid Heroes" and "Come Dancing."

While the early hits he wrote for the band featured lyrics that offered raw and simple expressions of young love and lust, Davies writing quickly matured, offering insightful and witty character studies, observational musings on the mundanities of the average Englishman and nostalgic reminiscences about the way life in his homeland used to be.

Beyond being a craftsman of pop gems, Davies also explored the concept album with such records as 1973's Preservation Act 1 , 1974's Preservation Act 2 and his 1985 solo project Return to Waterloo , which was a companion piece to a TV movie he wrote and directed.

Following The Kinks' breakup in 1996, Davies launched a full-fledged solo career that has seen him issue such well-received albums as 2006's Other People's Lives and 2007's Working Man's Café .

In addition, he's has written a number of stage musicals, including 2008's Come Dancing , which was based on the 1983 Kinks hit of stage name, and a new production called Sunny Afternoon that tells the story of his band's early years.  Ray also has used his literary talents to pen a pair of memoirs, 1994's X-Ray and 2012's Americana .  He currently is involved in a variety of projects, including an album based on Americana and a mini opera about the big-band era.  Meanwhile, Ray apparently has been discussing the possibility of a reunion with his brother and Kinks band mate Dave Davies , although nothing concrete has been decided.

Among the many honors Ray has received during his long career are induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 as a member of The Kinks, an Icon award from performing-rights organization BMI in 2006 and induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame earlier this month.  Davies also was bestowed with the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, or CBE, honor by Queen Elizabeth II in 2004.

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