Rock's Backpages Library Rock's Backpages
Rock's Backpages

Ray Fox-Cumming

Ray Fox-Cumming had his first taste of show business when he was made Pinewood correspondent of the local paper on which he trained. This involved spending every Thursday afternoon at the studio’s lots, finding out about new films being made there and gleaning movie gossip.

After that he spent a miserable year in fashion journalism, before finding his true home at Disc & Music Echo. He arrived in 1972, a fantastically exciting time when several enduring world stars were making their breakthrough. David Bowie, after soldiering away in the wilderness for ten years after his hit single Space Oddity suddenly struck gold with Ziggy Stardust; Lou Reed, legendary leader of the Velvet Underground, gained his first commercial success with his second solo album Transformer; Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music burst on to the scene with their zany first single 'Virginia Plain' and never looked back; and Freddie Mercury and Queen were soon to breach the top ten for the first of many, many times with 'Seven Seas of Rhye'.

With most of Disc’s journalists claiming more established artists as their territory, Ray set his sights at these new rising stars. He interviewed them frequently, socialised with them and became personal friends with most. He was in the studio to watch Bowie’s Diamond Dogs being recorded, and David once sent him an orchid ‘to keep you outrageous over Christmas’. Another year Bryan Ferry sent a case of fine wines as a festive thank you for a glowing review of his underrated single 'You Go To My Head'.

The heady days at Disc came to an end when Ray left shortly before the paper closed and later he went to work for Disc’s erstwhile rival, Record Mirror, but it was never the same. Times had moved on and the music had changed. He didn’t pretend to understand Northern Soul and punk left him cold.

He then went to work as a music publicist for RCA and then BASF, but was far too indiscreet to be any good at it. At around this time in the late seventies he wrote his two music-related books - Stevie Wonder and the best-selling Disco Fever, and freelanced for Tatler and other glossy magazines.

Ray's career in journalism ended at The Observer in 1995 where he had been working on the paper’s Arts Review. After a short bout of ill-health he reinvented himself as a hotelier and restauranteur, which remains his metier today. Writing has become a sideline, but the music goes on. Left on a desert island he would be as happy as a pig in the proverbial just as long as he was allowed to take his Lou Reed and Marianne Faithfull CDs with him

List of articles in the library by artist

David Bowie: Aladdin Scotland

Report and Interview by Ray Fox-Cumming, Disc and Music Echo, May 1973

RAY FOX-CUMMING WATCHES THAT MAN STUN THE SCOTS IN ABERDEEN ...

David Bowie: Aladdin Scotland (part 2)

Interview by Ray Fox-Cumming, Disc and Music Echo, June 1973

Part two of Ray Fox-Cumining's report on David Bowie in the North ...

David Bowie, T. Rex: Tony Visconti: Behind Bolan And Bowie

Interview by Ray Fox-Cumming, Disc and Music Echo, September 1974

THIS IS a story of Marc Bolan and David Bowie – compared and contrasted. Bolan, the complete professional, who lost out through believing himself above ...

David Cassidy: Empire Pool, Wembley, London

Live Review by Ray Fox-Cumming, Disc and Music Echo, March 1973

Nice one David! ...

Cockney Rebel: The Mellowing Of Mr Harley

Interview by Ray Fox-Cumming, Disc and Music Echo, November 1974

STEVE HARLEY just sits there a-glowering, looking, if one can, defiantly mellow. The suggestion that the arrogant ol' sour puss has softened up a bit ...

David Essex: The Busy Mr Essex

Interview by Ray Fox-Cumming, Disc and Music Echo, November 1974

MR ESSEX, I Presume? One could be forgiven for asking the question because, caught unawares in his dressing room for the 45 show, he looks ...

Bryan Ferry, Roxy Music: Bryan Ferry: So Ferry Stylish

Report and Interview by Ray Fox-Cumming, Record Mirror, October 1975

POST-CONCERT meals with Roxy Music are relaxed and refined affairs. The group change for dinner, sip pre-prandial drinks in their hotel bar, then dine with ...

Mary Hopkin: Mary Had A Little Jam...And Now She's Got A Single!

Interview by Ray Fox-Cumming, Record Mirror, February 1976

MARY HOPKIN has at least one good reason for being glad to be back at work "It gives me an excuse to get a maid. ...

Mick Ronson, Mott The Hoople: Mick Ronson: Taking Care Of Business

Interview by Ray Fox-Cumming, Disc and Music Echo, November 1974

YORKSHIREMEN are renowned for their good business sense and Hull-born Mick Ronson sure ain't going to be the one to let the side down. Already ...

Olivia Newton John: Nights in White Satin

Interview by Ray Fox-Cumming, Disc and Music Echo, February 1973

SOME INTERVIEWEES need only to be given their head with a single question before sounding off about their whole life history and psyche, while the ...

Peter Noone: High Noone

Interview by Ray Fox-Cumming, Disc and Music Echo, November 1974

THESE WERE THE MYSTERIOUS INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN TO FOX-CUMMING WHEN HE SOUGHT AN INTERVIEW WITH THIS CHAP ...

Ann Peebles: Gulliver's, London

Live Review by Ray Fox-Cumming, Disc and Music Echo, October 1974

CONCERTS at the ultra-trendy Biba's Rainbow Room almost invariably, for some reason or other, turn out to be disappointing and, from the reviews I've read ...

Queen: Queen of the Orient

Interview by Ray Fox-Cumming, Record Mirror, May 1975

A FEW MONTHS ago Queen were the band everyone was talking about and the only reason why their name hasn't been on everyone's lips just ...

Lou Reed: Transformer (RCA)

Review by Ray Fox-Cumming, Disc and Music Echo, December 1972

THOSE OF you kind enough to read the idiocies I write to introduce the live gigs will know that, as far as I'm concerned, Lou ...

Lou Reed: The Black Sheep of New York

Interview by Ray Fox-Cumming, Disc and Music Echo, October 1972

THE INTERVIEW is to take place in a pub just off London's Curzon Street at around lunch-time. Lou Reed arrives late, looking papery. He's not ...

Roxy Music, Sadistic Mika Band: City Hall, Newcastle

Live Review by Ray Fox-Cumming, Record Mirror, October 1975

THE EARLY part of Roxy's British tour has been a succession of 'welcome homes' for members of the band. ...

The Rubettes: Rubettes Bring Back Jive

Interview by Ray Fox-Cumming, Disc and Music Echo, November 1974

IN DANCE-craze circles 'The Bump' is supposed to be all the rage...but is it? ...

The Sensational Alex Harvey Band: Alex Harvey: The Dream Comes True

Interview by Ray Fox-Cumming, Disc and Music Echo, October 1974

THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM is coming true. At last, after 20 years in and around the business, Alex Harvey has got himself a hit. Don't worry ...

Smokie: Smokie Rising — 11 Years to Take Off!

Profile and Interview by Ray Fox-Cumming, Record Mirror, January 1976

MOST BRIGHTEST hope contenders in any year tend to be fairly new bands, but Smokie, although the name is newish, had their beginnings over 11 ...

Sweet: Sweet Talking Guy

Report and Interview by Ray Fox-Cumming, Disc and Music Echo, February 1973

Sweet's Andy Scott Talks To Ray Fox-Cumming ...

back to LIBRARY

COPYRIGHT NOTICE