For this most creepy time of year, I’d like to share a recording of Ray McAuley and Wild Country singing a Buck Owen’s classic, “A Monster’s Holiday.” These guys were one tight band, as good live as on record.
Ray was from a family of country singers and guitar pickers from Douglastown, Gaspé, Quebec. His family moved to Montreal when he was a teenager and Ray later moved to B.C., where he formed a country band with Ed Molyski called Wild Country. Ray was the lead singer and rhythm guitarist and Ed wrote the songs and played lead guitar. The band were somewhat of a sensation in Western Canada in the mid-1970s, releasing one album on R.C.A. records, “Sometimes Good, Sometimes Bad” (1977), and appearing on the Tommy Hunter and Ronnie Prophet shows. They were were poised to begin a recording contract in Nashville when Ray died of an aneurysm in 1978 at 33 years old. He was awarded the 1978 Entertainer and Male Vocalist of the Year at the B.C. Country Music Association; the Association’s “Ray McAuley Horizon Award,” was named in his honour.
The recording of “Monster’s Holiday” comes from a mid-1970s live performance taped on reel-to-reel. Ray McAuley’s sister Edna sent this reel to Brian Morris who digitized it a few years ago. Brian is a guitarist and a good friend of mine in Montreal whose family is from Douglastown. Ray used to visit Brian’s father when he was growing up in south-west Montreal.
A special thanks to Edna McAuley of Prince George, B.C. for sharing this recording and her collection of pictures and newspaper clippings with us.
Trick or treat!
Fonds: Edna McAuley (EM-OR-001)
6 thoughts on “A Monster’s Holiday – Ray McAuley and Wild Country”
Thank you for posting this, Glenn. It brought back a lot of good memories.
Heard his music all the time on radio station CFGM 1320, in Toronto, back in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Been searching a long time to find his music. Wish they’d put out a CD compilation of Ray’s songs. My dad was originally from the Gaspe.
Check out Vic Irish’s channel on YouTube. He’s posted some old songs of Ray’s LPs and added some pictures. He saw the band play in the 70s and was a big fan and has kept Ray’s music in circulation through his channel.
Pingback: The Gaspé Reel – Gaspesian Community Sound
I remember as a child Ray would come to visit us and we would all play the spoons while he was on guitar singing, He was our cousin and we were so curious as to where BC was. We had never left Gaspe so it was a big deal when he would visit. Ray was so down to earth very humble and kind. Sad that he left this earth so young. Bless his hearth that he left music for all to enjoy.
Wow, this was really a nice surprise to get. I grew up with Raymond (nick name Pop) in Douglastown, we we’re close friends. Actually Raymond accompanied me singing at St Patrick’s concerts . We had lots of good times at his home. Thank you for sharing.