Ray Collins was born on November 19, 1936 and grew up in Pomona, California singing in his school choir, the son of a local police officer. He quit high school to get married. He started his musical career singing falsetto backup vocals for various ´doo-wop´ groups in the Los Angeles area in the late 1950s and early 1960s, including Little Julian Herrera and the Tigers. In 1964, Collins, drummer Jimmy Carl Black and bassist Roy Estrada joined with Frank Zappa to form The Soul Giants, which, under Zappa´s leadership, turned into the Mothers of Invention. Ray was the lead vocalist on the Mothers early albums, including Freak Out!, Absolutely Free and Cruising with Ruben & the Jets. He contributed to other Zappa projects through the mid-1970s.
Collins currently resides in Claremont, California.
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