Robert CrayOn 01/08/1953: Robert Cray was born. He was born in Columbus, Georgia. In his early teens Robert started learning to play guitar. During his teens he saw Albert Collins, Freddie King and Muddy Waters play live. By the age of 20 he decided to form his own band and they began playing at college towns on the West Coast.
In the late 1970s he was living in Eugene, Oregon. There he formed the Robert Cray band and collaborated with Curtis Salgado in the Cray-Hawks.
In 1978 he appeared in National Lampoon's Animal House as the bassist in Otis Day and the Knights.
In 1982 Cray signed with Mercury Records. In 1983 he released the album "Bad Influence" and in 1985 he released "False Accusations". The two albums were a moderate success in the US and Europe.
In 1986 he released "Strong Persuader", which would win a Grammy Award. The song "Smoking Gun" from the album would be particularly popular.
In 1987 he appeared in the film "Chuck Berry: Hail! Hail! Rock 'N' Roll" after being invited by Keith Richards to join the backing band for Chuck Berry. By this time Cray was now selling out larger venues as a solo act and was the opening act for stars such as Eric Clapton.
He appeared on John Lee Hooker's album's "Boom Boom" and "The Healer". The entire Robert Cray Band appears on the title track of Hooker's "Mr Lucky" album, released in 1992.
In 1990 Cray played with Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, Jimmie Vaughan, and Stevie Ray Vaughan at the Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wisconsin. It was to be the last gig that Stevie Ray Vaughan would play, dying in a helicopter accident that night.
In 1992 Cray played at the "Guitar Legends" concerts in Seville, Spain. Albert Collins was also on the bill.
He appeared at the Crossroads Guitar Festival, and supported Eric Clapton on his 2006-2007 world tour.
In 2011, Cray was inducted to the Blues Hall of Fame.