If anyone could truly make a keyboard rock, it would definitely be Ray Manzarek!
Together with Jim Morrison, Manzarek formed The Doors -- consisting of fellow bandmates John Densmore and Robby Krieger -- in 1965. The band’s signature, melodic sound continues to be unrivaled and revered by the many artists who would follow them. Unfortunately, the untimely death of Morrison left a hole in the group that could not be filled, and they called it quits in 1972.
Manzarek moved on from The Doors, releasing his first solo album, The Golden Scarab, in 1974. He followed that up with his very successful The Whole Thing Started with Rock and Roll Now It’s Out of Control later the same year.
Whether it was producing or crafting his own music, Manzarek continued to be active over the decades, and in 2002 he reunited with Robby Krieger performing hits from their Doors’ days.
On May 20, 2013, Manzarek passed away following a battle with bile duct cancer.
"I'm just glad to have been able to have played Doors songs with him for the last decade," Krieger said in a statement the day of his passing. "Ray was a huge part of my life and I will always miss him."
So today we honor the late, great Ray Manzarek on his birthday! For more on Ray, head to his official website and share your favorite Doors song in the comments section below!