Throughout the course of his career, Ray built a reputation as a broadcaster with a deep, encyclopedic knowledge of the music and artists he played. He also became a fixture on the festival circuit, hosting events such as the Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival and the Arcadia Music Festival.
His career began at the age of 15 at WDOV-AM in Dover, Del. For 38 years, he hosted a popular bluegrass program from WBMD in Baltimore. Ray also did short stints working at small-town stations across the country and at XERF, in Mexico, where he learned to be a radio pitchman.
Those skills were put to use raising money to sustain bluegrass and other programming on WAMU in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. Ray helped build the station’s financial foundation. He joined WAMU 88.5 in 1985 as the host of Saturday Bluegrass. Until 2001, he shared hosting duties for the weekday afternoon program called Bluegrass Country, which became the name of our 24-7 radio station devoted to the music. He continued hosting afternoon drive for the new station until he retired on Sept. 30, 2013. His broadcasting career had spanned 65 years.
Ray Davis passed away on December 3rd, 2014 from leukemia. He is survived by his beloved wife Nona.