Longtime KUT/KUTX DJ Paul Ray dies at 73

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Paul Ray. 2000 photo by Sung Park / American-Statesman
Paul Ray. 2000 photo by Sung Park / American-Statesman

Paul Ray. 2000 photo by Sung Park / American-Statesman

Paul Ray, longtime DJ at KUT and KUTX and host of the station’s beloved “Twine Time” program, died Friday, the station has confirmed. He was 73.

Ray had been ill for several months and recently had stopped doing his radio program. He died at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center. His wife, Diana, survives him.

Ray, born in 1942, was renowned as a musician with Austin blues bands the Cobras and Storm after moving here in 1970 from his native Dallas, playing with others who’d moved from Dallas including brothers Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan as well as Denny Freeman.

He’d attended the University of Texas from 1960 to 1963 before returning to be part of the blues scene that eventually became centered around Antone’s. “We all kind of lived out our dream of playing in a blues band,” he told high school friends Chuck and Karen Robison in a 2014 interview.

Ray had a lifelong love with the blues and a broad range of traditional American musical genres, which he had shared with Austin audiences with great passion and authority on Saturday night’s “Twine Time” show since 1978.

In 1970s Austin, he found an audience that was open and welcoming to his musical inclinations. “Austin is kind of a place where they like the real thing more than the glitter, more than the fame,” he told the Robisons. “It’s the music, and the people who made the music.”

[Note: This story was updated to add details and quotes, and to reflect that Ray died at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center and not at home.]

 


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