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Life And Times Of A Local Entertainer

A young man named Dennis was born and raised in Tennessee. The rules of action when growing up in the mid 1900s were a natural part of his existence… until he was thirteen years old. At that time his talent and knowledge of choral music led him to become a member of the local adult church choir.
The next thing we learned of him was that, based on his musical expertise, he and his brothers developed their own Barbershop Quartet called, The Brothers Two Plus Two.
As time went on, the musical talent of Dennis was to constantly be adding a new interest and by time he was in college, he had a special appreciation for folk music. It was at that time that his interest in acquiring guitars and special banjos became a part of his musical existence.
The day Dennis auditioned and became a part of Fred Waring’s ensemble of singers for two six month tours of 44 states, he was thrilled with his future in the world of music!
Everything went as planned. Then the greatest thing of all happened. During the second tour, Dennis met a young woman named Donna, who played the accordion for Fred Waring & The Pennsylvanians! One year after meeting and dating, the two were married! Next thing they knew, their first child was on the way.
Dennis and Donna became a musical duo, performing at the Holiday Inns circuit in September of 1972. They had been to so many places but after the birth of their third child, Dennis, at 33 years of age, felt it was time to get a real job. They moved to and settled in the Daytona Beach area.
Both Dennis and Donna became teachers in the Volusia County School System… Donna became a teacher at Tomoka Elementary School while Dennis was a teacher of TV Production at Spruce Creek.
For many years, until 2005, Dennis and Donna Ray performed for communities throughout the area, with hour long shows that were so enjoyed!
Dennis was widowed in 2021 and wasn’t sure what he wanted to do. In time, he began to perform again and we are all so very grateful! I, for one, often have the opportunity to enjoy his music. He knows so many songs and performs them so well. A hearty thanks to Dennis Ray for choosing to live and entertain in our town!

Kitty Maiden is a staff writer for Seniors Today.