Country singer/songwriter and guitarist Ray Herndon hails from Arizona, and grew up in an extremely musical family. His father, Brick, played acoustic bass, drums, and guitar while his two older brothers were also musicians. Herndon showed promise early, joining his brothers on the Phoenix-based television show Lew King Rangers, where he sang, danced, and played guitar and accordion. He cut the novelty single "Christmas Eve" in Hollywood when he was only four years old. By the time he was 11 he began to get paying gigs in the area. In high school he joined the marching band while continuing to play sets around the area in the evenings and on the weekends. He attended a jazz college in Mesa, AZ, for a time, and played regularly at his family's restaurant.
Herndon joined J. David Sloan & the Rogues, a popular band in the area, in 1982 and while touring with them a year later in Luxembourg he met Lyle Lovett, who was without a band at the time. The Rogues volunteered to back Lovett up, and members of the band have been playing with him ever since (Herndon has toured with Lovett off and on since 1985). A phone call from Tony Brown, president of MCA Records, brought Herndon into McBride & the Ride alongside singer Terry McBride and drummer Billy Thomas, and the trio had a five-year run, during which time Herndon began writing songs in earnest, and Kenny Chesney, Aaron Tippin, Lee Greenwood, Linda Davis, Sonya Isaacs, and, of course, McBride & the Ride have all cut Herndon material. Herndon and Thomas left the Ride in 1994, but participated in a 2002 reunion album. Herndon released his debut solo album, an independent project called Livin' the Dream, in 2004, featuring guest spots from Lovett, Clint Black, and Jessi Colter. ~ Steve Leggett