Canadian rockabilly star Ray Condo inspires crowdfunding campaign

Canadian rockabilly musician Ray Condo, who died in 2004, was influenced by Elvis, Hank Williams and Billie Holiday. (Gayle Hurmuses)

Canadian rockabilly musician Ray Condo, who died in 2004, was influenced by Elvis, Hank Williams and Billie Holiday. (Gayle Hurmuses)

By Teona Baetu, CBC News Canadian rockabilly musician Ray Condo dedicated his career to preserving the roots of rock ‘n’ roll. Now, there’s a crowd-funding campaign underway to commemorate him and his music.
Condo, who died in 2004, is perhaps best remembered for his 10-year stint with the band the Hardrock Goners, who played a fast, raucous brand of country music.
Gayle Hurmuses, a documentary photographer who shot Condo for 19 years, is trying to crowd-source funds to produce a visual memoir of the singer and his bands.The as-yet-unpublished book, titled Ray Condo’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Party, will mark the 10th anniversary of the musician’s death.

“It’s about participating in keeping his name alive and giving people another type of artifact that might be discovered by music historians in another 50 years,” Hurmuses says.

Her photo collection includes classic stills of Condo on stage as well as pictures of more personal, intimate moments.

Using the crowd-sourcing site, Hurmuses hopes to raise $15,000 to publish 2,500 copies of the book.

Condo’s mission

Condo was born Ray Tremblay in Hull, Que., and was passionate about music from an early age. He released his first record when he was 16, as part of a band called the Peasants.

He later moved to Vancouver to study painting at Emily Carr College of Art and Design, but again found himself drawn to music. He played with the Secret Vs, a punk band in Vancouver, but eventually relocated to Montreal and formed the Hardrock Goners.
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