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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 February, 2004, 10:24 GMT
Mud lead singer Gray dies at 57
Les Gray
Late Mud singer Les Gray, was a star in the 70s
Les Gray, lead singer of 1970s chart topping band Mud has died at 57.

The glam rock star died of a heart attack in Portugal, his home for 12 years, and had been battling against throat cancer for some time.

Doctors wanted to remove Gray's voicebox as part of his treatment, but he opted for chemotherapy instead in an effort to save his voice and career.

Gray was due to take part in a concert in Scotland including Alvin Stardust, Marmalade and Middle of the Road.

The charity gig in Glasgow on Saturday is still going ahead as a tribute to the 70s musician.

Mud (with Les Gray centre) appeared on Top of the Pops
Saturday's Blast From The Past was due to be his comeback, and organisers expressed their sadness and shock at Gray's death.

"He was using this concert to give him a focus for his recovery, and offered to MC for the event and sing if he felt up for it," said event organiser Caroline McFarlan.

"It will now be a fitting tribute to a very popular star," she added.

Talent winners

They formed in 1968 and won a national talent contest which brought them to prominence.

Their first television appearance was on the Basil Brush Show, while they toured extensively, opening for crooner Jack Jones.

The band consisted of Gray, drummer Dave Mount, Ray Stiles on bass and Rob Davis on guitar.

Davis went on to become a successful pop songwriter, with Kylie Minogue's Can't Get You Out Of My Head and Spiller chart-topper Groovejet among his credits.

Mud scored a trio of number ones in the mid-70s with Lonely This Christmas, Tiger Feet and Oh Boy.

Tiger Feet went on to become the biggest-selling single of 1974, while their last chart hit was Lean On Me in 1976.

The band split up in 1977, and Gray went solo and took Les Gray's Mud on the road.

He eventually moved to the Algarve with his wife Carol, who blamed his illness on a 50-a-day smoking habit.

Were you a fan of Gray and his band Mud during their heyday in the 70s? This comments page is now closed but you can see a selection of your tributes below.

This is sad news. I loved Mud as a kid and later played in bands on the 70's circuit when sometimes Mud were on the same bill. I remember meeting Les for the first time and watching the gig that night from the side of the stage. 2000+ people just loving every minute of a great performance. That's how I'm going to remember him.
Alex, Widnes, UK

Being from the USA it was very hard to find anything by Mud. I remember reading about them in Melody Maker and NME and just knowing I had to hear them. It took awhile but I was finally able to track down their first two albums and WOW what a surprise! Hearing "Tiger Feet" and "The Cat Crept In" and "Rocket" was so thrilling. Equal to any of the other Glam Rock bands of that era they were always my best kept Glam Rock secret because no one over here had ever heard of them. I loved playing "Tiger Feet" to someone and just watching them smile and dance!
ELaw, Hanover, Massachusetts, USA

I was born and raised in the NE of England and now live in the US........It took my breath away to read that Les Gray had died as Mud were my musical memories of my 'growing up' into my teen years.......A party or family get-together was not complete without a bop to Tiger Feet with a drunken aunt or my granny or Xmas wouldn't be Xmas if Les wasn't telling us he was going to be 'Lonely this Xmas' without you to hold......Les....God bless you and may you be crooning with Elvis right now showing him your tigerfeet! You were Dyna-mite !!
Stan Latimer, New Jersey USA

Have just heard the sad news of Mud´s Les Gray´s death. There songs bring back so many memories of my school days in Scotland. I really liked his voice, and they where a super group. I would like to send my condolences to his family. He will be sadly missed.
Fiona , Palma de Mallorca - Spain

Thanks for the memories Les. I will treasure my Mud records even more now.
Val, Bristol

A very sad day for Glam Rockers everywhere, Les and Mud were so great during the 70's and the Glam Rock era, I've been a fan ever since I bought Tiger Feet at eight, He will be greatly missed, but will leave such brilliant memories.
Richard Young, Cambridge, UK

An icon of the times. He brings back the 70's with a tear in my eye.
Terry, Walsall

What a sad day. Les & the band were the soundtrack to my schooldays - home from school & put on the record player then dad & me would dance around the living room doing all the actions to "dynamite" Tiger Feet" etc.... In fact we still turn up the radio when "Mud" is played, and will continue to do so. Our condolences to all his family & friends.
JANE, Gloucestershire, Cirencester, Glos

I remember 'Tiger Feet' from school discos in the 70s with great fondness. Pure unpretentious fun and entertainment.
Stuart Jebbitt,

So sorry to hear the sad news. We were all so proud of Les and his music. Went to both Junior School Sherwood and Senior School Pollards with him.
Joan Brashier, Croydon

Mud were one of the few bands from the 70s whose music can still be played today and liven up any party. They were one of my favourite bands as a teenager, and my memories of those times are all the sweeter for the contribution Les and Mud made to them. I shall miss him greatly. My sincere commiserations to his family and friends.
S. Spence-Richards, London, UK

Thanks for the memories. Just keep the feet tapping wherever you are. Very underrated performer of the seventies.
David Bulloch, Cambridge UK

How sad to hear of Les's death - I will always remember Tiger Feet being played at my sixteenth birthday! RIP Les & thanks for the memories!
Caroline Buggea, Nuneaton, Warks

Les has now joined Marc Bolan, the Sweet's Brian Connolly and the Glitter Band's Gerry Shepherd in Glam Rock Heaven. Without these three great singers and brilliant showmen, the world will be a much duller place.
Kevin Connolly, Belfast, Ireland

I was a 70s kid (I still am at heart) I still listen to my Mud Rock 1 + 2 albums (on vinyl). Rest In Peace Les, thank for the memories.
Paul Bushnell, Leeds

As I was young in the early 70s, this was the first kind of music I heard. Thanks for the good memories.
Sean Mott, London

What can I say? A part of me has gone today. Fun, great music.....made my childhood a good time to live through. My condolences to his family
Nick White, barley, herts

What a sad day. Les epitomised the great days of the seventies. God bless, rest in peace mate.
Dave smith, Banstead

God bless Les. Thanks for all the fun, we shall miss you very much.
Phillip Anderton, Poole, Dorset

A very sad day indeed. I've seen Mud many times over the years and last saw them at Butlins. Les and the guys provided great entertainment and Les never lost his enthusiasm for performing. He was up there with the other 70s Glam Rock 'stars and will be sorely missed.
Trevor, Gloucestershire, UK

Without Les it will certainly be lonely this Christmas. What a great fun act they were - a relic from a seemingly innocent age.
Russ Kavanagh, Cheshire

Popular music at that time may have been lightweight for some but it was joyful and fun unlike today's music which encourages "attitude". The attitude then was that life was fun and enjoyable. I trust Les enjoyed his life in direct proportion to the happiness he brought us disco dancing youngsters. Condolences to his family and friends.
lynne, Farnborough UK

Les and the boys saw me through my teenage years, I felt I knew them all, they were the guys next door made good and they made music fun. Condolences to his family, Dave, Rob and Ray. Rest in peace Les, I'll miss you and thanks for the good times.
Paul Rodgers, Rotherham, England

I think Mud were in a different league to Slade, Sweet etc, being more varied on their single output. The Glam was in their earlier hits but they also tackled cover versions in credible form. Singles such as Oh Boy and Lean On Me displayed this variety. Fronted by Les they portrayed fun and a "not taking this too seriously" approach to their style. I bought their singles years after the hits stopped, only recently found Lonely This Christmas in a picture sleeve. Thanks Les and the rest of Mud.
Andrew James, Mold, North Wales.

I remember seeing Mud perform at a pub in Brentford, West London) around 1981. The atmosphere was magic. It was the only time I ever saw people dancing on the tables.
Peter, Berks. UK

My first recollection of Mud was in 1966, seeing their pre-glam Thames van careering around the streets of London. Les and the boys have given me much pleasure since and though Les, a great frontman, has clearly been very unwell in recent times, his legacy of pure, unadulterated fun, and living the rock and roll lifestyle to the full in the 1970's will live with me and other die-hard fans forever. God bless you Les and thanks for it all.
Geoff Stacey, Bromley, Kent

I remember going to Mud concerts and dancing to Tiger Feet at discos. Indeed it was played recently at a birthday party and I enjoyed reliving my youth on the dance floor. Very sad at the news.
Rilla, Worcester, UK

Mud were a great band to secretly admire as an avowed heavy metal fan. I didn't dear reveal my enjoyment of the band to my peers. A telling feature of their success is the number of folk who can recall the lyrics of their songs.

Les's death is sad loss to us all. I hope that Saturday's blast from the past will be a fitting tribute to the man.
Vernon levy, Leeds, UK

Les will be sadly missed. Great guy. Great Band.
Rose Thompson, Croydon. England

The so-called pop bands of today should be made to watch the master showman at work - we'll miss you Les.
David , London

As a kid who grew up in the 70s, Mud were not only responsible for their catchy pop tunes, but also for helping us cross the road safely - anyone else remember the "Stop, Look & Listen" public information film featuring Les?
Nigel Slater, UK

It'll be lonely this Christmas without him, He was our Elvis
Christie, Luton

My Mud collection will be played loud and proud tonight in tribute. Tiger Feet remains the best song ever to get a party going. RIP Les and thank you for some great parties and loads of memories
Mike, Ipswich

I remember seeing MUD perform at Huddersfield Town F.C in the early seventies when I was around 13. I think it was the first 'pop' concert I had been to and still remember it vividly. Happy Memories.
Andrea Meany, Aberdeen, Scotland.

I met Les Gray once, 27 years ago, while on work experience with a newspaper. He was a nice guy and he will be sadly missed.
Michael Kelly , Belfast

He gave us much joy and happiness through his songs. Thanks mate!
Ian, Providence, USA

One of the 70s icons who gave so much pleasure with such great music to so many people. Someone who will be greatly missed and who's music will never be copied or replaced.
Steve Daglish, Swindon.Wilts. England

Rest in peace, Les Gray from Mud. Tiger Feet was the first single I ever bought in 1973. I don't think anyone could claim that Mud were one of the greats but they never harmed anyone. I saw them in concert in Leeds in 1989 on the day the Berlin Wall came down. They were awful but it was a pleasant nostalgic evening and then I got home to find that the iron curtain had torn. Les Gray was a good man, sympathies should be sent to his family and friends.
Paul, Dalston, London

Mud, like many of the other Glam-rockers e.g. Sweet, Alvin Stardust etc, were part of an unpretentious, "music for fun" movement that was refreshing then and is still refreshing.

Thanks to Les and Co for the happy memories; it certainly will be "Lonely This Christmas" without them !

This is a sad day - Mud broke the mould.
Jules, London

The Angels will be sporting feather cuts and Foster Grants today. Farewell Les, you were a great entertainer.
Paul Fillingham, Nottingham, England

I saw Mud play at the Theatre Royal in Norwich in the early 70s. It was amusing for me in as much as it was the only time I've been to a gig and witnessed the phenomenon of screaming teenage girls. But hysteria aside, Mud were faultless and very professional, with their flamboyant and brilliant guitarist. Les Gray kept the whole thing together, and who could forget his take on Elvis?
Clive, Norwich, UK

Will be sadly missed. Part of my childhood has died as a result of Les's untimely demise
Paul mc kenna, Belfast. Ireland

Will be sadly missed, but some great music from the 70s.
Jane, Bradford England

Les was a real great and wrote the soundtrack to my youth. It is a sad day for music.
Simon Smedley, Tameside

'Tiger Feet' was the first single I ever bought. He will be sadly missed. Glam On !
Ashley Judge, Aylesbury, Bucks

All I can say is what a great loss to music. Talented men like this come along only once in a lifetime.

We will all be lonely this Christmas without him...
Ross, Cheam, UK

Tiger feet was one of the great songs of our heyday. School disco's came alive when it was played. OH BOY what good times we had thanks to the likes of mud and many other 70s bands.
Mary Campion, Bishops Stortford England

Mud were my favourite band of the 70s. I was in my teens and songs like Tiger Feet, Dynamite, The Cat Crept In and Running Bear will always be among my top tracks. It's a sad loss of one of the 70s top stars.
Mike, Kent, UK

I grew up with glam rock in the 70s and Tiger feet was my youth Clubs anthem. I had the pleasure of meeting Les and the rest of Mud at a concert one Easter with another youth organisation in the 80s. As part of the organising committee of the event we persuaded them to do away with stage barrier controls.

This meant they where closer to the audience. needless to say Les and the rest of the boys enjoyed themselves better. He told us afterwards it was one of the best gigs he has done in a long while. A comment that has held firm with me always. I'm sorry to hear of his loss and so the rest of the 3000 18plusers crowd at the concert
Andy Major, Rochester, Kent

I remember when I was aged 7 and my sister 5, doing the Tiger Feet dance and eating jam sandwiches in the living room of our parents' council maisonette for several Sunday evenings in early '74 while listening to the Top 20 (as it was then) Chart Show. It was either listen to Mud or watch Stars On Sunday. No contest.
Mark, Enfield, England

So sorry to hear of Les dying I was a huge fan of mud. I had a large poster of mud on my bedroom wall. Oh bliss. Best wishes
Elaine Dlewlow, Dheadle Stoke on Trent

I was about 12 years of age during Mud's heyday but I can remember it as if it was yesterday. For me they were golden years and Les now follows those other 70s great like Marc Bolan, Ray Connelly (Sweet). I thought they were great and he was one of the original frontmen of the time. It's a sad day for music and especially for anyone who can remember the 70s with any fondness. Les, RIP, you're gonna be missed
Hughie, Brit in The Netherlands

That's such sad news. Mud were 'it' for so many of us during the 70's - I've still got all their records and can still remember all the dance routines - not that they were ever very difficult! Condolences to his family and the other band members.
Susan Chandler, Cambridge, England

I always remember Mud songs being played at school discos. I saw them play live when I was 19, and they were one of the most fun bands I ever saw. I even ended up dancing on the stage with them. A fantastic memory.
Jo, UK

Mud on the dance floor
26 Dec 01  |  Entertainment



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