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Frank Zappa
Ray Collins dies; singer with the Mothers of Invention was 75
Ray Collins dies; singer with the Mothers of Invention was 75

The Soul Giants were a struggling R&B cover band in Pomona in the mid-1960s when lead singer Ray Collins fired the group's guitarist and invited a musical collaborator from Rancho Cucamonga to take his place. His name was Frank Zappa. The band soon began morphing into the Mothers of Invention, the avant-garde novelty rock group that was Zappa's vision. But Collins' "extraordinary pop-operatic vocals best conveyed" the band's "not-so-mock rage," according to the New Rolling Stone Record Guide. When tension with Zappa caused Collins to leave the band in the late 1960s, he also essentially left behind his music career. For a time, he drove a...

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