Kenny Cordray

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Kenny Cordray
Kenny Music Pics 006.jpg
Background information
Birth name Kenneth Cordray
Born (1954-07-21)July 21, 1954
Died May 21, 2017(2017-05-21) (aged 62)
Genres Rock, hard rock, instrumental rock, blues rock
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter, producer, guitar instructor
Instruments Guitar, bass, keyboards, vocals
Years active 1957–2017

Kenneth Cordray (July 21, 1954 – May 21, 2017) was an American instrumental guitarist and songwriter, who shared the stage with notable musicians and performers such as John Mayall, John Lee Hooker, and Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top. Cordray became the lead guitarist for THE CHILDREN under the ATCO label and later on ODE records produced by Lou Adler.[1] He co-wrote the song "Francine", which peaked at 69 on the Billboard Hot 100, with Steve Perron for ZZ Top's album Rio Grande Mud.

Cordray performed and wrote music with Jaco Pastorious, and played in Wayne Cochran and the C.C. Rider band at Pastorious' request.[2] While playing with the C.C. Riders, Cordray backed up Jerry Lee Lewis on an episode of the Midnight Special and in Concert.[3]

He moved to New Orleans to play with former C.C. Riders and Edgar Winter's White Trash band members before forming his own self-titled group, Cordray. Members included Clay Hemphill, David Lee Watson, Allyn Robinson, and Mark Campbell. Cordray's first national break came on January 6, 1986 in USA Today.[4]

In 1991, Cordray formed The Civilians and recorded a CD entitled "Miracles". In late 1992, Cordray, Dave Foster, and Todd Harrison formed a "Texas rockin' blues psychedelic power trio", calling themselves KENNY CORDRAY AND BLUE SCIENCE.[citation needed]

In March 2012, he released his final work, "It Takes Everything". The core rhythm section for "It Takes Everything" consists of Mark Andes on bass, Tyson Sheth on drums, Paul English on keyboards, and Kenny Cordray on guitars. When the album was released, the Houston Chronicle called Cordray "one of Houston’s greatest guitarists".[5]

Cordray taught guitar lessons to children and adults for many years.[6] He also ran Rock Camp Live, a summer music camp for aspiring 10-18 year-old musicians in the Houston/Galveston Bay Area.[7][8]


Cordray was killed by his son on May 21, 2017, in an apparent murder/suicide.[9][10]

He is featured in the book, Boys From Houston: The spirit and image of our music.[11]


  1. ^ "The Children: Information from". Retrieved 2014-07-17. 
  2. ^ "Jazz Legends". BBC. November 30, 1977. Retrieved 2014-07-17. 
  3. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-07-17. 
  4. ^ "the simple image sharer". March 29, 2012. Retrieved 2014-07-17. 
  5. ^ "Guitarist Kenny Cordray's latest album has it all". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-05-23. 
  6. ^ "Guitar Lessons at Guitar Hacienda League City, TX". Retrieved 2017-05-23. 
  7. ^ "Rock Camp LIVE to be held at Clear Falls High School in July". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-05-23. 
  8. ^ "Rock Camp Live". Retrieved 2017-05-23. 
  9. ^ "2 men dead after apparent murder-suicide in Nassau Bay". ABC13 Houston. 2017-05-22. Retrieved 2017-05-22. 
  10. ^ Roy, Reagan (2017-05-22). "Guitarist with East Texas ties killed in murder-suicide". MYEASTTEX. Retrieved 2017-05-22. 
  11. ^ Vicki Welch Ayo, Matthew Ayo. Boys From Houston: The spirit and image of our music. ISBN 9781489501318. Retrieved 2014-07-17.