In Rememberance | Ray Peavy – 1947-2015
By Mike Vague
If you are reading this, or collect records in Southern California, you’re familiar with Ray Peavy, the “record-collecting detective.” He has been a familiar and respected face in the local community for over 25 years, most of them as a dealer and buyer at the Greater Orange County Record Show in Buena Park, CA, and anywhere else records could be found.
Those of you who have wondered where he’s been the last several months will be sad to know he recently succumbed to Leukemia, despite a courageous and brave struggle.
Ray has always been cool…
While being married to his high school sweetheart Diane for almost 50 years, they raised a son, Matthew, and a daughter Robyn, as he worked at a punishing pace to be a great provider for them. He still found time to be a mobile DJ, work vice on Sunset Strip (when it mattered), solve numerous cold cases as a famous detective, and still go see bands like Buffalo Springfield, Thee Midniters, The Pyramids (whom he was teenage friends with), as well as hang out at the beach, Sunset Strip, Whittier Blvd…. Ray had amazing stories about it all.
Fact is, Ray was there, doing it if it was being done.
He used his brilliant detective instincts to solve numerous murder cases, as well as murdering it at the local flea markets finding records — the more unusual, the better. Often, he took pride in selling soundtracks and easy listening records others would miss, for impressive money. His knowledge was unsurpassed.
As he always loved records, he walked away from the top position in his game at the height of his powers to deal in used vinyl full time. Despite lucrative offers and incentives to return to the LA Homicide Bureau, he was most comfortable amongst the weird and wonderful world of vinyl junkies.
He put together what many will agree is possibly the best collection of original soundtracks and pop culture artifacts on the entire west coast of America. It was standard practice among many to refer to Ray for anything related to these genres, as he was the smartest man in the room for that community.
Ray had a heart of gold. He always helped when needed and loved to go the extra mile for the underdog. He would give you the shirt off his back (he gave me a Kool Aid shirt when I complimented it, right there and then, no joke!) and free records if he was in the right mood. He became a destination for dozens of collectors and dealers who knew Ray would treat them right. And he did.
Ray’s story would make an incredible movie or novel: He was actively working on TV scripts and reality show plots the last few years of his life, both reflecting his superb enthusiasm and unforgettable wit.
Ray actively donated regularly to multiple charities and was a huge supporter of the ASPCA.
Even toward the end, Ray never lost his wicked sense of humor. He asked some friends if “there’s anything you want me to ask Elvis for you,” requested to be buried with a Bart Simpson shirt on and had “Paint It Black” by the Stones played at his memorial service.
He is now a neighbor to Eddie Cochran at Forest Lawn in Cypress, CA.
Rest in Peace, Ray. We will never forget you — ever.