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Ray Boone makes Redland Roads popular in Nashville

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Posted: Sunday, April 15, 2018 12:30 am

Ray Boone lives outside of Nashville but his heart has never really left the Redlands. Growing up on five acres of Dade County pine, on Anderson Drive between Newton and Kingman Road has left an indelible mark on Ray. His father built a concrete block house for the family that his younger brother still lives in today. His dad was a farmer and his mother was a bus driver for Dade County Schools.

As a child, Ray attended Redland Elementary, Redland Jr. High and then graduated in 1970 from South Dade Senior High. As he tells it, he was a true rebel…not a good student. Ray’s dad was a hard disciplinarian and Ray turned to music in junior high school and high school as an escape.

“In Redland Junior High School, it was the era of the Beatles and Glenn Campbell so I worked with my dad and took all my money and bought a cheap guitar at Woolworth’s on Krome Avenue. My dad was furious! I took a chorus class in junior high school and I was the only guy. Alan Fetterman, the music director, really inspired me and told me I could really sing. He made me sing in front of the girls and I recruited other guys who got out of classes they didn’t like. I went to South Dade and so did Mr. Fetterman. I’ll never forget him.”

When asked about his musical inspiration Ray stated, “Glenn Campbell, James Taylor, Gordon Lightfoot were my inspiration back in the day with their styles. People say my music is written in their style.”

Ray continued, “I wore a lot of hats back in the day. I worked numerous jobs after graduation and I worked for Southern Bell Telephone company as an installer/repairman. I was drafted for the Army but joined the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War but never left the states. I came back home to manage the groves when my father was injured from a gas explosion at one of the groves. He was badly burned and passed away three weeks later, on April 21st, 1973. This changed my life. I was only 21.”

He added. “On January 19, 1977, I’ll never forget it, a freeze wiped out all of our grove business and I went to work as a police officer in Homestead and a few years later Metro Dade Police. I was young and could still leap buildings in a single bound.” Ray laughed.

“I met my wife Jody Wilson at James Archer Smith Hospital where she was the nurse manager in the emergency department.”

After Hurricane Andrew, Ray and his family moved to Ocala where he went into television production and eventually produced his own show on RFDTV called ‘Music & Motors’. In 2008, Ray moved his family to Tennessee but did not come to play music, he came as a music fan and to provide support for his songwriter cousin. His cousin, Larry Boone, was making his mark in country music, as an award- winning songwriter and an artist with Mercury Polygram.

It was there that other musicians encouraged him to start songwriting.

“I love telling a story with music and as a songwriter I came up with the idea of “Redlands Roads”. It is based on my true experiences growing up in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.” stated Ray.

Ray’s song about the Redlands, Redland Roads, tells the tale of a young boy growing up there and many long-time Homestead residents can certainly associate with the lyrics. Statements such as “Although I’ve been long gone, I can see from where I came.” He adds in about the house his dad built and the bus his Mamma drove and trading in bottles at Andersons. A friendly little place. His little brother driving a tractor through the grove and the

freedom he felt when he first drove the pick-up truck. How he longs for the old days…Redlands Roads. He sings of playing ball at Harris Field and adds that Homestead, the place where he grew up is the place that made him who he is.

Ray used his television production skills to put together a music video to go along with his song. It is a touching video that can be seen on You Tube and it contains his old home movies and photos of life growing up in the Redlands and it has evidently tugged at many heartstrings.

“I really didn’t think anything of the song and I didn’t expect to ever hear this song played on the radio but evidently many people feel the way I do as it has taken off due to social media.” exclaimed Ray. “

He recently attended the South Dade High School reunion in Madison, Florida where he played the song for those attending. “It made a few cry.” added Ray.

Perhaps Ray’s feelings and his inspiration for the song he penned are summed up at the close of his music video. There is a sign at the end that states, “No matter where I roam, Homestead, Florida will always be my home.”

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