Dave "Snaker" Ray got his big break in the '60s, when his frequent partners "Spider" John Koerner and Tony Glover formed the trio of Koerner, Ray & Glover. They were an important part of the folk music revival of the time, recording five albums for Elektra that mixed ragtime, country blues, and other offbeat genres that gave them a reputation for being incredibly creative. During the '70s and '80s, the trio only reunited occasionally, mostly at special shows and benefits. Ray and Glover maintained their partnership by performing together once a week for years, and the whole band finally reunited for an album in 1996, One Foot in the Grave. Ray continued to release solo albums through Tim/Kerr Records and perform regularly in the Minneapolis area.
Sadly, Ray was diagnosed with lung cancer in May 2002. He died at his Minneapolis home sixth months later at the age of 59.