b. 24 February 1938, Edinburgh, Scotland. As a child, Rae played in brass bands and did not begin playing bass until he was 20. However, he was soon playing this instrument professionally, working in local dance bands, at Butlins holiday camps and on ocean-going liners. Rae performed with jazz pianist Alex Shaw before joining Alex Welsh, a move that brought him widespread recognition throughout the UK. This was in the late 60s and through subsequent decades into the 00s Rae freelanced in Scotland, accompanying and sometimes recording with visiting musicians such as Ruby Braff, Doc Cheatham, Buddy De Franco, Johnny Griffin, Scott Hamilton, Earl ‘Fatha’ Hines, Barney Kessel, Louis Stewart, and Ben Webster. Among his six children are Ronnie Rae Jnr. (piano) and John Rae (drums), while all four of his daughters are professional singers. A tower of strength on the Scottish jazz scene, Rae has played an important role in British jazz since the 60s and through nurturing his remarkably talented family has helped create a significant jazz dynasty.
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