b. 5 September 1927, Chicago, Illinois, USA, d. 17 March 2007, Sarasota, Florida, USA. Starting out in vaudeville, mainly as a singer, Gray is best remembered for the Broadway production, High Spirits (1964), for which he worked in collaboration with Hugh Martin on the book, music and lyrics. For this, the pair was nominated for a Grammy Award. Gray was also vocal coach and, with Martin, wrote the vocal arrangements. The show, which opened at the Alvin Theatre on 7 April 1964, ran for 375 performances and was directed by Noël Coward. From this show, which was based on Coward’s Blithe Spirit, came ‘I Know Your Heart By Heart’ and ‘You’d Better Love Me (While You May)’. During the show, the stars, Edward Woodward and Tammy Grimes, listen to a record of ‘Forever And A Day’; the voice that they hear is Gray’s. Others in the cast were Beatrice Lillie and Louise Troy.
Before High Sprits, Gray had also worked on Make A Wish (1951), another of Martin’s Broadway shows, writing special material for a stellar cast that included Kaye Ballard, Tallulah Bankhead and Lana Turner. In 1971, Gray and Robert Fletcher, who had co-produced High Sprits, collaborated on the production of Johnny Johnson, a single showing of which was held at the Edison Theatre in New York City on 11 April. The music was by Kurt Weill, book and lyrics by Paul Green. The cast included James Billings, Clay Johns and Paul Michael. Gray was musical supervisor for a revival of Good News at the St. James Theatre over Christmas and New Year 1974/5. Music and lyrics for the show were by Ray Henderson, Buddy De Sylva and Lew Brown, while Gray and Martin collaborated on the vocal arrangements and as musical supervisors. The cast included Alice Faye, Gene Nelson and Stubby Kaye.
Through his later years, Gray worked in many aspects of life on Broadway, both on stage and behind the scenes. He also ran a cabaret, High Spirits, on New York’s West 46th Street.