The co-director of New Generation Music, Ray Goudie, dies

A KEY FIGURE in the development of British Christian music, songwriter, musician, producer and co-director of Bristol's New Generation Music (NGM) Ray Goudie died on 25th July after a battle with cancer. Ray was born in Ayr, Scotland in 1951 and by the age of 14 was playing drums in the band The Chordials for a number of years and then in the band Unity. By 1980 Ray and his wife Nancy were heading up the music department of British Youth For Christ (a job previously filled by Graham Kendrick). A band of musicians called Heartbeat, including Ray on drums and Nancy on vocals, formed. After much touring, in 1983 Heartbeat were signed to Kingsway Music and released their first album 'People Of Power'. Also in 1983 Heartbeat left BYFC and relocated to Malmesbury, Wiltshire.

Heartbeat's second album 'In Celebration Praise' featured popular worship song "Celebrate". The band's 'Voice To The Nation' was released in 1986 and shortly after Ray stepped away from playing drums in Heartbeat to concentrate on being the producer and co-writer of Heartbeat's songs. While having a baby, Nancy temporarily left the group and a new singer, Sue Rinaldi, joined. It was Sue who sang lead on the single "Tears From Heaven" which charted but caused considerable controversy with unjustified accusations of chart hyping. During the '80s Heartbeat changed the overall name to NGM (New Generation Music) with Heartbeat being one of the bands within the ministry. Heartbeat albums such as the worship orientated 'Songs For A New Generation' (1988) and 'I Will Speak Out' (1990) emanated from NGM before Heartbeat called it a day in 1991.

In 1998 NGM after a huge walk of faith built a unique training centre called Caedmon Complex in Thornbury near Bristol. The construction phase of the £3 million complex was completed and with its two fully equipped recording studios, a dance studio, performance venue and training rooms it quickly gained a reputation as one of the best arts training facilities in the country. Over the next few years numerous music ministries were sent out from NGM including 65 DBA, Tomorrow's Girl, Steve and Andy Hunter. Ray found time for record production and songwriting alongside his teaching and preaching roles.

In 2005 Goudie co-wrote and produced Luv Esther, a musical based on the book of Esther. It successfully toured over the UK and a soundtrack album was released. In 2011 an even more ambitious musical co-penned by Ray, The Prodigals, which told the story of two sons, one working as a soldier destroying poppy fields in Afghanistan, was premiered at the Edinburgh Festival and then had a run in the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry. The most recent New Generation Worship project was the EP 'Assured'. CR

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