Contemporary country star Collin Raye burned up the sales charts in the '90s, thanks to a blend of country-rock and smooth balladry, and a willingness to record socially conscious material in between the dance and romance tunes. Raye was actually born Floyd Collin Wray in DeQueen, AR, in 1959, and his mother, Lois, was a locally popular singer who opened concerts for various Sun Records stars in the '50s. She sometimes brought Collin and his older brother Scott on-stage to harmonize with her, and so Collin first performed publicly at the age of seven. As teenagers, he and Scott formed a country-rock outfit called the Wray Brothers Band, and Collin adopted the stage name Bubba Wray. They first played in Texas roadhouses and honky tonks and later found regular gigs in Portland, OR, and Reno, NV; the group also recorded several independent-label singles starting in 1983. Shortening their name to the Wrays, they signed with Mercury in 1986 and released two singles over the next two years, but nothing came of them, and the group broke up. Raye contemplated leaving music in favor of a factory job that would support his new family but elected to stick it out, changing the spelling of his name and ultimately landing a deal with Epic in 1990.