Raymond Daniel Manczarek, Jr., better known as Ray Manzarek (born 12 February 1939), is an American musician, singer, producer, movie director, writer, co-founder, and keyboardist of The Doors from 1965 to 1973, and the Doors of the 21st Century (renamed Riders on the Storm) since 2001.
Ray Manzarek is of Polish descent, born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois, as were his parents. Growing up, he took private piano lessons from Bruno Michelotti and others. He originally wanted to play basketball, however he only wanted to play power forward or center, but when he was 16 his coach said either he plays guard or no basketball and he quit. Ray mentions if it was not for that ultimatum he may never been in The Doors. He went to Everett Elementary School on S. Bell St. and attended St. Rita High School in Chicago.
In 1962-65, he studied in the Department of Cinematography at UCLA, where he met another film student named Jim Morrison. Forty days after finishing film school, thinking they had gone their separate ways, they met by chance. Morrison said he had written some songs, and Manzarek expressed an interest in hearing them, whereupon Morrison sang a rough version of "Moonlight Drive."