Country singer Frank Ray performs at Las Cruces Middle School

LAS CRUCES – Take some, Las Cruces!

Rising country music star and former Las Cruces police officer Frank Ray visited Picacho Middle School on Wednesday to donate supplies and perform a small concert for children and staff. His stop in Las Cruces is the first of several upcoming visits to area schools.

Before Ray became known for hits such as “Country’d Look Good on You” and “Tequila Mockingbird,” he was simply a New South Mexican, born in Deming. He spent 10 years serving the Las Cruces community as a police officer before quitting his job and pursuing a full-time music career.

Since then he has shared stages with popular artists such as Luke Bryan, Ashley McBryde, Kane Brown and Hunter Hayes. And he made his The Beginnings of the Grand Ole Opry in November 2021, a milestone in the world of country music.

As Ray’s success continues, he said he makes it a point to give back to his community. He donated school supplies and a Bose speaker for auxiliary use at Las Cruces Middle School. To top off his visit, he performed in front of a gymnasium full of sixth, seventh and eighth graders on Wednesday afternoon.

Frank Ray performs at Picacho Middle School on Wednesday, August 17, 2022. Ray, a rising country star from Nashville, grew up in Deming and worked in Las Cruces as a police officer.

“That’s really how I fell in love with my career path, I was in school like that and just watching different artists and stuff,” Ray said. “So if I can do something to inspire at least one child, then I know I’ve done my job.”

The approximately 760 students took to the stands holding handmade signs welcoming Ray and expressing their love for his music. Their screams rocked the building as Ray settled on the gym floor with his guitar and only one other guitarist.

Ray has sung about five of his songs, including several from his recently released EP “Getcha Some.” The artist explained that the phrase came from his friends at the police academy who were Marines. They used the phrase to inspire everyone to keep pushing when the going gets tough. Ray carried the phrase with him throughout his musical career as inspiration to leave it all on stage. It is also an invitation to the public to “come party”, he said.

Ray was joined on Wednesday by teacher and fellow musician Dawson Yarbrough of the Yarbrough Band of Las Cruces for a cover of Brooks & Dunn’s “Boot Scootin’ Boogie.”

Middle schoolers cheer as Frank Ray performs at Picacho Middle School on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022. Ray, a rising country star from Nashville, grew up in Deming and worked in Las Cruces as a police officer.

“Every time (Frank) was on Border Avenue from here, the Yarbrough Band and his band, we played a lot of the same and we did fundraisers together. So we’re going back,” Yarbrough said. “We are all very proud of him. It’s good to catch up. »

Ray visits Columbus, New Mexico on Thursday, donating more supplies and another performance. The border town is dear to Ray as he spent much of his childhood in the area. It is also unique in that students from Palomas, Mexico cross the border and attend American school.

Ray will then travel to O’Shea Keleher Elementary School in El Paso before heading to Silver City to perform at Western New Mexico University with Tenille Arts on Friday. He then takes a flight to Rhode Island for the next leg of his tour.

“Getcha Some” and previously released Ray’s tracks can all be found on Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music.

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Leah Romero is the Trending Reporter for the Las Cruces Sun-News and can be reached at 575-418-3442, [email protected] Where @rromero_leah on Twitter.

Toya J. Bell