Ray Cooper
Who Put That There Then ?
Entertainer- Musician Ray Cooper looks in wonderment at the enormity of the work in taking down the London Bridge spanning the Thames in London in 1968 brick by brick, transporting it to America brick by brick and rebuilding it over Lake Havasu, Arizona brick by brick.
British born Ray Cooper joined in the celebrations at the opening of the rebuilt London Bridge on the 10th October 1971 at Lake Havasu seen here with the Lord Mayor of London.


His group called ‘The Dam Limey’s wearing cloth caps and suits with pearly trimmings straight out of the East End of London then entertaining our American cousins with cockney songs such as, Underneath The Arches, Leaning On a
Lamp post, Oh you Beautiful Doll, What a Mouth, What a Mouth and so on, many of which were recorded on his LP which he recently sent me he recorded in 1977 called Ray Cooper-Everybody’s Cup Of Tea.

Seems that the Americans loved his shows of Cockney music and comedy

He has been entertaining for over 72 years and he told me he was still very active and explained in his letter to me a couple of years ago, “I have never done anything else (I wouldn’t know how to)”. .

His music career began when he was 14 years old with his first professional engagements in and around Birmingham. Four years later he found himself in the Army with the North Staffordshire Regimental Band and spent the next three and a half years touring Indian and parts of Burma.

Out of the Army and back to London where he joined several orchestras eventually working with Edmundo Ros at the Bagatelle, Mayfair and Dorchester Hotels. He later joined the Geraldo Organisation on the Queen Mary sailing between Southampton and New York City. He joined Joe Loss and his Orchestra as drummer in the 1950’s and spent the next 8 years with Joe. After that he toured in
Europe for three years as a double act known as Burns and Cooper teaming up with Bobby Burns the trombone player and vocalist with Joe Loss they Sang and played instruments, tap danced and comedy. Their agent was Issy Bon and they toured Great Britian and the continent with their act.

He up stakes in 1966 packed his bags and arrived in America and wasted no time starting work in Miami Florida and did so for the next four years.
For ever on the move he then moved on to Las Vegas and was soon working with some of the great names connected with the big bands there, Russ Morgan, Ray McKinley and Larry Elgart.

In 1970 he formed a Trio and called them ‘The Dam Limey’s’performing in Las Vegas. He was there on that special ceremony at the opening of The London Bridge now rebuilt at Lake Havasu.

He was off again soon after to Long Beach California and began travelling the Fair circuit visiting Schools and Colleges with a programme called ‘The History of Vaudeville’. From then and for the next 12 years he worked on the Queen
Mary now in Dry-dock at Long Beach.

In 2001 after the 65th Anniversary of the maiden voyage of the Queen Mary he presented his recollections and Memories of the Queen Mary of which Ray had performed on board for many years.

Ray Cooper’s career has spanned many decades and has certainly had an amazing time accompanying such famous stars as Jimmy Durante, Marlene Dietrich, Sammy Davis jnr. Boris Karloff, Alan Jones, Bob Hope, Shirley Bassey and
many more.

(The above article was first published in our June 2013 edition of Big Banf Buddies International)

Ray passed away in 2018 after a short illness. Now sadly missed.
stars as Jimmy Durante, Marlene Dietrich, Sammy Davis jnr.
Boris Karloff, Alan Jones, Bob Hope, Shirley Bassey and
many more.


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