At the tender age of just 10 Ray joined a Brass Band playing Tenor Horn then
Cornet, Trumpet and finally settling on Flugal Horn. Whilst still at school in
the early 60's his closest friends and Ray decided to form a "group". They thought Jazz, as one
played piano, one Trombone and Ray on Tenor Horn. However Cliff Richard and the
Shadows were then influencing them on this side of the pond and Elvis and other
Americans on the other side. Thus on a toss a coin “Heads” Jazz “Tails” Pop. It
came down tails and their search for new instruments began. As they were all
very practical it was obvious – lets make them!!. Using Fender shapes they
crafted 3 Guitars and fitted original equipment and used them for their first
performance at a school concert, aged just 15."The Whirlwinds had arrived"
Living in Merseyside it wasn’t long before the "Beatles" and many other
Merseyside bands influenced them. Got themselves a drummer and a front man and
called themselves "Dougie Storm and the Whirlwinds". Instruments improved, gigs
improved and the band improved. Still only 16 they entered a "Coke-a-Cola"
Music competition (first 3 got recording contracts) their singer forgot his
words and they came 4th. – Gutted. The singer lost interest so he went and the
Whirlwinds carried on as a 4 piece.
Toured the clubs, pubs, Cavern and the Casinos (Including the now Legendary
–WIGAN CASINO). Shared the bill with Herman’s Hermits, The Kinks, Wayne Fontana
and the Mindbenders, Jimmy Savil, Jimmy Tarbuck and many others. Finally playing
Cabaret in the night clubs with a residency at the Keg O’Keefe (the training
ground of Georgie Fame)
Made a silly mistake and gave it all up for women and a career. Even sold those
wonderful early 60’s vintage Fenders for just £150!!!
Many years later he was invited to be a founder member of Hooker, one of
Peterborough’s most successful Covers Bands. Alas again he admits to a mistake
and moved North leaving his music behind.
Then as if by Magic the 60’s Whirlwinds reformed for a special one off gig at
the Cherry Tree in 2007. What a night. Still bitten by the bug and with new
equipment the rust has once again been shaken off for his next adventure with the
Blues Consortium and maybe others to be announced. Long live the Blues and long
live Live Music. Looking forwards to seeing you all down the pub.
- All good music