Marching band leads tributes to musician

A NEW Orleans marching band led a funeral procession for Ray Stocker, a jazz musician and a member of Royston Town Band. Mr Stocker, of Bedlam Avenue, Royston, died at the age of 75. He worked for a company in Brimsdown in north London for 22 years where

A NEW Orleans marching band led a funeral procession for Ray Stocker, a jazz musician and a member of Royston Town Band.

Mr Stocker, of Bedlam Avenue, Royston, died at the age of 75.

He worked for a company in Brimsdown in north London for 22 years where he became export director.

But he always had a love of jazz and his career as a musician started in 1945 when he played with a band called The Dinky Rats.


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At the time he was playing accordion, but then became a drummer.

At 17 years, he was playing with the Terry Lightfoot band and was asked to take on a 13-week gig at a Butlins holiday camp.

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But although tempted, he had just started in his career and decided to keep "a proper job".

When he was called up for National Service at the age of 18 he joined the Royal Air Force.

After National Service he returned to his job, but his career as a musician saw him play with the Kirby Band on the pioneering 65 Special television programme.

While working during the day, he continued to play in jazz bands.

In retirement he joined the Opus 17 band and the Royston Town Band, although he had not been involved in brass band music in the past.

He also played with the band Ad Hoc.

The marching band that led the procession into Royston Parish Church was the Alan Dean All Stars.

Ray played with Alan Dean in the 1950s when both were with the Terry Lightfoot band.

And in the church the hymns were led by the Royston Town Band.

Outside music, Ray had a passion for his Lotus Europa sports car and Italy, where he bought a flat in the village of Airole.

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