Ray Cooper was born in Hertfordshire, England and raised in London. He studied classical piano for 12 years, before a desire to compose lead him to strings and woodwinds. Later, he studied percussion.
Ray started his career as one of rock’s top percussionists in the 1960s. He has worked with artists as diverse as Maynard Ferguson, Cleo Laine, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Harry Nilsson, Carly Simon, America, George Harrison (producing Somewhere In England), Mark Knopfler, Bill Wyman and many others.
Ray has enjoyed a long association with Elton John, having first toured and recorded with him in 1974.
He has scored a number of films, including Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas with Tomayasu Hatei.
Ray Cooper and Eric Clapton first worked together on the ARMS Tour in 1983. He toured with Eric between 1988 and 1992, but played on Eric’s recording sessions from 1984. Both men played on George Harrison’s hit album Cloud 9. Ray last worked with Eric at “The Concert For George” (a tribute concert in George Harrison’s memory) on 29 November 2002 of which Eric was the musical director.
Ray can be heard on the following Eric Clapton recordings: Behind The Sun, 24 Nights, and Unplugged.