Cast of The Goon Show

Ray Ellington

  • Birth name: Harry Pitts Brown
  • Born: 17th March 1916
  • Died: 28th February 1985

Ray was born to a Russian Jewish mother and an African-American father in England. He formed the Ray Ellington Quartet in 1950.

Like Max Geldray, Ray not only performed as a musician in the Goon Show but occasionally had a speaking part, usually as a African chief or native.

Ellington specialised in jazz but experimented with many other genres throughout the show's history. Ellington's band was one of the first in the UK to feature the stripped-back guitar / bass / drums / piano format that became the basis of rock'n'roll, as well as being one of the first groups in Britain to prominently feature the electric guitar. They were also reputedly the very first jazz band in the UK to use an amplified bass.

As well as the Goon Show, the Quartet was featured in another BBC radio show, Mr Ray and Mr Ros (Mr Ros was bandleader Edmundo Ros.) He later formed the Ray Ellington Big Band.