Ray Cooper (singer-songwriter)

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Ray Cooper
Ray Cooper November 2018
Cooper performing at the South Hill Park Arts Centre, Bracknell, November 2018
Background information
Birth nameBrian Raymond Cooper
Born (1954-09-22) 22 September 1954 (age 66)
Redhill, England
Occupation(s)Musician, singer-songwriter
Years active1974–present
Associated actsOysterband

Ray Cooper, also known as Chopper, is an English/Scottish singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist living in Sweden.

Initial musical collaborations and session work[edit]

Single Common Truth by Amazorblades

Cooper's first professional band (1975–1978) was Amazorblades[1] together with Rob Keyloch (engineer/producer/remixer[2]) and Ben Mandelson. They were a punk/jazz outfit who toured extensively and recorded the single 'Common Truth' in 1977 for Chiswick Records.[3]

Between 1981 and 1982 Cooper played with the London based band OK Jive,[4] who signed to CBS in 1981. In 1983, he played bass guitar and bugle with The Mighty Clouds of Dust on their single release Flowers on the Wall / Champion (The Wonder Horse) / Mr.Custer.[5]

In 1983, Cooper joined the World Music group 3 Mustaphas 3 where he played cello and sang under the name of Oussack Mustapha, alias The Nightingale of Szegerely. He recorded two albums with them for Globe Style Records. They also recorded a single with Agnes Bernelle produced by Phil Chevron and Elvis Costello. Cooper left the group in 1986. He performed in a reunion of six group members at the 30th Anniversary concert for fRoots magazine at the Roundhouse in London on 22 January 2010.[6]

Member of Oysterband[edit]

Ray Cooper performing with Oysterband in 2010

Cooper was a member of Oysterband between 1989 and 2013.[7]


With Amazorblades[edit]

  • Common Truth (Single) 1977

With Yachts[edit]

  • Without Radar (1980)

With OK Jive[edit]

  • To You 1982 (Single produced by Rob Keyloch)
  • On Route 1982 (Single produced by Joe Jackson)

The Mighty Clouds of Dust[edit]

  • Flowers on the Wall / Champion (The Wonder Horse) / Mr.Custer 1983 (Single produced by Phil Chevron)

With 3 Mustaphas 3[edit]

  • Bam! Mustaphas Play Stereo, 1985
  • From the Balkans to Your Heart: The Radio Years, 1986

With Oysterband[edit]

As Oyster Band

As Oysterband

Live albums

  • Little Rock to Leipzig (1990) (partially live)
  • Alive and Shouting (1996)
  • Alive and Acoustic (1998)
  • 25th Anniversary Concert (2004) DVD
  • Northern Light (2006)

'Compilation albums

  • The Rough Guide to World Music (1994) (contributing the track "When I'm Up I Can't Get Down")
  • The Rough Guide to English Roots Music (1998) (contributing the track "Sail on By")
  • Pearls from the Oysters (1998) (taking tracks from Step Outside, Wide Blue Yonder, Ride and Little Rock to Leipzig)
  • This House Will Stand (The Best of Oysterband 1998–2015) (2016), double album containing alternate versions and demos


  • 'Tales of Love War and Death by Hanging' (2010) CD
  • 'Palace of Tears' (2014) CD
  • 'Between The Golden Age & The Promised Land' (2018) CD and LP

Other published material[edit]

  • 'Ray Cooper Songs' (2015) song book


  • 2003 Good Tradition Award, BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards (with Oysterband)[citation needed]
  • 2005 Best Group, Oysterband Big Session, BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards[citation needed]
  • 2009 Best group, Spiral Earth Award (with Oysterband)
  • 2012 Best album, Spiral Earth Award (with June Tabor & Oysterband)
  • 2012 Best Traditional Track, BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards (with June Tabor & Oysterband)[8]
  • 2012 Best Album, BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards (with June Tabor & Oysterband)[8]
  • 2012 Best Group, BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards (with June Tabor & Oysterband)[8]


  1. ^ "Punk Brighton Amazorblades". punkbrighton.co.uk. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  2. ^ "Rob Keyloch". discogs. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  3. ^ "Amazorblades – Common Truth". discogs. 1977. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  4. ^ "OK Jive biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  5. ^ "Single release". discogs. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  6. ^ "The Young Mustaphas at the Roundhouse". fRootsmag. 22 January 2010.
  7. ^ "Oysterband Biography, an outsider view". Oysterband.co.uk. 2014.
  8. ^ a b c "Radio 2 Folk Awards 2012". BBC. 2012. Retrieved 20 February 2019.

External links[edit]