Friends and family pay respects to popular musician Raye

Raye Du Val. Picture supplied by Lyn Basset
Raye Du Val. Picture supplied by Lyn Basset

Family and close friends packed out Woodvale Crematorium chapel, in Brighton, last week to remember the life of popular musician Raye Du Val.

Raye, who had been a big part of the music industry in the 1950s and 1960s, was described as a man of special talent who had even turned down the opportunity of substituting Ringo Starr for a gig with The Beatles.

During those years, Raye backed many of the pop and rock legends of the era and was the drummer with Emile Ford and the Checkmates, who had a number one hit over the Christmas and New Year of 1959 with What Do You Want to Make Those Eyes at Me For?

He also broke the existing record at the time for non-stop drumming when he achieved the new record of 82 hours, 35 minutes and 14 seconds.

Right up until a matter of weeks before he passed away, Raye was still playing at events in and around the Mid-Sussex area and giving enjoyment to so many people.

In latter years, Raye had also been involved with local cat rescue charity Paws and Claws, regularly playing at their open days with his jazz combo.

Raye and his wife Valerie, a trustee of the charity, recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary and our thoughts are very much with her and her family at this time.

He will be greatly missed, as a musician, an animal lover and for his sense of humour.

Donations can be made in Raye’s memory directly to the charity, Paws and Claws, in London Road, Sayers Common.