January 10, 2018 I've been looking forward to this interview for a long-time, one of the most inspiring teachers I ever had, drumset player and percussionist extraordinaire Mr. Ray Deeley! I was very fortunate to take private drumset and percussion lessons with Ray while a high school student ('85-'89). Ray taught at numerous Catholic high schools through-out the Philadelphia area, and coincidentally one of his students at another school was Heather High, who I would later meet in the percussion ensemble at West Chester University, which eventually led to our marriage, four great children and a wonderful life.
After attending Mastbaum Vocational High School in Philadelphia with classmates the likes of Lee Morgan, Ray Deeley received a full scholarship to the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music, studying with Fred Hinger and graduating in 1955. After graduation he worked as a first-call drumset player and percussionist touring the world with A-List musicians and entertainers, including Vic Damon, Bobby Rydell, Chubby Checker, Johnny Mathis, Frank Sinatra, Liberace, Milton Berle, Don Rickles and Julie Andrews, just to name a few. He also traveled with the Dick Clark American Bandstand tours to Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Hong Kong, performed on The Ed Sullivan Show, worked as a studio musician at Cameo-Parkway Records, and later taught drums and percussion for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Bucks County Community College and Immaculata University. Today Ray exercises daily, continues studying and practicing drums and percussion and performs for various musical artists throughout Philadelphia and South Jersey.
DrummerCafe Link Ray's Triplets
*Pictured: Ray Deeley, Heather High-Kennedy, Sean J. Kennedy | Cape May NJ, summer 2015