It has been said that Ray Pilgrim was one of the most prolific big band singers, radio broadcasters, recording and session singers in Britain in the late 1950s/early 1960s.   With almost 1,000 gigs in his relatively short career, plus over 200 BBC radio broadcasts and over 150 songs recorded, as well as jingles and movie soundtracks under his belt, that's probably true.

But he did not regard singing as his long term career and only became a professional singer to enable him to give up his job in a bank so that he could go to university and get a degree at the London School of Economics.  After which he deliberately phased out his singing and made a successful career in his "proper job" in the senior management of a large multinational company.

So, having cut short his singing career over 45 years ago, any connection with the music scene had long since faded deep into the background - with his old recordings, cuttings and archive information mouldering away in storage boxes.

But recently there has been a significant growth in interest in the old Embassy label which specialised in covering the hits of the day.  In the early 60’s around one in twenty of all pop singles sold in the UK were on the Embassy label and between 1960-65 Ray sang on more Embassy singles than any other artist.  As well as being credited under the Pilgrim name, he also recorded as Bobby Stevens, The Typhoons, and The Jaybirds among others.  Those old Embassy vinyl singles have now become very collectable and Embassy tracks were also released on over 40 foreign labels in some 25 countries around the world, amounting to literally millions of copies in total.

At last Ray is now making some of his archive information available for use on this site.  Unless specified otherwise, this may be copied for personal use - but we would appreciate a reference to its source if you wish to publish it further.  Most of the photographs and images on the site are taken from copies in his personal collection and many were originally made readily available for publicity purposes.  However they are all subject to copyright in some form or another.   So before reproducing any of the photos or images elsewhere, please contact this site.  Similarly, if any of them infringe others’ copyrights we will be happy to remove them.

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The Webmaster


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May 2015 - JacobR


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