Ken Whaley (5 November 1946 – 8 May 2013)was a rock music bass guitar player, best known as a founding member of Help Yourself and Ducks Deluxe, and as a member of Deke Leonard’s Iceberg, Man and The Tyla Gang. He also played with The Archers and The Green Ray.
In 1987, Whaley, Simon Haspeck (guitar) and former Yachts drummer Bob Bellis supported US Singer/Guitarist Rene Miller on a UK tour. After Miller left, they continued as a trio before recruiting guitarist Richard Treece (who had played with Whaley in Help Yourself, Iceberg and The Tyla Gang) in 1988, and calling themselves The Archers.
After recording a demo, Bellis left, so Whaley’s brother Simon became the drummer. After seeing The Archers at a Man convention, Nigel Cross released a vinyl LP on his own Shagrat label in October 1993, but shortly after, Haspeck had a motorbike accident, which prevented concerts to promote the album.
In 1994 Slithy Tove guitarist Simon Burgin joined. They composed some songs in a different style to The Archers so changed their name to The Green Ray to avoid confusion with the old band. In 1995 The Green Ray, recorded the album Sighs, Whales and Trees (a play on names:- Simon’s Whaley and Burgin, Whaley’s, Ken and Simon, and Richard Treece) which was also released on the Shagrat label.
In 1995 Whaley and Richard Treece also started a collaboration with Ron Sanchez of US based band Donovans Brain.
1996 saw the eponymous second album – The Green Ray, on the Father Yod/Soft Cloud label. Many gigs followed, including concerts with Man, and performing at Terrastock 3 in 1999.
In 2000 Burgin died of a brain haemorrhage and original guitarist Simon Haspeck rejoined. After extensive concerts, they recorded Fragile World, which was released on CD in December 2004.
Whaley continued to play with The Green Ray until 2012, when lung cancer forced him to stand down. Whaley died in London, on 8 May 2013, aged 66.The Green Ray continue to this day with Jeff Gibbs on bass guitar and vocals.