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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 October, 2004, 16:45 GMT 17:45 UK
Goons musician Max Geldray dies
(l-r) Ray Ellington, Harry Secombe, Spike Milligan, Max Geldray and Peter Sellers
Max Geldray (second right) performed with the Goon Show cast
Max Geldray, one of the musicians on hit 1950s radio comedy The Goons, has died, a close friend has confirmed.

Geldray, 88, known as "Conks" to listeners, performed alongside Goons Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers, Michael Bentine and Harry Secombe on the show.

He was also credited as the world's first jazz harmonica player, performing with Django Reinhardt in the 1930s.

He died at home in California, said Angela Morley - formerly known as Goons bandleader Wally Stott.

"He simply died of old age," according to Ms Morley.

Max is the last of the Goons that were up front
Angela Morley
Former Goons bandleader
"He had been treated for cancer of the prostate, but I don't think he died of cancer or the spread of that.

"For several years now, he'd been complaining of having a lot of pain all over his body."

Ms Morley described the Dutch-born Geldray as an "elder statesman".

"Really, Max is the last of the Goons that were up front," she said.

"People had a lot of affection for Max, quite aside from his playing, and he will be very much missed."

Goons memories go on
27 Feb 02  |  TV and Radio


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