Born in New York City and raised in a family of musical royalty (the son of singer Ella Fitzgerald and legendary jazz bass player Ray Brown), Ray Brown, Jr. learned early to appreciate the beauty and artistry of music.
Although the primary emphasis was jazz, Ray's heart was in rock and roll and rhythm and blues. The family migrated to California where Ray studied piano at the age of 10. At 14, drums became an extended musical passion, so dad arranged for young Ray to study with Bill Douglas and later with Chuck Flores in Los Angeles. The singing drummer began playing private parties, graduating into the world of playing gigs