Ray Columbus & the Invaders
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|Ray Columbus & the Invaders|
|Past members||Ray Columbus
Dave Russell (guitar)
Peter Ward (Drums)
Billy Kristian (bass)
Jimmy Hill (drums)
Ray Columbus & the Invaders were a rock group from Christchurch, New Zealand that was active from 1964 to 1966, and fronted by leading vocalist, Ray Columbus a musician, television host and manager. Part of the new surf music craze, they were the first New Zealand band to have an international number 1 with a cover of The Senators "She's A Mod".
Influenced by the early 1960s work of Cliff Richard and The Beatles, Ray Columbus & the Invaders scored a #1 hit in Australia thus becoming the first New Zealand band to have an international #1 song—and New Zealand with "She's a Mod" in 1964, a cover version of a song by The Senators. Ray Columbus and the Invaders were included in a package tour "Big Beat '65" with Roy Orbison, The Rolling Stones and The Newbeats that toured New Zealand and Australia. During the tour, the Invaders performed as Orbison's backing band as well as performing as Ray Columbus and the Invaders.
They had several more hits in New Zealand before disbanding in late 1965. Leader Ray Columbus later moved to the US where he found a California psychedelic band, Newcastle Five, who he renamed as The Art Collection. As a band, Ray Columbus and The Art Collection released four singles for the Colstar label, including the psychedelic rocker "Kick It" before The Art Collection split with Columbus. During his time in California (1966–68), Columbus was offered an audition with The Monkees but turned this down. He was also turned down the chance to get together with David Crosby or Gene Clark after these musicians left The Byrds. Columbus then went on to become a band manager.
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