Ray Columbus & the Invaders

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Ray Columbus & the Invaders
OriginChristchurch, New Zealand
GenresGarage rock
Years active1964 (1964)–1966 (1966)
Past membersRay Columbus
Dave Russell (guitar)
Wally Scott (guitar)
Peter Ward (drums)
Puni Solomon (bass guitar)
Billy Kristian (bass guitar)
Jimmy Hill (drums)

Ray Columbus & the Invaders were a rock group from Christchurch, New Zealand that was active from 1964 to 1966, fronted by the lead 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 a number 1 in another country, Australia, with their cover of The Senators' song "She's a Mod".[1]


Influenced by the early 1960s work of Cliff Richard and The Beatles, Ray Columbus & the Invaders had a #1 hit in Australia [1] 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 founded a California psychedelic band, Newcastle Five, which 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 it down[citation needed]. He also turned down the chance to play with David Crosby or Gene Clark after these musicians left The Byrds. Columbus went on to become a band manager.

Billy Kristian played bass guitar for the Invaders; he later joined the Keil Isles, The Jimmy Sloggett Band, Headband and Night and produced Herbs' first full album Long Ago.

Columbus died in November 2016 after four years of ill health.[2]

National honours[edit]

The band were inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame in 2009.[1]



  • Every Nite (1964)
  • Original Numbers (1965)

Compilation albums[edit]

  • Till We Kissed: The Greatest Hits (1965)
  • Anthology (1981)
  • The Definitive Collection (2009)

Extended plays[edit]

  • Now You Shake (1965)


Year Single Chart positions
AU[3] NZ[4]
1963 "Ku-Pow" - -
1964 "On My Mind" - -
"She's a Mod" 1 -
"Yo-Yo" 72 -
"I Wanna Be Your Man" - -
1965 "C'mon and Swim" 71 -
"Till We Kissed" 29 26
"Where Have You Been" - -
1966 "We Want a Beat" - -
1981 "She's a Mod (Reissue)" 91 2
1989 "Mod Rap / She's A Mod" - 28


  1. ^ a b c Kara, Scott (8 October 2009). "The Ray Columbus story". The New Zealand Herald. APN News & Media. Retrieved 25 October 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "NZ pop pioneer Ray Columbus dies". Radionz.co.nz. Retrieved 29 November 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 71. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Steffen Hung. "Ray Columbus & The Invaders - She's A Mod". charts.nz. Retrieved 29 November 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]