Ray Columbus and the Invaders had a massive hit in October 1964 with their No 1 hit "She’s a Mod". The song was written by Terry Beale and has been on the radio ever since. Ray and his “Mods Nod” a dance that he created and took all around the world symbolized the MOD movement. Here we are again 40 years almost to the day and the song has had new life breathed into it and some new lyrics from Dino Jag and Damien Reilly from Blue Pie. Dino has worked to create a labour of love with Damien riding the conductor’s seat. The track has been hailed from Sydney to London and now sees the world getting ready to go MOD all over again. See the original record in the links section. All the Original band members have signed this one.
Ray is an iconic super start and is affectionately known around the world as the “ MOD FATHER”. He has cult like following in Japan and has worked with all the top people in the business. He was awarded an OBE for services to his country.
Ray Columbus & The Invaders were the first New Zealand group to break big with the Beat Boom. They scored a massive Australasian hit in 1964 with "She's A Mod", a song which, along with Ray's associated "Mod's Nod" dance, remains one of mainstream New Zealand's fondest and most enduring memories of the 60's. Ray Columbus OBE has enjoyed four decades at the top in New Zealand Entertainment. As a singer, songwriter, bandleader, TV star, MC et al….ENTERTAINER is the most appropriate Title to put on him.
RAY has won every major Award in New Zealand Show Business including:-
- LOXENE GOLD DISC AWARD From the Record Industry
- ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR From the Entertainment Industry
- APRA SILVER SCROLL AWARD Twice, for Song Of The Year
- TOP ENTERTAINER ON TELEVISION By public vote
- THE BENNY AWARD From his peers
- PROMOTER/MANAGER OF THE YEAR From the Entertainment Industry
RAY was the first Pop Star in the British Commonwealth to be awarded the ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE ( OBE).. for services to his Country. Queen Elizabeth also honoured him with the NEW ZEALAND 1990 COMMEMORATION MEDAL in Recognition of services to New Zealand. When it is considered that the above list occurred between 1965 and 2000.it’s obvious that His career has ‘legs’. The minor awards he has won are too numerous to mention.
RAY COLUMBUS & (his band) THE INVADERS, Recorded New Zealand’s First International No.1 single “SHE’S A MOD” IN 1964 (Top of the Charts in Australia for seven weeks). He had already started the MOD craze Down Under by creating a dance called the ‘Mod’s Nod’. His group are legends for their Elvis quiffs that flopped into moptops as they performed their brand of Pop/ Rhythm & Blues.
Their MOD Zoot suits..tight satin (black or red) short jackets with drainpipe trousers and winkle picker Boots..for the most part designed by Ray.. were copied by a generation. Their fan base included (then unknown) BEE GEES and THE EASYBEATS (the latter once visited The Invaders backstage and said they modelled their band on them)!
Their Concert Tours in Australia and New Zealand with THE ROLLING STONES, ROY ORBISON, THE NEWBEATS,THE SEARCHERS, PETER AND GORDON, DEL SHANNON and BILLY THORPE & THE AZTECS…. were, riots of screaming fans, with the largest sound systems of the day and security measures never seen before.
RAY COLUMBUS & THE INVADERS were ‘overseas stars’ in Australia. And treated with the same kind of respect by Kiwis. RAY (solo) had the same devoted reception on tour with TOM JONES, HERMAN’S HERMITS, SHIRLEY BASSEY, GENE MCDANIELS, BEN E. KING, THE HOLLIES, ROBIN GIBB, LITTLE RIVER BAND and many more.
RAY survived two amazing years living in the San Francisco Bay Area at the height of the psychedelic craze from 1966 to 1968. There he honed his songwriting and production skills on Eight Track (the Beatles at the time were still using 4 track in London, NZ on half track!)
He performed live with The Turtles, Love, Steve Miller Band and supported Eric Burdon and The New Animals at the San Francisco Auditorium, returning to NZ to star in the long running TV Series “C’Mon 68”.He still regularly spends time in the US promoting New Zealand Music.
RAY COLUMBUS promoted NZ Tourism and Trade throughout the Pacific Basin and South East Asia, adopting Coca Cola’s Music marketing credo,by producing Live shows to attract the crowds to their official exhibits..it was another trail blazing success.
RAY’S had over 15 Hit records, “TILL WE KISSED”..#1 in NZ, Top 5 in Australia, Top 60 Pick in the USA Still biggest selling single, in NZ .
- I Wanna Be Your Man
- On My Mind
- I Need You
- Happy In A Sad Kinda Way
- Willie & The Hand Jive
- C’Mon and Swim
- YoYo Now You Shake
- Now You Shake
- Travelling Singing Man
- People Are People
- Hold Me
- Computer Dater
- Kick Me (I Think I’m Dreaming)
Their second album “Original Numbers”,was NZ’s first album of entirely self-penned tracks.
RAY COLUMBUS HAS STARRED IN THREE ROYAL COMMAND PERFORMANCE CONCERTS, ONE as Top Of The Bill and Master Of Ceremonies.
- He Hosted his own TV series at 19 years of age..CLUB COLUMBUS.
- He has starred in more than 1,500 TV shows in NZ, Australia and USA.
- His (co-created) series “THAT’S COUNTRY” which he Compered and Talent Co-ordinated..
- Screened (out of Christchurch NZ) on the Nashville Network..TNN in the USA.
- His group were the first to use a video clip “She’s A Mod” (1964)..to market the record.. he then Co-Directed the second one “Till We Kissed” on film with spectacular results.(Ray has done likewise in 2004 for a new group his company, RCO, manages.
- RAY COLUMBUS was put on the Stage at age six, by his Father, Jack, to become ‘Fred Astaire’. After ten years of Tap Dance and Song he then switched to Elvis Presley inspired Rock N Roll. But all the time applied the craft he learned to the more rebellious style of music….
- THE SHOW MUST GO ON.! And it sill does. RAY still a youthful and energetic Entertainer…is still out there rocking, whether it’s on the recent blockbusting “LONG WAY TOTHE TOP concert tour of Australia to 220,000 plus, fans onstage with 26 other POP icons with #1 records. Or, on a series of one nighters at Corporate events, clubs and concerts. His repertoire runs from Presley to Darin, Diamond to Jolson and of course HIS OWN HITS. RAY COLUMBUS only sings songs he loves he’s The ENTERTAINER.