Kiwi music legend Ray Columbus dies

Publish Date
Tuesday, 29 November 2016, 3:54PM
Photo / New Zealand Listener Archives

Photo / New Zealand Listener Archives

Kiwi musician Ray Columbus has died.

Although Columbus will go into the history books as the first New Zealand entertainer to have a number one single overseas (She's A Mod with the Invaders in 1964, which topped the Australian charts), when he was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1974 it was for his long and diverse career in many aspects of New Zealand music and show business.

And he was the first pop star in the Commonwealth to be so acknowledged.

Born in Christchurch, Columbus was first steered into tap dancing by his family but was of that first generation influenced by American rock and roll when, while selling ice-creams at the Avon Theatre, he saw films like Rebel Without a Cause and Blackboard Jungle.

Read the full story by Graham Reid at NZ Herald