Ray Columbus, New Zealand rock singer, Died at 74

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Raymond John Patrick “Ray” Columbus was born on November 4, 1942, and died on November 29, 2016.

He was a New Zealand singer and songwriter, television host, music manager and entertainer.

His career spanned over six decades.

He was the lead singer of Ray Columbus & the Invaders, his most well known hit was “She’s A Mod”, part of the new wave surf music craze released in 1964, complete with “Mod Dance”, written by UK musician Terry Beale.

Which became a number one hit in Australia, the first song from a New Zealand group to reach the top of the charts in another country.

Ray had also been a solo artist, television host, and diversified into music management.

During the late 1990s he managed the rock band Zed.

He toured with The Rolling Stones and Roy Orbison and The Newbeats. As well as playing Royal Variety Performances and being the opener of the 1974 New Zealand Commonwealth Games.

He studied tap, but was more interested in the rock n roll of the era and formed his first band in 1959, The Dominoes, and got his big break playing with the Downbeats Band which later became Ray and the Drifters.

Columbus suffered a heart attack in 2004, and a stroke in 2007 that left him partially paralysed.

During April 2014, he was reported to be terminally ill, from an immune deficiency condition caused from medication.

Ray was survived by wife Linda and two children

He died at his Snells Beach, North Auckland residence, after a “four year battle with ill health”.

Ray Columbus passed away at 74 years old.

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