Friday, 21 August 2015

Ray Columbus And The Art Collection - 1967 - Kick Me

Kick Me (I Think I'm Dreaming)/Millicent/Snap,Crackle & Pop/I'm A Boy & You're A Girl

Ray had been trying to get to America for some time as he believed that was were his future lay he eventually married an American citizen, Levonne, and had now secured his green card to move to the US. In July 1966 he flew to San Francisco and set up home in the south bay area of San Jose. Ray managed to get a few solo outings, before linking up with a group called the Newcastle Five, and with him they renamed themselves to the Art Collection.

In early 1967, Ray Columbus and the Art Collection recorded a single "Kick Me" backed with a reworking of "She's A Mod". It was a Bay Area classic and unheard of in New Zealand until its appearance on the second "Ugly Things" compilation in the late eighties. Recorded at the same session was "Snap, Crackle and Pop", a bubblegum ditty Columbus had written to pitch to Kelloggs.

In July, a follow-up single was released. It contained his previous two New Zealand A-Singles on one record, "We Want A Beat"/"I Need You". The band continued to play around the Bay Area, with the highlight being able to play on the same show as Eric Burdon and the Animals. In October, Ray Columbus and the Art Collection were an attraction at the San Francisco International Pop Festival. The festival wasn't huge, but from it came a compilation album which featured several Columbus tracks, including "East Pinkerton Street" and "Polka Dot Resistance" and several tracks written or produced by Columbus. One was "I'm Good For You" for Oakland R&B group, Fire. The song later became a 1969 New Zealand chart hit for Troubled Mind. Ray's association with Art Collection came to an end at the close of 1967.


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