Ray Woolf had retired from the music scene two years previously and was coaxed back by Billy to front the group. Joining the group alongside Billy, Ray and Al, were Ian Laird (drums) and a brass section of Rod Gibson on sax and classically trained trombonist Brian Biddick.
The keyboard player was Laurie Simpson. Billy Belton recalls, “Laurie’s organ was an ex-church twin keyboard organ with bass pedals amplified through a Leslie unit that made it sound like a Hammond organ, Laurie’s father was a church minister so we never asked where it came from.”
The group had a very distinctive sound playing their brand of soul and R&B and recorded two singles for Zodiac records ‘All Night Worker’/‘Over You’ and ‘The One In the Middle’/‘Summertime’ with Ray turning out some of the finest recorded vocals of his early career as he melded jazz and soul stylings.
The Newsounds worked the Auckland dance club scene for about a year until the unwieldiness of operating a seven-piece band began to tell and the group reluctantly broke up.
In 2012 Frenzy Music released the CD Ray Woolf – The Sixties Collection, which includes all four Newsounds tracks.
Alex Patchett - lead guitar
Rod Gibson - saxophone
Brian Biddick - trombone
Ian Laird - drums
Laurie Simpson - keyboards