Did You Ever Hear About the ‘Beatles’ of Newburgh?
A group of five musicians from Newburgh signed a contract with Columbia Records in 1966 and were destined to be the next Beatles.
Although the band never achieved much success on its own, one of the members went on to win a Grammy for his work with John Lennon.
The Sting-Rays of Newburgh featured Newburgh Free Academy students Ronnie Moskowitz, Tommy Kinsler, Autavis "Tave" Graham, Tony Davilio, and Bruce Shapiro. Just a few years after the Beatles came on the scene, the band was signed to a deal with Columbia Records. With matching outfits and mop-top haircuts, the five-man band went into the recording studio and released two singles.
The first single was an original song titled Fool.
The song's B-Side was a cover of the Beatles' song If I Needed Someone.
Despite being signed to a major record label, the band never achieved much success outside of the Hudson Valley. One member, however, did go on to win a Grammy award for his work with John Lennon.
While Tommy Kinsler was credited with writing the band's original songs, it was guitarist Tony Davilio who wound up becoming a professional musician, arranger and composer. He went on to work on John Lennon and Yoko Ono's Double Fantasy album for which he won a Grammy Award. In 2004 Davilio wrote a book about his experience working on the album called "The Lennon Sessions."
The Sting-Rays of Newburgh released a second single called Friday's Gone.
That single included a b-side of the Louis Armstrong song (What Did I Do To Be So) Black and Blue.
Do you remember ever seeing The Sting-Rays of Newburgh perform? We'd love to hear your memories. You can post your stories in the comments section below or on our Facebook page.