The Newbeats Biography

This distinctive pop trio featured falsetto Larry Henley (30 June 1941, Arp, Texas, USA) with brothers Marcus ‘Marc’ Mathis (b. 9 February 1942; bass) and Lewis ‘Dean’ Mathis (b. 17 March 1939, Hahira, Georgia, USA). Dean had joined Paul Howard’s Western Swing Band in 1956 as a pianist and later moved to Dale Hopkin’s Band, with Marc joining shortly afterwards. The Mathis brothers then performed and recorded as Dean And Marc; their version of ‘Tell Him No’ narrowly missed the US Top 40 in 1959. Henley briefly joined the act before they went their separate ways. After recording as the Brothers on Checker and Argo they also had releases on Check Mate and May before joining Hickory Records, where Henley had been recording fruitlessly as a soloist. Since neither act was successful they decided to record together as the Newbeats. Their first single, ‘Bread And Butter’, became their biggest hit, shooting to number 2 in the US charts and into the UK Top 20 in 1964. In the USA the shrill-sounding trio kept the Top 40 hits rolling with ‘Everything’s Alright’ in 1964, ‘Break Away (From That Boy)’ and ‘Run Baby Run’ (a belated UK Top 10 hit in 1971), the last two in 1965. After a decade on Hickory the trio went to Buddah Records in 1973 and then in 1974 to Playboy. The trio split up that year, with Henley then recording without chart success for Capricorn and later for Atco Records and Epic. He then turned his attention to songwriting, and has been very successful since. His best-known song was Bette Midler’s version of a 1983 country hit, ‘The Wind Beneath My Wings’.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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