One thing that most of us have in common is the ability to fixate on a particular song and hear it playing endlessly in our head. And to make matters worse, rather than being one we like it’s often one that rubs us the wrong way. At the risk of offending their fans (or the members of the group) let me just state that the Newbeats’ 1964 mega-hit “Bread and Butter” is one of those for me.
The Newbeats came together in the early 1960s, a trio formed in Shreveport, Louisiana, by brothers Dean and Mark Mathis along with Texan Larry Henley, whose raucous falsetto would become the group’s signature sound. The three had worked together before, but they hit the jackpot this time when they recorded “Bread and Butter” as a demo. Released by Hickory Records, it shot up the charts and became a huge hit.
The guys would have minor hits in the next few years with songs like “Everything’s Alright,” “Break Away (From That Boy),” and “Run, Baby, Run (Back Into My Arms),” but by the 1970s things had slowed to a crawl. For a while Henley found a little success with a solo career, but eventually he concentrated on songwriting, with his best-known work Bette Midler’s “Wind Beneath My Wings.” The Mathis Brothers appear to have continued to work in music for many years, often behind the scenes.