The Newports Today


The Newports reorganized in 2001 and have been actively performing again since. When you hear the Newports perform today, you’re transported back to an earlier era of popular music. The Newports are an oldies band; they play vintage rock ‘n’ roll at its very best, authentically, with great heart and energy. They feature numerous classic hits of the ‘50s and '60s, and their sets contain a wonderful mix of high-energy rockers and ballads; they feature instrumentals as well.

The Newports lineup today: Two members of the early Newports -- Cal Linley (original lead singer of the ‘60s’ band) and Blaine Smith (original guitarist and leader) -- are part of this new band. Veteran musicians Mike Henley (keyboards), Rob Dyer (drums), and Jerry Pickeral (bass) joined the initial lineup as well (Mike and Rob remain to this day), along with a young sax player named Michael Lew. Michael moved from the area in March 2003 and left the band. In the fall of that year, Debbie Halverson, Becky Briggs, and Lori Pickeral (Jerry’s high school daughter) joined to form the Filterettes vocal team. In the summer of 2007, Lori left for college, and Arlene Jaye replaced her. Today, Debbie and Arlene sing whenever the band performs, and Becky, who lives in Bethlehem, Pa., comes as often as she can. Jerry Pickeral left the band just recently, and has been replaced by Mike DeGraba on bass -- see our home page for details.

In the past nine-plus years, the Newports have played numerous engagements, and have become a favorite in many area clubs and restaurants. These venues have included (the band has played some of them many, many times), The Outta The Way Cafe, Middlebrook Restaurant, The Olney Tavern, Backstreets, Wurzburg House, The Hard Times Cafe in Germantown, La Mexicana, Coat of Arms, Dad’s Pub, and El Boqueron. Here are photos from a recent performance at Outta the Way.


The Newports at The Outta The Way Cafe, May 21, 2011

(Thanks to Evie Smith for all of these photos, except for #'s 7,8 & 9, which are courtesy of Michael DeWoody)


Out Front: (L to R, from top) Rob Dyer, Blaine Smith, Debbie Halverson, 
Mike Henley, Cal Linley, Mike DeGraba, Becky Briggs, Arlene Jaye

Out Front: (L to R) Rob Dyer, Blaine Smith, Becky Briggs, Arlene Jaye,
Debbie Halverson, Mike Henley, Mike DeGrabba


Arlene at mic

Debbie, Mike D., Becky


Cal Linley, the Newports lead singer

Rob at drums, Blaine on guitar


Rob, Cal, Mike D., Mike H.

Closeup of Rob Dyer, Newports drummer, hard at work


Mike H. at keyboard., Arlene at mic, gettin' it all done

Cal belting it out

Debbie, Mike D., Becky, Mike H.

Mike Henley at a pensive moment


Mike D. over the top

Debbie in the flow



Blaine, with something up his sleeve


Becky, as happy as she can be



Arlene at mic; Debbie and Becky to left

Out front: Becky, Debbie, Arlene, Cal


The Newports
P.O. Box 448
Damascus, Maryland 20872


Celebrating Washington, D.C.’s Legendary Oldies Band