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College Boys Feature (1962-1972)

Photo Gallery - Band Lineups - Discography - Audio samples - Where Are They Now?

The Story (much more to come)

The story of the College Boys has been difficult to piece together, however we know they started out in the early 1960's, around 1962. The original lineup was George O'Hara (guitar), Roy Houston (vocals), Will McKinney (RIP-bass), Lindsay Luney (drums) and Ronnie Parks (keyboards). The band was managed by Sammy Smyth, who also managed the Floral Hall and Romano's ballroom in Belfast. The five piece was more a group than a showband, but that was all soon to change.  

In 1964, the band made the switch from group to showband and faced its first major challenge. They expanded to a seven piece adding Joe McGreevey (trumpet) and David McLean (sax) to the lineup. Meanwhile, George O'Hara, planning to enter the family business, left but eventually ended up in the Telstars. Sammy contacted Gerry Martin to take over the guitarist spot. They also replaced their lead singer around this time and Roy Houston was replaced by Leslie "Pup" Fullerton.

This lineup remained in place for about three years and in early 1967 they released their first single, Good Times. A few months later Leslie left the lead vocal spot and was replaced by Teddie Palmer who had previously been with the group Teddie and the Tigers. Joe Campbell (RIP - trombone) also joined around this time, replacing David McLean. In March of 1968, the band release Simon Says, which was a popular local hit.

In November, 1968, Teddie left the band and formed his own band, the Teddie Palmer Trend. In a Spotlight interview at the time, he said he had only been singing 1/3 of the songs with the College Boys and got bored standing around. The five piece Trend was one of the first groups in Ireland without brass to play showband gigs (as opposed to groups who formerly played in ballrooms on special 'group' nights, usually mid weeks).

The band continued on without a lead vocalist.     

In 1972, an article in Spotlight announced the College Boys had morphed into a band called Truth. The lineup included Kenny McDowell (vocals - Them), Jim Armstrong (guitar - Them), Wills McKinney (bass - College Boys), Ronnie Parks (keyboards/sax - College Boys), Alan Hunter (sax - Hello), and Bertie McDonald (drums). In December, 1972, a blurb in Spotlight stated there was still confusion about the band as many venues were still billing Truth as The College Boys.

In February, 1973, Spotlight column, The North, announced The College Boys were planning a fresh start. The name the Truth, which the band used as they moved towards a heavier style was dropped and they were under a new manager, Cecil Thompson, who was also looking after Sunshine and Colm and the Sundowners at the time.     

George OíHara left to do his own thing and was replaced by Gerry Martin, one of the finest guitarists around at the time. The band at that time was semi professional and managed by Sammy Smythe who is now a well accredited Irish journalist.

I came in on Tenor Sax and Clarinet and Roy Houston then departed. The band enjoyed considerable success being very popular in Stroke City and Belfast and things progressed with more and more engagements.

The band decided that to go professional and to take them forward a change of management style was required and there was a period where discussions took place with Jim Aiken[Orpheus,Belfast] and Pat McMahon[Astor,Belfast] and then a short spell of management under Harold Clements.

Eventually along came entrepeneur and showbiz promoter Trevor Kane who became the bandís manager with Chris St.Claire [Billy Barbour] coming in as lead singer. At a point then Trevor Kane brought in the famous T.J.Byrne who had managed the Royal Showband as a sort of manager cum booking agent. Chris St Clair decided to emigrate and was replaced by Joe McGreevey [Joe Austin]. Under T J Byrne/Kane promotions the band toured in England covering The Bailey Circuit in the North and the Irish Clubs in London[Galtymore and The Gresham] Ėwith the emergence of the Sands Showband T.J Byrne went to manage them and Trevor Kane then again took direct control of the bandís bookings and management Ė a highly successful arrangement for both I might add. Due to T J the band was able to get into all of the major venues throughout Ireland and again became very popular whilst managing to avoid the cut and blow-dried look of the standard Irish Showbands and maintaining a pop image by doing numbers that many other bands would not tackle- mainly due to the guidance of pianist Jimmy Moore who did many of the bandís arrangements for some time.

After a time the bandís popularity began to wane a bit and change of line-up was put in place with Leslie Fullerton and myself being replaced by Joe Campbell [Trumpet] and Robin Averill [lead singer] and then I think Teddie Palmer became the front man

That then is the history up to my last gig Ė a time of my life that I enjoyed immensely and donít have one regret about.

More to come.....

Photo Gallery

click on thumbnails for full image

College Boys-  1964 (BS) College Boys - 1965 College Boys - 1967 College Boys - 1967 (BF) College Boys - 1967
College Boys - 1967 College Boys - 1968 College Boys - 1968 (TP) College Boys - 1968 (TP) College Boys (TP)

College Boys

College Boys - 1968 (TP) College Boys - 1980 College Boys (RF) College Boys (RF)
College Boys (RF) College Boys (RF) College Boys (RF) College Boys (RF) College Boys (RF)
 
College Boys (RF) College Boys (RF) College Boys (RF) College Boys (PL)

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Years Vocals Guitar Bass Drums Keyboards Keys/Trmbn Sax/Trumpet
1962 Roy
Huston
George
O'Hara
Wills
McKinney
Lindsay
Luney
Ronnie
Parks
   
1964 Roy
Huston
George
O'Hara
Wills
McKinney
Lindsay
Luney
Ronnie
Parks
Leslie "Pup"
Fullerton
 
1964 Roy
Huston
Gerry
Martin
Wills
McKinney
Lindsay
Luney
Ronnie
Parks
Leslie "Pup"
Fullerton
 
1965 Roy
Huston
Gerry
Martin
Wills
McKinney
Lindsay
Luney
Ronnie
Parks
Leslie "Pup"
Fullerton
David (sax)
McClean
1965 Chris
St. Claire
Gerry
Martin
Wills
McKinney
Lindsay
Luney
Ronnie
Parks
Leslie "Pup"
Fullerton
David (sax)
McClean
1966? Leslie "Pup"
Fullerton
Gerry
Martin
Wills
McKinney
Lindsay
Luney
Ronnie
Parks
Joe (trombone)
McGreevey
David (sax)
McClean
1967? Robin
Averill
Gerry
Martin
Wills
McKinney
Lindsay
Luney
Ronnie
Parks
Joe (trombone)
McGreevey
Joe (trumpet)
Campbell
Nov
1967
Teddie
Palmer
Gerry
Martin
Wills
McKinney
Lindsay
Luney
Ronnie
Parks
  Joe (trumpet)
Campbell
Nov
1968
  Gerry
Martin
Wills
McKinney
Lindsay
Luney
Ronnie
Parks
Leslie "Pup"
Fullerton
Joe (trumpet)
Campbell
               

Discography

Good Times / San Antonio Rose
Pye Records - 7N.17294 - February, 1967
Simon Says / White Cliffs of Dover (Teddie Palmer)
Dolphin Records - DOS.03 - March, 1968

Audio Clips

Coming Soon

Where Are They Now?  

Wills McKinney - RIP: Wills was tragically killed in a car accident in 1999. Our thanks to Rodney Martin for the info. If you know more, please let us know.
Lindsay Luney:  An email from Margaret Rea in March, 2012, tells us that Lindsay now owns a fashion business in Newtownabbey and lives in Carrickfergus. If you know more, please let us know.
Ronnie Parks: An email from Rodney Martin tells us Ronnie is retired and living in Malin, Donegal in 2013. If you know more, please let us know.
Gerry Martin: An email from Rodney Martin in 2013 told us Gerry has an architectural firm and is living in Belfast. If you know more, please let us know.
Roy Huston:  If you know more, please let us know.
George O'Hara:  If you know more, please let us know.
Leslie "Pup" Fullerton:  If you know more, please let us know.
Teddie Palmer: After leaving the College Boys, Teddie formed a few of his own bands including the Trend and Rumble Band. Teddie retired from the road in the mid 80's, although his band at the time kept going as the TP Band and Teddie moved into management. Today, Teddie has relocated to the United Kingdom and runs Entertainments Unlimited where he manages the fortunes of a new generation of entertainers in Ireland and abroad. You can visit his site at www.ents-unltd.com to see more about what Teddie is up to these days.
Joe McGreevy:  If you know more, please let us know.
David McClean:  David is alive and well and living in Ballymena. If you know more, please let us know.
Joe Campbell - RIP: Joe's daughter, Ciara, wrote to tell us he sadly passed away in 1990.

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In Loving Memory of Grant Gallagher: Sept. 21, 1990 - Nov. 18, 2006