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All About the Red Seven/Columbia Showband (1960-1969)

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

The Story

In 1959, a group of lads from Arklow, Co. Wicklow got together and called themselves The Red Seven Showband. They started playing locally and ended up with the lucrative residency for three seasons at the famous Tara Ballroom in Courtown. The original Red Seven (pictured right) included: Joe Weadick (trombone), Pete Coburn (vocals), Larry Kenny (trumpet), Des Mulhall (drums), Pat Tyrell (bass), Paud O'Brien (sax/clar), and Eamonn Lee (RIP-guitar).

The band played mostly locally, but continued to do very well. Eventually, they decided they wanted to take the big step of turning professional (a dilemma faced by many resident bands in the late fifties and early sixties) and in anticipation of the move, renamed themselves as The Columbia Showband in 1963.

By the time The Columbia was launched, only Joe Weadick and Pat Tyrell remained of the original 1959 lineup. The new members of the band were: Freddie Cutland (guitar), Jim Tyrell (trumpet/keyboards), Eddie "Mack" McElheron (vocals/guitar), George Byrne (drums), Liam O'Reilly (guitar) and Mick Tyrell (bass). The following year, 1964, when the band went professional, Liam O'Reilly decided to leave the band. He would go on to join The Quartermasters in the years that followed. In 1965, founder member Joe Weadick left and he was replaced by Pat McCarthy on trombone. Now only Pat Tyrell remained of the original band.

For the next four years, the band enjoyed growing success on the ballroom scene. They released several singles, including Way Out of Reach which entered the Irish Charts on January 3, 1966 and climbed to number six. Their last single was released in early 1968 and was called Baby Come Back. An article in New Spotlight magazine told of an LP in the works, which unfortunately never materialized. 

When the band called it quits in 1969, Jim and Mick Tyrell and George Byrne went to the newly formed Ranchers with lead singer Frankie Carroll. Eventually, they would form the Jim Tyrell Trio (see photo below). Meanwhile, Pat Tyrell, Eddie Mack and Freddie Cutland formed the well known local band, Family. Pat McCarthy went on to join the Miami and Billy Brown band in later years.

The band's entire history has been documented in the book, Memories of Arklow's Red Seven/Columbia Showband by Joe Weadick, published in 2011.  

Photo Gallery

Click on thumbnails for full images

Red Seven Showband (LR) Red Seven Showband(LR) Red Seven Showband(LR) Columbia Showband (LR) Columbia Showband (LR)
Columbia Showband - 1964 (LR) Columbia Showband - 1964 (LR) Columbia Showband - 1964 (LR) Columbia Showband - 1965 (LR) Columbia Showband - 1965 (LR)
Columbia Showband
(LR)
Columbia Showband - 1966 (LR) Columbia Showband - 1966 (LR) Columbia Showband - 1966 (LR) Jim Tyrell Trio - 1970's (LR)
Red Seven Showband (LR) Eddie Mack (LR) James Oliver - 1967 Columbia (RF) Columbia (RF)
Columbia (RF) Columbia (RF) Columbia (RF) Columbia (RF) Columbia (RF)
 
Columbia (RF) Columbia (RF) Columbia (PL) Columbia (PL) Coming Soon
Years Vocals Guitar Sax/Piano Bass Drums Various Trumpet Trombone
Red Seven Showband
1960 Pete
Coburn
  Pat
Tyrell
Eamonn
Lee
Des
Mulhall
Paud (Sax)
O'Brien
Larry
Kenny
Joe
Weadick
1961 Paddy
Merrigan
Freddie
Cutland
Pat
Tyrell
Eamonn
Lee
George
Byrne
Leo (Trmpt)
McHugh
Larry
Kenny
Joe
Weadick
1961 Jimmy
McManus
Freddie
Cutland
Pat
Tyrell
Eamonn
Lee
George
Byrne
Leo (Trmpt)
McHugh
Larry
Kenny
Joe
Weadick
1962 Eddie "Mack"
McElheron
Freddie
Cutland
Pat
Tyrell
Jimmy
Kenny
George
Byrne
Jim (Trmpt)
Tyrell
Larry
Kenny
Joe
Weadick
1962 Eddie "Mack"
McElheron
Freddie
Cutland
Pat
Tyrell
Michael
Tyrell
George
Byrne
Jim (Trmpt)
Tyrell
Larry
Kenny
Joe
Weadick
1963 Eddie "Mack"
McElheron
Freddie
Cutland
Pat
Tyrell
Michael
Tyrell
George
Byrne
Jim (Trmpt)
Tyrell
  Joe
Weadick
1963 Eddie "Mack"
McElheron
Freddie
Cutland
Pat
Tyrell
Michael
Tyrell
George
Byrne
Liam (Guitar)
O'Reilly
Jim
Tyrell
Joe
Weadick
Columbia Showband
1963 Eddie "Mack"
McElheron
Freddie
Cutland
Pat
Tyrell
Michael
Tyrell
George
Byrne
Liam (Guitar)
O'Reilly
Jim
Tyrell
Joe
Weadick
1963 Eddie "Mack"
McElheron
Freddie
Cutland
Pat
Tyrell
Michael
Tyrell
George
Byrne
  Jim
Tyrell
Joe
Weadick
1965 Eddie "Mack"
McElheron
Freddie
Cutland
Pat
Tyrell
Michael
Tyrell
George
Byrne
  Jim
Tyrell
Pat
McCarthy
1965 Eddie "Mack"
McElheron
Freddie
Cutland
Pat
Tyrell
Michael
Tyrell
George
Byrne
  Jim
Tyrell
Timmy
Weadick
1966 Eddie "Mack"
McElheron
Freddie
Cutland
Pat
Tyrell
Michael
Tyrell
George
Byrne
Oliver
Merrigan
Jim
Tyrell
Timmy
Weadick
1967 Eddie "Mack"
McElheron
Freddie
Cutland
Pat
Tyrell
Michael
Tyrell
George
Byrne
Oliver
Merrigan
Jim
Tyrell
James
Oliver

Discography

Before This Day Ends / In Your Arms
Decca/Rex Records - R.11002 - 1965
Way Out Of  Reach / The Spinning Wheel - #6 Irish Charts
Decca/Rex Records - R.11018 - Dec., 1965
Back To The Hills / Song of the Sea
PYE Records - 7N.17301 - July, 1967
Someday You'll Call My Name / Devoted To You
Target/Pye Records - 7N.17478 - 1968
Baby Come Back / Born To Lose (Jim Tyrrell and the "Columbia Boys")
Target/Pye Records - 7N.17513 - April, 1968
 

Audio Clips

Coming Soon

Where Are They Now?  

Joe Weadick: Three members of the Red Seven band, Joe Weadick, Larry Kenny and Pete Coburn, now form the nucleus of Arklow's All Stars Showband. The other members of the All-Stars Showband are Dave Canavan, Pat Byrne, John Joe Brauders, Gerry McDonald and Bobby Byrne
Pat Tyrell:  If you know more, please let us know.
Pete Coburn:  If you know more, please let us know.
Eamonn Lee - RIP:  Sadly, we understand Eamonn passed away in 2006.
Des Mulhall:   If you know more, please let us know.
Paud O'Brien:  If you know more, please let us know.
Larry Kenny:  If you know more, please let us know.
Eddie Mack:   If you know more, please let us know.
Freddie Cutland: Freddie now lives in Klidare.
Liam O'Reilly: Liam joined local band, the Quartermasters, after leaving the Columbia and continued to play music. He is now retired and living in Arklow.
Mick Tyrell:  If you know more, please let us know.
Georgie Byrne:   If you know more, please let us know.
Jim Tyrell - RIP: Jim went on to join the Ranchers after leaving the Columbia and ended up with his very popular Jim Tyrell Trio for many years. Sadly, Jim passed away on May 14, 2007. He will be missed.
Pat McCarthy: Pat McCarthy went on from the Columbia to join the Miami showband. He is still playing today with Paddy Cole's jazz band and lives in Arklow. 
Oliver Merrigan:  If you know more, please let us know.

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