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Gentry Story (1966-74)

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

The Story

Northern band, The Gentry, had been one of the best known groups on the Dublin beat scene for several years when in May 1968, they actually tried to change their name to The Nobility, but apparently it never really stuck, although it was still in use 6 months later. They also announced their new single, Sing Me A Sad Song was being released by CBS as well (however, we think this may have been delayed for up to a year). The original lineup of the band included: Cahir O'Doherty (vocals), Seamus Caulfield (drums), Ronny Souter (bass) and Norman Lindsay (guitar).

In September, 1968 Pat Egan reported in his Beat column that the band had split up. Manager Larry Mooney reported at the time that he hoped Cahir would be forming another group. There was also a fear that their re-recorded single, Sing Me A Sad Song, may not be released. At the time, they were one of the most popular groups in Dublin. However, news of their breakup was apparently not true as a short time later the band appeared on RTE's Like Now series. 

By early December, 1968 Pat Egan was reporting the band were "the only Northern group the young kids in Dublin really want to know about," adding, "Cahir is a great favourite with almost everybody." He also reported that the band was now being managed by Ollie Byrne. In early 1969. Pat reported that Gerry Neill, keyboard player with the band, was leaving. Charismatic lead singer Cahir O'Doherty had good looks and talent, but the group never quite made it out of the beat group scene.    

In April, 1969, Pat reported the group had split (yet again), but hinted that a new showband may be in the works. Bass player Billy Boyd went to join the Orange Machine. A month later they announced they were becoming a showband. Heralded as a new mod "super showband-group," they took ex-members of Granny's Intentions and the Fire Brigade and became a seven piece. Managed by Aidan Hand, the band released its first single, Sing Me A Sad Song and took to the ballroom circuit. 

The original lineup of the band was (from Pat Egan's Beat column in Spotlight dated may 10th, 1969): Cahir O'Doherty (vocals), Norman Lindsay (guitar), Greg Donaghy (drums - Granny's Intentions and Blue), Ernie Durkin (bass - Orange Machine and Blue), Scott Mulvey (keyboards - The Movement), Davy Trainor (sax) and Donie Deveney (sax - Good Tymes). 

During the first year on the road as a showband, the lineup underwent a few changes adding Brian Harris (guitar), Shay Murphy (drums) and Gerry Mulryan (trumpet). In August, 1970, they headed to Majorca where they did a six week residency in the Club Jack y Negro which was becoming a more common practice, especially with the "pop" bands on the scene like the Arrows. As of February, 1971, the band's lineup had not changed.

In May, 1972 Kevin McAlea joined the band in place of Scott Mulvey on keyboards. This was just a couple of weeks after Liam McKenna replaced Billy Boyd on bass. A few months later, in October, Skid Row had broken up and drummer Noel Bridgeman had been drifting around London and decided it was time to come home and "join a showband." He spent a few weeks gigging with Sean Dunphy's Hoedowners when the opportunity to join the Gentry came along. Said Noel in a 1972 Spotlight interview, "I couldn't have got a better job than with the Gentry. There's no suit and no haircut and we're playing good music."

In late 1972, Cahir got the part in Jesus Christ Superstar and was heavily involved in the show, first in rehearsals and it's run in Dublin and later in 1973 when the show ran in Cork and again in Dublin's Gaiety Theatre. A few months later, in June, 1973, Brush Shiels announced the reforming of Skid Row and Noel left the band to join his old band mates and was replaced by Brian Donaghy, who at that point had been playing with bands like Alyce and the Crypt. 

An interview with Cahir in October, 1973 in Spotlight revealed that Collette Wilkinson had recently left the band and following her departure the band had undergone a major shakeup. Said Cahir, "Collette was a very individual singer. People would only compare all the time. That's why I changed the band completely, rather than just fill any gaps." At that time, the band became a six piece again.

In 1974 Cahir left the Gentry and for a time was a major player on the Irish stage, taking starring roles in both Jesus Christ Superstar and as Pharoah in Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. While still playing his role as Pharoah, Cahir launched the Dazzle Band and like Teddie Palmer in the North, he joined the Garry Glitter set.      

More to come.....

Photo Gallery

click on thumbnails for full image

Gentry - 1968 Gentry - 1968 Gentry - 1968 Gentry - 1968 Gentry - 1969
Cahir O'Doherty - 1969 Cahir O'Doherty - 1969 Gentry - 1969 Gentry - 1970 Gentry - 1970
Gentry - 1970 Gentry - 1970 Gentry - 1970 Cahir O'Doherty - 1970 Cahir O'Doherty - 1970
Cahir O'Doherty - 1970 The Gentry - 1971 Gentry - 1972 Cahir O'Doherty - 1972 Gentry - 1972
Gentry - 1972 Gentry - 1971 Gentry - 1971 Collette - 1972 Gentry - 1972
Gentry (RF) Gentry (RF) Gentry (RF) Gentry (RF) Gentry (RF)
Gentry (RF) Gentry (RF) Gentry (RF) Gentry - 1972 Gerry Neill - 1968
         
Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon
         
Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon
Years Vocals Vocals Guitar Bass Drums Sax/Trumpet Sax Keyboards
1968 Cahir
O'Doherty
  Norman
Lindsay
Ronnie
Souter
Seamus
Caulfield
     
1968 Cahir
O'Doherty
  Norman
Lindsay
Billy
Boyd
Mervyn
Doyle
    Gerry
Neill
1969 Cahir
O'Doherty
  Norman
Lindsay
Ernie
Durkin
Greg
Donaghy
Davy
Traynor
Donie
Devaney
Scott
Mulvey
1970 Cahir
O'Doherty
  Brian
Harris
Ernie
Durkin
Shay
Murphy
Gerry (trmpt)
Mulryan
Donie
Devaney
Scott
Mulvey
1971 Cahir
O'Doherty
Collette
Wilkinson
Brian
Harris
Ernie
Durkin
Shay
Murphy
Gerry (trmpt)
Mulryan
Donie
Devaney
Scott
Mulvey
Feb
1972
Cahir
O'Doherty
Collette
Wilkinson
Brian
Harris
Billy
Boyd
Shay
Murphy
Gerry (trmpt)
Mulryan
Donie
Devaney
Scott
Mulvey
May
1972
Cahir
O'Doherty
Collette
Wilkinson
Brian
Harris
Liam
McKenna
Shay
Murphy
Gerry (trmpt)
Mulryan
Donie
Devaney
Kevin
McAlea
Oct
1972
Cahir
O'Doherty
Collette
Wilkinson
Brian
Harris
Liam
McKenna
Noel
Bridgeman
Gerry (trmpt)
Mulryan
Donie
Devaney
Kevin
McAlea
June,
1973
Cahir
O'Doherty
Collette
Wilkinson
    Brian
Donaghy
Gerry (trmpt)
Mulryan
   
Oct,
1973
Cahir
O'Doherty
  Unknown Unknown Brian
Donaghy
Gerry (trmpt)
Mulryan
Unknown Unknown

Discography

Walk On Water
Unknown Label - Unknown - March., 1968
Sing Me A Sad Song / Attempted Contact
Dolphin Records - DOS.35 - May, 1969
Yellow River / Lonely But Free
Dolphin Records - DOS.56 - January, 1970
The Long Road / Sing Me A Sad Song / Attempted Contact
Dolphin Records - DOS.71 - August, 1970
How Do You Do / Lonely But Free
Phillips Records - 6156-003 - June, 1972
Let It Shine / Keep Playing That Rock n' Roll
Phillips Records - 6156-004 - September, 1972

Audio Clips

Coming Soon

Where Are They Now?  

Cahir O'Doherty: Cahir forged ahead with Gentry until the mid 70's when he took part in the production of Jesus Christ Superstar on the Dublin stage. In the mid to late 70's he fronted the Dazzle Band for several years. We also know that Cahir emigrated to the United States and today he lives in Florida and is still performing, although we think he is or was involved with owning a pub at one point. Chuck Petersen writes to tell us Cahir is planning on doing some gigs in Germany and England in 2010 and is still playing regularly across the Southeastern USA.  
Norman Lindsay: If you have info regarding Norman, please let us know. 
Ernie Durkan: If you have info regarding Ernie, please let us know. 
Greg Donaghy: If you have info regarding Greg, please let us know. 
Davy Traynor: If you have info regarding Davy, please let us know. 
Donie Devaney: We received an email from Marie Martin in April, 2016 letting us know that Donie owns a shop
in Bray and is still gigging around the area. If you have any more info regarding Donie, please let us know. 
Scott Mulvey: If you have info regarding Scott, please let us know. 
Gerry Mulryan: Gerry wrote us in May, 2011: Well after 34 yrs playing with the Garda Band I retired last Dec 2010,after playing with the Gentry, I played with the Sands and Red Hurley before joining the Garda Band in 1978, So now I am involved with a big band that plays every Mon. night in the Mercentile Pub in Dublin, still keeping well. 
Collette Wilkinson: If you have info regarding Collette, please let us know. 
Shay Murphy: If you have info regarding Shay, please let us know. 
Noel Bridgeman: If you have info regarding Noel, please let us know. 
Brian Harris: Brian became one of the most well traveled musicians in all of Ireland and has played with too many bands to mention, including Beats Working, Cotton Mill Boys, Hoot'nannys and many others. In recent years he can still be found gigging around the Dublin scene and often plays with Chris Meehan, Bobby Kelly, Francie Lenehan and others in Chris Meehan's Redneck Friends.   
Billy Boyd: If you have info regarding Billy, please let us know. 

 


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