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Harvest Feature (1972/3 - 1980?)

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

The Story

The history of Harvest is a little difficult to start as in August, 1972 an article in Spotlight reported on the "latest band from Larne, Harvest." The band featured Esler Burke on lead vocals, along with Maurice Boyd. The rest of the lineup was Sam Scullion (keyboards), Phil Smith (drums), Cat Rowan (guitar), Roy Irwin (bass) and Bud Sharpe (lead guitar). The boys described themselves as a "punter's band and they were poised to play a wide variety of music.

However, a little over six months later, young "Mary Lou" Coleman came on the scene in March, 1973 in a blaze of publicity. The teen singing sensation was fronting a new band Harvest (which we are fairly certain was a reshuffled lineup of the former Ventures, as brothers Tony and Colm Hughes were in both bands). It is unclear whether the original Harvest was disbanded and the name used, or whether there is actually a connection between the two bands.

For two years, Mary Lou and Harvest caused quite a stir on the country scene as Mary Lou was reported to be just 16 years old. The band's first release, Teddy Bear Song, reached the Irish top ten and stayed in the charts for seven weeks, giving them a boost on the ballroom circuit on both sides of the border. The band continued to release singles on a regular basis, every 4-6 months, but chart success eluded them.

In July, 1975 an article in Paschal Mooney's column in Spotlight announced that Mary Lou had left the band quite suddenly. Band manager, Connie Lynch, would not comment on why Mary Lou had been released, but Paschal suggested that there were personal problems between Mary and the band. During the interim, the band released a single featuring former Ventures lead singer and rhythm guitarist, Tony Hughes, Rose Marie, which reached the charts, just barely cracking the top twenty. 

Mary Lou was replaced by Derry lass, Marie Craig, who took the stage name, Billy Jo. Marie had previously been known as Tanya with the Riverboys and was then known as "Marilyn Monroe" with the Hollywood Stars. Within a short time, Mary Lou Coleman was fronting a new band called Music City.    

In 1975 Colm Hughes left the band to join with Paddy Cole's Superstars on drums and vocals to replace Pat Morris and Mickey O'Neill. Around this same time, Tony Hughes was fronting a new band called Visions, but was also soon a part of the Paddy Cole Band. We are not sure of the timing of these moves. However, we do know that Colm's replacement in Harvest was 17 year old drummer Brendan McGarrity from Kildress, Co. Tyrone who had previously played with local groups.  

More to come.....

Photo Gallery

click on thumbnails for full image

Mary Lou and Harvest - 1973 Mary Lou - 1973 Mary Lou of Harvest - 1973 Mary Lou of Harvest - 1973 Mary Lou - 1973
Harvest - 1973

Harvest - 1974

Harvest - 1974 (LR)

Harvest - 1974

Mary Lou-1982 (TP)
Mary Lou of Harvest Harvest (RF) Harvest (RF) Harvest (RF) Harvest (RF)
Harvest (RF) Harvest (RF) Harvest (RF) Harvest (RF) Harvest (RF)
Harvest (RF) Harvest (RF) Harvest (RF) Harvest (RF) Harvest (RF)
Harvest (RF) Harvest (RF) Harvest (RF) Harvest (RF) Harvest (RF)
Harvest (RF) Harvest (RF) Harvest (RF) Harvest (RF) Harvest (RF)
   
Harvest (RF) Harvest (RF) Harvest (RF)  

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Years Vocals Guitar Bass Drums Keyboards Gtr Vocals/Trbn Trumpet
1972 Esler
Burke
Bud
Sharpe
Roy
Irwin
Phil
Smith
Sam
Scullion
Cat
Rowan
Maurice
Boyd
 
1973 Mary
Lou
Unknown Unknown Colm
Hughes
Unknown Tony
Hughes
Unknown Unknown
July
1975
Billie
Jo
Unknown Unknown Colm
Hughes
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Sept
1975
Billie
Jo
Unknown Unknown Brendan
McGarrity
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
1979 Mary
Lou
Jimmy
Bradford
Jimmy
Henry
Brendan
McGarrity
Unknown Unknown Joe
Corey
Paddy
Donnelly

Discography

Singles

The Teddy Bear Song / Cotton Jenny (Mary Lou) - #10 Irish Charts
Release Records - RL.681 - June, 1973
Mama and Daddy / Top of the World (Mary Lou)

Release Records - RL.706 - November, 1973
Flippity Flop / Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad (Mary Lou)

Release Records - RL.721 - February, 1974
My Shoes Keep Walkin Back To You / Not Looking Back (Mary Lou)

Release Records - RL.761 - January, 1975
Rose Marie / Second Cup of Coffee (Tony Hughes)
- #19 Irish Charts
Release Records - RL.773 - 1975

Coat of Many Colours / You Ain't Woman Enough (Billie Jo)
Release Records - Unknown - September, 1975
Morning Sky
(Mary Lou) - #16 Irish Charts
Release Records - Unknown - October, 1976
Doodle Song / Just A Feeling (Mary Lou)

Spider Records - WEB.012 - 1979
 

Audio Clips

Coming Soon

Where Are They Now?  

  Mary Lou:
  Colm Hughes:
  Tony Hughes:
  Jimmy Bradford:
  Jimmy Henry:
  Brendan McGarrity:
  Marie Craig (Billie Jo):
  Joe Corey:
  Paddy Donnelly:

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