Harvest Feature (1972/3
Photo Gallery -
Band Lineups -
- Audio samples -
Where Are They Now?
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
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
More to come.....
click on thumbnails for full image