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Jim Farley Band Feature (1964-1971)

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

The Story

"Big" Jim Farley has been a mainstay of the Irish entertainment scene since the very early sixties and is still going strong today. Jim got his start, as did almost all the early showband players, as part of a brass and reed band, in his case the St. James Brass and Reed Band in Dublin. It wasn't long before the road beckoned and Jim joined the Earl Gill Showband on sax and clarinet.

During his years with Earl, he honed his showband skills and after eight years went out on his own forming the highly ambitious Jim Farley Band Show. The eleven piece band (which also included some additional dancers) hit the road in APril, 1964. It was one of the largest bands on the road at the time (although small in comparison to the orchestras of the 1950's). Eventually, though, the lineup proved too large for the ballroom circuit.

The original lineup included: Pat Farmer (trumpet), Des Moore (guitar) Jim Farley (sax), Seamus McIntyre (trombone), Kevin Brady (drums), Kevin Gregan (bass), Terry Mahon (vocals), Joe McIntyre (RIP-trumpet), Tony Kearns (sax), Tony Woods (RIP-vocals) and Danny Pearse (RIP-guitar/vocals). Although it was difficult to manage such a large outfit, Jim would return to this "big band" idea later in his career.

As far as we can tell, this lineup of the band did not release a record, but we are not 100% sure. However it did get national exposure as it appeared on the legendary RTE Showband Show in mid-1964. They also appeared on Ulster Television (UTV) and RTE again at the end of 1964. It seems the band played just about everything from "swing and twist to blue beat, Mersey and even traditional Irish in the programme.   

Over Easter, 1965, the Band Show imploded with Joe McIntyre, brother Shay, Tony Woods, and Des Moore breaking away to from the Express Showband. They added Brendan O'Loughlin on bass and Peter Ainscough on drums to fill out their lineup. At the same time, Jim carried on with a smaller lineup, changing the name of the band the the Jim Farley All Stars. Young Dessie Reynolds was recruited on drums.

Around the same time, Roly Daniels had been a part of the Memphis Showband for not quite a year. Born in India, Roly came to Ireland at an early age, but had been in England until late 1964 when he joined the Memphis. Along with Michael Keane, Roly Daniels came on board to sing and Danny Ellis joined on trombone (Danny had previously been with Liam Hurley in the Airchords). The band now changed its name to the Jim Farley Showband.

In June, 1966, they released their first single, Roly's version of Throw A Little Loving My Way which raced up the Irish Charts, settling in at number nine. The band had it's first top ten hit and was doing great business, now that it had a more manageable lineup.  A few months later, in November, the band released its first single featuring female lead vocalist Terry Mahon, If I Cried. This proved to be an even bigger hit and went to number 7 in the Irish charts. Unfortunately, these would be the only chart successes enjoyed by the band.   

Sometime in late 1966, Terry Mahon left the band for a period and was "replaced" by Liam Hurley, brother of Red and former member of the Airchords. The band released another single featuring Roly, called Ireland Is Going All Western. It would be a precursor of things to come for Roly as he turned to country a few years later.

In June, 1967, they released Broken Promises which featured guitar player Danny Pearse (RIP). A news article in November, 1967 announced Roly, Danny Ellis and Liam Hurley were quitting the band to start a new showband which would be called the Lions. Plans were so far advanced that a full lineup was announced which included Gerry O'Boyle on bass, Gary Quigley (drums) and Willie Walsh (of the Nevada) on trumpet. There was some confusion about the new band's management with George O'Reilly's name being mentioned, but ex-Freshman manager Peter Dempsey was announced as the final choice.

However, the new band never materialised (although a band called the Lions would be formed a short time later around Danny Pearse). Instead, the three joined Willie in the Nevada Showband. The major split could have ended the band but Terry Mahon and her backing group returned to the fold (as reported in Spotlight on November 11, 1967) to keep the band on the road. At this point, Dessie Reynolds (drums) and Ray Fitzgerald (guitar) came into the lineup and the band changed its name to the Jim Farley All-Stars. When Roly left the lineup, Danny became one of the featured singers in the band, along with Terry. 

In 1968, the Jim Farley All Stars, managed by Nelius O'Connell included Jim (sax), Terry Mahon (vocals), Dessie Reynolds (drums), Danny Pearse (RIP-vocals), Ray Fitzgerald (guitar), Frank Doyle (bass), Michael Keane (keyboards) and Joe McIntyre (trumpet). Danny soon left to form the Lions and sadly passed away a short time later. The band released another single, Faded Love, which featured Terry.

There would be a major change for the band in 1968 as Jim decided to try the big band format yet again. This time the band added Tina Reynolds (who would end up, like Roly, in the Nevada, along with 18 musicians and singers! They also added five dancers to the band and called them the Tee Jays. The band changed its name once again to Jim Farley and the Tophatters.  

In early 1971, the Jim Farley band broke up when Jim joined up with Roly Daniels to form the new Green County country band. At the same time Dessie Reynolds joined Billy Brown's Superband along with Mick Nolan.

More to come.....

Photo Gallery

click on thumbnails for full image

Jim Farley Band Show - 1964

News Article - 1964

Jim Farley Showband - 1966 (LR) Jim Farley Showband - 1966 (LR) Jim Farley Showband - 1966 (JF)
Jim Farley Showband - 1966 (GB) Jim Farley Showband - 1966 (DE) Jim Farley - 1966 (LR)

Jim Farley All Stars - 1966 (MY)

Jim Farley All-Stars
1966
(PB)
Roly Daniels - 1967 Danny Pearse - 1967 Danny Pearse - 1967

Jim Farley All Stars - 1967

Jim Farley All Stars - 1967

Jim Farley All Stars - 1967

Jim Farley All Stars - 1967

Jim Farley - 1967 Jim Farley - 1967 Jim Farley - 1967
Jim Farley - 1967 Jim Farley - 1967 Jim Farley - 1967 Jim Farley - 1967 Jim Farley - 1967

Article Nov 1967

Jim Farley - 1968 Jim Farley - 1968

All Stars - 1968

Jim Farley & The Tophatters (JD)
Big Band - 1970 (KS) Jim Farley (PL)Jim Farley (PL)Jim Farley (PL) Jim Farley - 1968
Jim Farley - 1968 Jim Farley (RF) Jim Farley (RF) Jim Farley (RF) Jim Farley (RF)
Jim Farley (RF) Jim Farley (RF) Jim Farley (RF) Jim Farley (RF) Jim Farley (RF)
Jim Farley (RF) Jim Farley (RF) Jim Farley (RF) Jim Farley (RF) Jim Farley (RF)
   
Jim Farley (RF) Jim Farley (RF) Jim Farley (RF)

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Lineup Changes (More to come)
 

Years Vocals Vocals Guitar Bass Drums Trpt/Keys Sax Trom/Keys
1964 Terry
Mahon
Tony
Woods
Des
Moore
Kevin
Gregan
Kevin
Brady
Joe
McIntyre
Jim
Farley
Shay
McIntyre
      Danny
Pearse
    Pat
Farmer
Tony
Kearns
 
1965 Terry
Mahon
Roly
Daniels
Danny
Pearse
Frank
Doyle
Dessie
Reynolds
Michael
Keane
Jim
Farley
Danny
Ellis
1966
Showband
Terry
Mahon
Roly
Daniels
Danny
Pearse
Frank
Doyle
John
Fennessey
Michael
Keane
Jim
Farley
Danny
Ellis
1966
Showband
Liam (Gtr)
Hurley
Roly
Daniels
Danny
Pearse
Frank
Doyle
John
Fennessey
Michael
Keane
Jim
Farley
Danny
Ellis
1967
All-Stars
Terry
Mahon
Danny
Pearse
Ray
Fitzgerald
Frank
Doyle
Dessie
Reynolds
Michael
Keane
Jim
Farley
 
1968
Tophatters
Terry
Mahon
John
Ross
Ray
Fitzgerald
Frank
Doyle
Dessie
Reynolds
Michael
Keane?
Jim
Farley
Unknown
  Tina Mark
Mitchell
      Unknown Unknown Unknown
1970
Big Band
Stuart
Smith
             

Discography

Throw A Little Loving My Way / Loneliness (Roly Daniels and the Jim Farley Showband) - #9 Irish Charts
Emerald Records - MD 1051 - June, 1966
If I Cried / Weep NO More My Baby (Terry Mahon and the Jim Farley Showband) - #7 Irish Charts
Columbia Records - IDB 748 - November, 1966
Ireland Is Going All Western / Skye Boat Song (Roly Daniels and the Jim Farley Showband)
Emerald Records - MD 1064 - December, 1966
Broken Promises / I'm Gonna Get You (Danny Pearse and the Jim Farley All Stars)
Emerald Records - MD 1079 - June, 1967
Faded Love / Johnny (Terry Mahon and the All Stars)
Emerald Records - MD 1091 - Early 1968
Valencia / This is My Song (Tophatters)
HMV Records - IP.1320 - 1968
The Hokey Pokey (Tophatters)
HMV Records - IP.1320 - November, 1968
The Coulin  (Big Jim Farley)
Music Box Records - MBS 003 - 1976

Audio Clips

Coming Soon

Where Are They Now?  

  Jim Farley:
  Terry Mahon:
  Tony Woods - RIP:
  Des Moore:
  Kevin Gregan:
  Tony Kearns:
  Pat Farmer:
  Danny Pearse - RIP:
  Kevin Brady:
  Joe McIntyre - RIP:
  Shay McIntyre:
  Roly Daniels: After leaving the All Stars, Roly went on to join the Nevada and then to join once again with Jim Farley in his own band, Green County.
  Dessie Reynolds: After leaving Jim's band, Dessie went on to become one of Ireland's best known drummers, including stints with the Nevada and other bands. Today, Dessie lives in Sligo and continues to play sessions across Ireland and the UK. 
  Tina Reynolds:
  Danny Ellis:
  John Fennessey:
  Michael Keane:
  Band Member:

 

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