Ranchers Feature (1970-1972)
Photo Gallery -
Band Lineups -
- Audio samples -
Where Are They Now?
Frankie Carroll, the big man with
a big voice from Tuam was looking for a gig. A story in Spotlight
magazine takes up the story...In 1970 Frankie answered a newspaper
advertisement looking for a bass player for the Capitol Showband.
The story goes that Frankie was set to audition and became ill, he
called manager Jim Hand to ask to reschedule but was told the spot
was filled. (Although the dates don't exactly match, we think it was
filled by Mike Dalton).
However, Jim was looking for
musicians for a new country band which was going on the road
shortly. Frankie went up to audition for bass and came back the lead
singer with the group which would be called The Ranchers. The
rest of the original lineup included: Francie Lenehan (guitar), Mick
Tyrell (bass), Georgie Byrne (drums), Tim Weadick (trombone), Declan
Curneen (fiddle) and Jim Tyrell (trumpet). During the bands short
history, they would undergo several major changes in personnel.
The band was managed by Dennis
Ryan, who had previously been the road manager for the Dreams.
According to a report in Spotlight in 1971, things did not start
well for the band. There was a glut of new country bands on the
scene as the spilt between pop and country bands widened. The band
released its first single in March on the Dolphin label, Daddy
Sang Bass. Reports are that sales did not go well, at first.
Eventually, though, things started to pick up and in May, the record
appeared for one week as the tenth best selling Irish disc (it was
still a few places outside the Irish Charts.)
the success of the single helped boost attendance at gigs and the
band started to hit its stride. In June, they brought out another
single, Bottom of A Mountain. It did not make the charts
either, but the Ranchers were finally doing well on the road and had
become a good draw as the country band shakeout continued. Within a
few months, fiddler Declan Curneen left the band and they were down
to a six piece for a while.
In February, 1971, the band underwent a major upheaval when three
members left around the same time. Francie Lenehan was replaced by Stan McKee of the Hoot'nanny's on guitar, Paddy Farrell came on to strengthen the brass
section and Sean Scanlon (trumpet) came from the Clouds to replace
Jim Tyrell who left the stage and took a "back room job as the
musical director." We think he then formed a trio which
included Francie Lenehan, but we'll have to check on that fact.
The new band released another single, Mr.
Bassman, which took advantage of Frankie's deep, rich voice.
At some point in late 1971 or
early 1972 the band underwent another major lineup change. Stan
McKee, Mick Tyrell, Georgie Byrne and Sean Scanlon all left and the
band was forced to "reinvent" itself once again. John O'Brien came
in on guitar, Pat Fortune (formerly of Sugarshack) on bass, Shay
Spain of the Conquerors on drums and Mark McCormack who had been
with Freedom on trumpet.
In October 1971, the band released
it last single, He Turns The Water Into Wine which, again,
failed to make the charts. The band also released an album, The
Best of the Ranchers, although we are unsure of the date and
what tracks it contained. Sadly though, it was all very short lived
as in July, 1972, Frankie left to join the new Brendan Shine
Superband and the Ranchers were no more.
A few years later, Hugo Duncan of
the Tallmen would form a new band which for some period went under
the name of the Ranchers, but this was in no way connected to this
More to come.....
click on thumbnails for full image