The Rascals Story (1972-1985)
Photo Gallery -
Band Lineups -
- Audio samples -
Where Are They Now?
In northern Donegal, just outside Letterkenny,
the Ponsonby family had always played music, entertaining audiences
across Donegal for years. In the late sixties, their Denver Showband
was a regional favorite. The final lineup of the Denver included
several new young talents including heirs to the family's musical
heritage, Ted and brother Don, along with Billy Walsh and his sister
Pat, one of the few female musicians in the country at that
time...especially as she played bass.
Wishing to break out of the family mold, the
brothers formed Section One, a five piece rock group that included
Percy Robinson on guitar. Although a period of great
experimentation, the Section One name didn't last long.
In early 1973, the band changed its name to The Rascals. Although they never
attained the major national recognition they deserved, throughout the
70's the band impressed punters and promoters with their
powerhouse brand of pop and rock music. They were led by Ted on
guitar and Billy providing strong lead vocals.
In the mid 70's,
Percy left the band and went on to be one of Ireland's top session steel
guitar players. Although Ted, Billy and Pat remained, the band would
undergo several personnel changes for the next six years.
As you can see from the photos below, the band
was constantly tinkering with their image, trying new things on a
regular basis. In the late 1970's they changed their name to the
Cheeky Rascals for a short time and then Rascal, but reverted to the Rascals again
Around 1979, Billy and sister, Pat, finally left the band and Ted
attempted to carry on for another few years.
The "New" Rascals
in the early 80's the Wilder brothers from Strabane were playing
gigs as Harry's Gang across the Northern dance circuit, but having
marginal success. Like all bands in the declining days of the
ballrooms, they needed something special to help them get noticed by
promoters. They found it when they discovered Ted Posonby was
retiring The Rascals and he sold them the band's name. Harry's Gang
added a girl singer and the "New" Rascals
were born. They played throughout the 1980's with several lineups,
but never broke into the dance circuit in the South and never
attained the popularity of the previous version of the band.
More to come.....
click on thumbnails for full image
||Ted Ponsonby: After
selling the Rascals name to the Wilder brothers in the early
1980's Ted has gone on to become one of the top session
musicians and producers in Ireland. He has played on
sessions with artists such as Kieran Goss, Tommy Fleming,
Brendan Quinn, Aoife Clancy, and Francis Black to name but a
few. Although originally a rocker, Ted has changed his
musical style considerably today and plays more country and
traditional music around his native Letterkenny. He also
continues to play live gigs around the country on a regular
||Percy Robinson: Percy
went on from the Rascals to become one of the top session
steel guitar players in Ireland. He also formed a band with
ex Wings and Gene and the gents guitarist Henry McCullough.
Today, Percy runs his own recording studio outside of
||Andy Davidson: Declan
Colgan tells us Andy moved to Strabane after getting married
and played with the Frank Chisum Elvis Show for some time.
||Declan Colgan: Declan
"Duke" Colgan emigrated to Manchester where he lives today.
He is a retired Psychiatric Nurse who work part time and
continues to keep his hand in the music business by
presenting Karaoke Shows in the Manchester area.