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Sun Valley Boys Photos (1970-1974?)

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

The Story

The Sun Valley Boys got their start around 1970 when the extremely popular showband, The Cadets, finally called it quits after almost a decade on the road. After Eileen Reid gave up performing to have a child and then went into cabaret, the band went its separate ways. Noel McGann (bass) and Brendan O'Connell (guitar) teamed up with Johnny McEvoy and formed a country band for the ballroom circuit. Eventually Jimmy and Eileen decided they would do cabaret together. Jas Fagan (trombone) and Paddy Burns (trumpet) formed the Sun Valley Boys, a country outfit aimed at the newly emerging massive country and Irish genre which was dominate by names like Big Tom and Larry Cunningham.

The boys first needed a lead singer and found one in Kerryman, Denis Bowler. Although born in Glenbeigh, Denis went to Limerick when he was 12 years old. He learned the violin (as many did back in the day) and sang in the school choir but as he said in a 1972 Spotlight interview, "I didn't have great ambitions in school." At 18, he answered an advert looking for male psychiatric nurses in St. Ita's Hospital outside Dublin. "I enjoyed working there," he said, "I was helping people who were less fortunate than I was." However, Denis had been bitten by the singing bug and was soon started singing in public. 

"I was doing some cabaret work in the Drake Inn and the Tudor Rooms," Denis related, "the Cadets had jus broken up and Paddy and Jas were looking for a singer to start a new band. They came in for a drink one night and offered me the job." The original lineup was soon set with Denis (vocals and fiddle), Jas (trombone) and Paddy (trumpet), joined by Joe Monks (guitar), Dennis Heerey (keyboards), Brian Laffan (drums) and Shea Martin (bass). Denis Ryan took over the management of the band and they hot the road in mid 1970.

Based out of Dublin (we think), the band played a country set, but with Denis' proficiency on the fiddle, they also threw in some Ceili music which was extremely popular with dancers and they started to make a name for themselves in the Southeast of the country. As with all bands, they need a hit single to establish themselves nationwide and released their first single, Dingle Bay. The single got lots of airplay, but did not sell, although it helped broaden their base of fans.

In 1971 the band signed with Release Records and put out I Don't Care What You Used To Be with the B-side written by guitarist Joe Monks called I'm A Sun Valley Boy. Again, the single had little impact on sales, but the band continued to build a solid following around the country. Around this time, the band experienced some lineup changes, although we can be sure exactly when they occurred. We think around November, 1971, Eamonn Donnelly (drums) came to the band from the Capitol after they called it quits, replacing Brian Laffan and ex-Wheels bassist John Quarney took over from Shea Martin after the Wheels went off the road.

Finally, in 1972, the band hit it big with their single The Ireland of Tomorrow, which was written by Joe Monks. The record reached number 6 in the Irish Charts and was reported to be the 17th best selling Irish single of the entire year. We are pretty sure the band hits its peak at this time as we can only find another reference to them when they released a single in 1973 called McGee's First Week's Pay on the Release label.

We will continue to research the band's history and hopefully add more to their history on this page. If you know more about the Sun Valley Boys, please send us an email.        

More to come.....

Photo Gallery

click on thumbnails for full image

Sun Valley Boys (RF) Sun Valley Boys (RF) Sun Valley Boys (RF) Sun Valley Boys (RF) Sun Valley Boys (RF)
Sun Valley Boys (RF) Sun Valley Boys (RF) Sun Valley Boys Sun Valley Boys Sun Valley Boys
Sun Valley Boys Sun Valley Boys Sun Valley Boys Sun Valley Boys Sun Valley Boys
   
Sun Valley Boys Sun Valley Boys Sun Valley Boys Coming Soon Coming Soon
Years Vocals Guitar Bass Drums Keyboards Trombone Trumpet
1970 Denis
Bowler
Joe
Monks
Shea
Martin
Brian
Laffan
Dennis
Heerey
Jas
Fagan
Paddy
Burns
1971 Denis
Bowler
Joe
Monks
John
Quarney
Eamon
Donnelly
Dennis
Heerey
Jas
Fagan
Paddy
Burns
               
               

Discography

Dingle Bay / My Own Washing
Dolphin Records - DOS 73 - 1970
I Don't Care What You Used To Be / I'm A Sun Valley Boy
Release Records - RL 593 - 1971
The Ireland of Tomorrow / Jig Selection
- #6 Irish Charts
Release Records - RL 633 - 1972
McGee's First Week's Pay / Lights By The River / Dingle Bay
Release Records - RL 668 - 1973

Audio Clips

         
Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon

Coming Soon

Where Are They Now?  

Denis Bowler:  Unknown - if you have info please email us
Jas Fagan:  Unknown - if you have info please email us
Paddy Burns:  Unknown - if you have info please email us
Dennis Heerey:  Unknown - if you have info please email us
Shea Martin:  Unknown - if you have info please email us
Joe Monks:  Unknown - if you have info please email us
Brian Laffan:  Unknown - if you have info please email us
John Quarney:  Unknown - if you have info please email us

 


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