The Kim Newport Band
Photo Gallery -
Band Lineups -
- Audio samples -
Where Are They Now?
For over five years - from July, 1978 through September, 1983 - The Kim Newport Band toured the ballrooms, dance clubs, and cabaret circuit across Ireland. During that time, Kim appeared on Ireland's national television network (RTE) ten times, including two appearances on Ireland's top rated Late Late Show
with legendary host, Gay Byrne. She released nine singles, and played in every county in Ireland.
Kim arrived in Ireland in July, 1978. She and husband, Gerry
Gallagher had met and performed together in California the previous year. Born in California, this was to be Kim's first home outside the "Golden State." Gerry lived and worked in Sligo from 1970 to 1976, including a stint with the original
Magic and the Magic band from
Gerry recruited former local band mates Dick Lynott
and Joe Foley
(both from Sligo) and the the band played it's first gig as Kim Newport and California in the Blue Lagoon, Sligo.
Within two months, Gerry realised something was missing and added a
second lead guitarist, Seamie McGowan to the lineup. The addition
allowed the band to feature twin lead guitars and also Gerry to play
keyboards when needed.
The band quickly established themselves as a top regional band by winning the "Opportunity Knocks" talent competition in Ballyshannon, County Donegal. They gained a reputation for playing a good mix of pop and rock music, with a touch of country thrown in. Kim was also a solo winner in the Benson and Hedges "Golden
Voice" competition held in Ballina, Co. Mayo. Within a few months, the band signed with Tom Kelly
Promotions of Ballina, who also managed the Fairways Band featuring Gary Street and Sandy Duskey (now Sandy Kelly).
On August 15th, the Kim and the band traveled to Dublin to Dick Keating's Cuckoo's Nest Studio where they recorded Linda Ronstadt's When Will I Be Loved and Barbra Streisand's Evergreen as their first demos. After hearing the band's demo, Marcus
Connaughton of Hawk Records came to hear the band play and they were signed by Brian Molloy and Marcus on December 13, 1978. Hawk was also home to the Cotton Mill Boys and Johnny McEvoy, among other top Irish acts.
Kim's first recording was with The Cotton Mills Boys
on their single You Are No Angel. On
March 3, 1979, Stop, Think was featured at the launch of the Northwestern Health Board's anti-drinking campaign and was a
featured story on RTE's Evening News. The song was written by RTE Producer
(and former Greenbeat) John Keogh to support the campaign's message to young people.
Hawk followed up with
Midnight Lullaby and on October 13, 1979 Kim first appeared on the Late Late Show
with Gay Byrne singing the song. At the end of the year, Kim was interviewed by Morgan O'Sullivan on his RTE Radio One program,
Kim and the band started 1980 by being voted "Best New Pop Band" by readers of the Connaught Telegraph newspaper (the "not yet famous" two-time Eurovision Song Contest winner Johnny Logan was voted "Best New Vocalist" on the same night). The band was now playing dates from Glencolumbkille in the North to
Castletownbere in the South, and every place in between.
Although both singles received decent airplay
Hawk was reluctant to enter the recording studio again and at this
point, Kim and the band left Hawk Records and formed Sunset Records
to release the rest of their singles. Gerry took over the
production, publicity for the band and they struck out on their own.
1980 was the first year Kim and the band recorded their own
original songs and they released the double A-side
I Am A Woman, c/w Too Many Heartaches recorded in Greenfields Studios, near Tuam,
Co. Galway with Tony Maher (of the Conquerors) on keyboards, Dick Lynott on drums, and Ger O'Donoghue engineering the sessions.
The session also featured former Cotton Mill Boys
member, Francie Lenehan on guitar and former Conqueror, Michael Keane on steel
guitar. This was the
first of many songs recorded at the then brand new 8 (soon to be 16) track facility.
At the beginning of 1981, the band underwent its first of
several lineup changes. Joe Foley and Dick Lynott left the band and were
replaced by James Blennerhassett of Sligo on bass and Seanie Ryan from Thurles
on drums. James had played with Gerry previously in Sandy Duskey and Easy
Listenin' and Seanie had previously played with Kenny Ryder's (ex-Tweed)
Band. 1981 would see the band perform on the first of three SBB Ina Shui
programmes hosted by RTE's Seán Bán Breathnach. They performed their first
single, Stop Think, along with the next of their Greenfields recorded
numbers, Evergreen Wedding. Shortly after, Kim was invited to appear on
Brendan's Grace's series, That's Showbiz where she sang one of the band's most
popular live numbers, I Got The Music In Me.
progressed, the band continued to grow its reputation. Another
appearance on SBB showcased two more original numbers, Come Up To
Dublin and I Need A Lover. Although it never reached the
Irish charts, Come Up To Dublin received significant airplay
and attracted the attention of Paddy O'Connell, a top manager in Limerick.
The band signed with Paddy and joined the same
management stable as Shaun O'Dowd and Dingaling, one of Ireland's leading pop bands. Kim and the band hit their stride winning reader polls in the Sligo Journal and the Northwest Showbiz Awards in Donegal.
As 1981 came to a close, the band's lineup underwent another shake
up. James left the band to become one of Ireland's top session
musicians (after several years with the Conquerors, he now tours
(2016) with Daniel O'Donnell), and Seanie was
snapped by Tweed to fill their newly vacant drummer's spot.
band found replacements in Omagh's
Brian Mullin, who had relocated to Sligo and played bass, and Paul
Hamilton, a Donegal drummer suggested by Ted Ponsonby of The
Rascals. Unfortunately, Paul only stayed a few months and was
replaced by year's end with Gerry's brother, Michael Gallagher, on
drums. This would be the band's lineup through the next two years.
Also joining the band occasionally on stage was road manager, Colm
Feeney who played guitar and sang backup.
started with yet another appearance on The Late Late Show singing
Come Up To Dublin.
In April, Kim was asked to be a part of the finale of
the Twink Series where she invited most of the top female performers
to sing the last medley of songs with Maxi Dick and Twink. Kim
joined stars like Sandie Jones, Karen Black, Alma Carroll, Yvonne
Costelloe, Nicola Kerr, Eileen Reid, and Tina Reynolds. The band was
also featured on Gerry Ryan's show, Non-Stop Pop as well as their
third SBB Ina
Shui program performing originals Take It Or Leave It and Rock n' Roll Party.
Finally, Kim appeared on another Brendan Grace show along
with Tony Kenny and Sheeba.
Although 1983 would prove to be Kim's last year in Ireland, it ended up being one of her most successful. Touring continued and the band started playing more dates in Northern Ireland. The band recorded Somewhere Along the Way and Take It Or Leave It. Kim was also a solo performer on RTE television's
The Music Show which was aired after the band's final performance in Ireland.
The band toured continuously until a week before leaving for the
States. Their last performance was appropriately in the Baymount Entertainment Centre in Strandhill, Co. Sligo where they got to say thank you to the local
fans who had been with them every step of the way. Gerry and the boys performed one last time as
California at the Over 21 Club in the Sligo Park Hotel a few days later.
In 2011, Kim returned to Sligo and released her
first single in over 25 years, Girls' Night Out which is
available for free download on her website, www.kimnewport.com. She
was interviewed on several radio stations including Pascal Mooney's
Show on Ocean FM in Sligo, Highland Radio in Donegal and Cork's
C103. Kim also played some dates in summer, 2012, releasing a
completely new version of Somewhere Along The Way. Current
plans are for Kim to return to gigging in Ireland in 2018.
Click on thumbnails for full image
Kim Newport (Kim
Gallagher): Kim and Gerry returned to the United States
in 1983 and settled in South Carolina with their two
children. Kim recently has been involved with a variety of
stage productions in Columbia including starring roles in The
Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, and Cheaper By The Dozen.
Kim earned her Master's Degree in
Education to go with her Bachelor's Degree in Fine
Arts/Dance. On November 18, 2006, Kim and Gerry suffered a
tragedy when their 16 year old son, Grant, was killed in a
car accident. In 2010, Kim returned to Ireland and
released her first single in over 25 years, Girls Night
Out. Kim was back in Ireland in 2012 and released the
original single, Somewhere Along The Way.
Gerry and Kim relocated to the United States and after
getting his MBA, he worked in business for nearly twenty
years, before selling his company in 2003. He continues to
be involved in music through his video production and audio
recording company, GMS Productions. In 2007, he returned to Sligo and
was Managing Director of Big Bocca Productions, an
international animation production company, but recently
started lecturing at IT Sligo in Management and Marketing. He still plays
regularly across the Northwest.
||Joe Foley: Joe Foley
remained in Sligo and has continued to play with local pub
groups for the past twenty years. He still gigs around
town with his own band, The
Showband Boys for the past few years with Michael "Rip"
Carty, Tony, and Noel Stewart. In 2016 Joe plays with
New Edition in Sligo and as a solo artist.
||Dick Lynott: After
leaving the band, Dick played with many bands in the Sligo
area, but eventually formed his own band with Dave Moriarty
of the Fairways called Staganua. The band played regionally
and received airplay on local pirate radio, but broke up
shortly thereafter. Today Dick lives in Spain, where he spends much of the year gigging
with the Poco Loco Steel Band, one of the only steel
drum bands in the country.
||Seamie McGowan: After
the Kim Newport Band broke up, Seamie went on to join Those
Nervous Animals, one of the top rock groups in Ireland
in the mid-1980's. Married and still in Sligo, Seamie has two
children and continues to play locally often pairing up with
Seamie O'Dowd, the son of famous Sligo musician Joe O'Dowd and former
member of the band, Dervish. He plays with
several different bands, including the Shelly River Band.
After James left the band, he started doing session work and
eventually became one of the top rated session players in
Ireland. In more recent years he has been a steady member of
Mary Black's band on her world tours and has been traveling
with Ireland's 2006 Eurovision entrant, Brian Kennedy.
In the mid-2000's James
moved to Ballyfarnon, a rural area just outside Boyle in
County Roscommon where he built his own recording
studio. He has also released several solo albums in the last
five years. He joined the
Conquerors in 2008 and was with them until around 2012.
Today he lives in County Kildare and remains one of the country's most respected
musicians. In 2016, he joined Daniel O'Donnell's
||Seanie Ryan: Seanie
left the band to join Tweed, one of the top rated pop bands
of the 70's and 80's. He left Tweed in 1985, and emigrated
to the United States where he stayed with Kim and Gerry for
a time. It wasn't long before he was playing with several
bands and relocated to Oklahoma with his new bride. Seanie
now lives in Houston, Texas and has two children. He still
plays regularly with a local blues group five nights a week,
and also spends much of his time
refereeing youth soccer these days.
Brian joined a Northern Ireland based pop band for a time
and eventually emigrated to the UK where he also played with
a pop group. In 2013, we reconnected with Brian who now
lives in the UK. He is still very active in music performing
with several outfits including a wedding band. He has
started writing music and recently posted one of original
songs to YouTube.
Although we don't know what happened to Paul immediately
after he left the band, he recently emailed us to say he is
living in Letterkenny and still gigging locally in County
If you have more info, please email us
Michael stayed in Sligo and played with a few local bands,
including a jazz group, Katch which featured Stan Burns,
formerly of The Capitol Showband and Sligo's Jazz Ladds on
sax. Eventually he returned to the United States. He now
lives in Arizona with his wife and three children, but no
||Colm Feeney: After
the band called it quits, Colm moved into the promotion side
of the business and staged several folk festivals in and
around Sligo. He started his own shipping company which was
bought out several years ago. Colm still lives in Carney
near Sligo with
his wife and children, but never returned to the music
scene. Colm is now a builder in the Sligo area and across