Plainsmen Feature (1969
Photo Gallery -
Band Lineups -
- Audio samples -
Where Are They Now?
Dermot Hegarty started his career as a solo ballad/folk singer in
Ireland and had several major hits before being team up with new
band, The Plainsmen in early 1969. The band was formed at the
same time as the country and western rage was sweeping the country.
Bands like the Cotton Mill Boys, Virginians, Plainsmen and others
were seeking to emulate the success enjoyed by bands like the Smokey
Mountain Ramblers, who had been around for a some time.
The original lineup of the band
included Dermot (vocals), Roger Ferrell (guitar), Seamus Roddy
(bass), Pat Hogan (guitar-formerly of the Monarchs and Gallowglass
Ceili Band), Tony Farrell (drums), Vinnie Somers (sax), and Francie
Middleton (trumpet). The band hit the road as a seven piece, but soon realised something was missing.
In May, 1969, the band
announced the addition of Owin St. John, a fiddle player from
Nashville and the Plainsmen were complete.
The band released two singles in
1969, neither of which made much of an impact as neither made the
charts, unlike Dermot's earlier hit records. At the end of the year, the
band lost its fiddler when Owin St. John left to join the Country
Folk, a new band being formed to showcase the talents of Donegal
singer, Margo O'Donnell (sister of Daniel). He was replaced by Barry
McCusker, a sax player.
In 1970, Dermot released 21 Years
which ended up topping the Irish charts for 16 weeks. Only Dana's
Eurovision winner (Ireland's first) All Kinds of Everything outsold
Dermot's massive hit, but was not at the top of the charts as long
as 21 Years.
In an article in the February 15,
1973 issue of Spotlight, Pascal Mooney reported a split in the band.
At the time, he said Frank McKenna had left to go to the States and
Vinnie Sommers left the band reportedly to team up with Brian
Harkin's new band, Harkisaw. Tony Farrell was also reported
to be leaving the band to go into the boutique business. We will try
to find out what happened because two months later, Brian
Harkin was the lead singer with the Plainsmen and it was Dermot
Hegarty who was gone from the band.
In the April 26, 1973 issue of
Spotlight, Pascal Mooney was once again highlighting the band, this
time reporting that he had received word from their Manager, Peter
Sheridan, that Dermot Hegarty was leaving the band to move into the
cabaret scene. It was also reported that Brian Harkin (who had
recently finished standing in for Gene Stuart in the Mighty Avons)
was joining the band which helps explain the earlier confusion. Around
this time Vinnie Sommers did leave the band as well as Tony Farrell.
In December, 1973, Pascal Mooney reported that Roger Farrell had
also left the band leaving Seamus Roddy and Francie Middleton as the
only original members of the lineup.
Dermot formed his own trio with
Frank McKenna (guitar) and Brendan Kearney (drums) and hit the
When the dust finally settled, the
new lineup of the band was Brian Harkin (vocals), Vinny Baker
(RIP- guitar), Francie Canning (keyboards), Barry O'Mahony (bass), Seamus
Roddy (drums), Barry McCusker (sax) and Francie Middleton (trumpet).
The following summer (August, 1974) an article in Spotlight reported
that Dermot was doing quite well with his trio on the cabaret scene,
including stints in the United States where he toured for six weeks.
Meanwhile, the Plainsmen, fronted
by Brian Harkin, continued to do well on the ballroom scene. Their
singles, Forgive Me For Calling You Darling (number 12) and
Walk On By (number 18), both made the Irish charts, firmly establish
Brian as the new front man with the band.
More to come.....
click on thumbnails for full image
(more to come)
The Shores of
Amerikay / Wild Colonial Boy (Dermot Hegarty Solo)
#4 Irish Charts
King Records - KG.1064 - September, 1967
King Records - Unknown - May, 1968
Mary Ann Regrets / Galway Bay
#15 Irish Charts
Release Records - RL.502 - September, 1968
Wings Of A Dove / Finlola
Release Records - RL.507 - 1969
The Gay Galtee Mountains / Jimmy Brown The Newsboy
Release Records - Unknown - June, 1969
Misty Rolling Midlands / Time to Move Again (Plainsmen)
Release Records - RL.525 - September, 1969
Twenty One Years / Sing Me Back Home (Plainsmen)
#1 Irish Charts
Release Records - RL.533 - January, 1970
I'll Be There / The Spinning Wheel (Plainsmen)
#15 Irish Charts
Release Records - RL.570 - February, 1971
Two Little Girls In Blue (Plainsmen)
Release Records - Unknown - June, 1971
Love Is Teasing / Paddy's Navy (Plainsmen)
#7 Irish Charts
Release Records - RL.604 - December, 1971
Four Green Fields / (Plainsmen)
#5 Irish Charts
Release Records - RL.626 - March, 1972
4 Great Irish Hits EP (Plainsmen)
#4 Irish Charts
Release Records - Unknown - July, 1972
After Twenty One Years / Carnlough Bay (Plainsmen)
#9 Irish Charts
Release Records - RL.644 - September, 1972
4 Great Irish Hots EP, Volume 2 (Plainsmen)
#10 Irish Charts
Release Records - Unknown - October, 1972
No, It's Not Love (Brian Harkin)
Release Records - Unknown - May, 1973
Send Me No Roses / To Get To You (Brian Harkin)
Release Records - RL.684 - August, 1973
Forgive Me For Calling You Darling / Derravarra's Water /
Poppin Johnny (Brian Harkin)
#12 Irish Charts
Release Records - RL.699 - October, 1973
Walk On By (Brian Harkin)
#18 Irish Charts
Release Records - Unknown - June, 1974
Bobby Wants A Puppy Dog For Christmas / Make It Through
Christmas (Brian Harkin)
Release Records - Unknown - December, 1974
Ramblin Boy / I'd Love To Say I Love You (Brian Harkin)
#16 Irish Charts
Release Records - RL.803 - April, 1976
The Hits of
Ireland's Dermot Hegarty
Release Records - BRL.4001 - November, 1969
Ireland's Most Wanted Band
Release Records - BRL.4002 - November, 1969
Dermot Hegarty Sings 21 Years
Release Records - SRL.3001 - 1970
The Irish Side of Dermot Hegarty
Release Records - SRL.3006 - 1971
Where Are They Now?