The Magnificent 7 Showband (Derry)
The “ Mags” as they were affectionately known were formed as the Coronets back in the late 1950,s by Seamus Liddy and Willie Lindsay , Seamus being an ex member of the Stan Cauley Orchestra. They changed their name to the Magnificent 7 ,the feature film of the same name probably had a bearing on this and like many othes “7”s showbands in Ireland they had eight members in the band.. Derry musicians tended to favour the use of “stage names” and under the management of Joe Mc Nulty, the following members were to entertain dancers the length and breadth of Ireland , Scotland and England playing their programme of current pop and chart hits , Dixieland, Irish ballads and much more. Seamus Liddy (Stage name Jimmy Liddy), compere / vocals, Willie Lindsay (Pete Linsey), Trumpet, Ollie Logue (Drums) John Deehan (Paul Scot) Sax./Clar., Johnnie Patterson (Ronnie Hayes) Trom. / Lead Vocals / Guitar., Richard Duffy (Rockin, Ricky Stevens), Bass Guitar / Vocals.,Johnny Stewart (Jumpin Johnny Lee) Rhythm Guitar / Vocals and Pat Mc Crossan who incidentally played a double necked electric guitar made up this popular showband.
Jimmy “China Doll” Liddy was one of he finest MC,s and showman to ever grace a bandstand and ably backed by this popular musical outfit, played to packed halls countrywide . They were immensely popular in Counties Mayo, Wicklow, Dublin and Belfast City as indeed they were here in Donegal. They never made any recordings but this did not take anything away from their ability to pack a hall and they were a promoters dream. Such was the “Mags” popularity that in the mid 60,s the played 32 gigs in succession, no mean achievement.
As in many showbands there were plenty of “ funny incidents “ on the road as Johnnie Patterson recalls : “ One night another showband passed us on the road , and when we turned the corner of the road we saw this round white thing shining in the lights of our bus. It turned out to be a member of the other band “mooning” at us in the middle of the road” All great craic indeed!!. There were only two changes of note during the band,s time together, Jim Mc Dermott replaced John Deehan on Sax. and trombonist Jimmy Halferty replaced Johnny Stewart., The band finished around the late 60,s early 70,s the reason being lack of work due to the changing music scene , and many of he original band members had left or emigrated
Where are they now? Well sadly Joe Mc Nulty, Jimmy
Liddy,Johnny Stewart and Richard Duffy have all passed on. Johnny Patterson,
who was in Canada for 12 years is still in Derry as is Ollie Logue and
Willie Lindsay. Pat Mc Crossan and John Deehan still continue to play music
in Canada and the USA respectively, and by the way folks , the bands signature
tune was “ The Magnificent 7” a fitting tribute to a fine showband.
Played with The Magnificent Seven and Chekkers Showbands
Now lives in Phoenix Arizona
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My name is John Deehan (AKA Paul Scott Mag 7 showband)
I now live outside Toronto Canada and saw your article on my old band The Mags.
I played with them for two years 1961-2,
I would like to correct some of your "facts".
The original band was started by Raymond Gallagher who was a great
drummer and played with the Woodchoppers in Derry, Raymond started the
band in late 1957 with Don Stewart Trumpet, Jackie Boyd (R.I.P.) vocals
and Sammy Neeley Alto/ Clar,Dermott Doherty Trmb, Gerry Doherty (R.I.P.)
Piano and me, I came in on May 18 1958 and the band was called The
Downbeats, there were several personnel changes and the name changed to
The Coronets in 1959 now with John Stewart (Jumpin, Johnny) later replaced
with Frankie Curran on voals later joined in 1960 by Billy Tyson vocals,
George Hasson Trumpet and Tommy Henry Piano and Gerry Doherty Guitar.
The Band slpit up in the Spring of 1961 and Raymond Gallagher and Sammy Neeley hired Patsy Campbell Trumpet, Richard Duffy later Rockin' Ricky Stevens, on Bass Guitar, Pat McCrossan Guitar and Seamus
(Jimmy) Liddy on Vocals, I re-joined the band in June 1961. Ray Gallagher had left for England at this time and was replaced briefly by Willie Hamilton on Drums soon to be replaced with Alwyn (Ollie) Logue and Willie Lindsay replaced Patsy Campbell on Trumpet.
The Name was changed to The Magnificent Seven, (my idea, to cash in on the big publicity the Movie was getting at that time) and Joe McNulty, a well-knowned and very successfull Derry businessman took over as manager.
I realize that this is more information than you really wanted to know but as one gets older it's nice to have that facts about some of the happiest years of ones life correctly detailed,
Thanks for your patience, kindest regards Pau---I mean John Deehan
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