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Gina, Dale Haze & The Champions

From: Cork

Active: 1973-1992; reformed 2009

Style: Pop Showband

Lineup:

Bio:

Long running pop showband from Cork who were very successful over most of their career, spanning 1973-1992 approx. Pat and Mossie Walsh are brothers. Pat Walsh married Gina AKA Mary Hurley.

The Champions began in 1973 with the less than inspiring name Gina & The Herdsmen. They played small venues with some degree of success which led to their first record, the Paper Mansions EP in 1973. While it didn't cause much of a stir, it was plain to some that they had real potential, and they signed a management deal with Tony Byrne of Tommy Hayden Enterprises (THE). The first order of business was undoubtedly the selection of a new name.

After various ideas were tried and rejected, the band finally settled on The Champions, following Cork's victory in the All-Ireland GAA football final in September '73. They became Gina & The Champions and the new name stuck. Their next record, a cover of Vicki Leandros' hit, Dreams Are Good Friends, met with moderate success, entering the Irish charts. Backing singer Dale Haze, still known as Jerdi Mackey, took the lead vocal on the B-side of their next release Single Girl (not sure if Dreams Are Good Friends or Single Girl was released first - can anyone confirm?). By 1975 he'd become Dale Haze and joined Gina in the spotlight as co lead vocalist. From here on they were (mostly) billed as Gina, Dale Haze & The Champions.

The band built up a large following on the ballroom scene and had a powerful sound to match.

Like a lot of home-based acts of the era, when it came to recording, they were primarily a singles band. While their earlier recordings were made in Dublin, much of their latterday material was recorded in various London studios, notably Red Bus. These singles received a lot of airplay on RTE, Ireland's only radio station outside Dublin at the time. While they were well-produced, these singles were almost exclusively covers. The band's management kept their eye on european charts throughout the 70s and early 80s, looking for hits to cover from Holland and elsewhere. There are few originals in the Champions songbook.

Their first album, aptly titled From the Beginning, was issued by Release Records in late 1977. This was a 16-track compilation of eight A-sides, five B's and (unless someone can inform us otherwise) three tracks exclusive to the album. This pattern of albums consisting of mostly singles plus a few previously unreleased tracks continued on subsequent albums released on Spider Records, WEA (Ireland) and CBS Records.

Dale Haze released a solo album in 1981. Gina launched a solo career circa 1985, releasing a number of singles. We're not sure if her backing band was in fact The Champions, but it seems likely. The band seemed to disappear in the early 90s.

The Champions reformed in 2009 for a nationwide tour. A 19-track Best of CD was released at the same time (see discography below for details). The reunion tour was a great success and led to a sustained a revival over subsequent years. They still gig occasionally and have released more CDs. Remastered versions of their recordings are reputedly in the pipeline.

Thanks to John Lynch for providing most of the above details



Discography

The Herdsmen feat. Gina - Paper Mansions / Nobody Home To Go To // Eden / Shelley's Winter Love
7" - Release Records - RL 662 - IRL - 1973 - PS
Did this have a second issue re-credited to Gina & The Champions in 1974?

Gina & The Champions - Dreams Are Good Friends / Arizona
7" - Play Records - PLAY 70 - IRL - Feb 1974
Entered the Irish charts on 21.02.1974, peaking at #12.
Vicky Leandros cover, initially recorded by her as Meine Freunde Sind Die Träume.
Not sure if this is the 2nd or 3rd single.


Gina & The Champions - Single Girl / Jerdi & The Champions - With Broken Wings
7" - THE Records - THE 104 - IRL - 1974
Not sure if this is the 2nd or 3rd single


• Minnie Minnie Minnie / Morning Has Broken
7" - Release Records - RL 763 - IRL - June 1975 - PS
A-side by Van Hemert (a hit for Mouth & MacNeal)
B-side by Cat Stevens (amusingly mis-printed "Morning Is Broken" on PS)
Recorded in Eamon Andrews Studios, produced by Liam Hurley.
Entered the Irish charts on 27.02.1975, peaking at #5.


• Oh! My My / What's Wrong With My Loving You
7" - Release Records - RL 782 - IRL - August 1975


• Freedom / One More Time
7" - Release Records - RL 812 - IRL - 1976


Dale Haze & The Champions - Darling Honey / I Remember Natalie
7" - Release Records - RL 847 - IRL - 1976


• I've Been Waiting for You / Sing Me an Old Fashioned Song
7" - Release Records - RL 871 - IRL - September? 1977
Entered the Irish charts on 01.09.1977, peaking at #8.


• Do You Wanna Do It? / Goodbye Goodbye
7" - Release Records - RL 874 - IRL - May? 1977
Another Mouth & MacNeal cover
Entered the Irish charts on 23.06.1977, peaking at #2.


• From The Beginning
LP - Release Records - BRL 4090 - IRL - 1977

Notes: Produced by Liam Hurley except A2/A4/A5 and B3/B5/B7 produced by Dermot O'Brien. Recorded at Lombard Sound, Dublin Sound and EA Studios. All tracks are covers/standards apart from last track, co-written by Liam Hurley.



• Mary Lou / Plantation Boy
7" - Release Records - RL 935 - IRL - 1978


• You're The Greatest Lover / My Love
7" - Release Records - RL 950 - IRL - December 1978
Possibly released January 1979 but (p) 1978
A-side by Janschen & Janschens. Arranged & produced by Liam Hurley.
B-side by Holten/Manenkei/Holten. Arranged & produced by Liam Hurley.
Entered the Irish charts on 01.02.1979, peaking at #10.


• Saturday Night Disco (medley) / Why Did You Wait To Tell Me
7" - Spider Records - WEB009 - IRL - 1979 - PS?

Notes: The A-side medley contains two Sam Cooke songs, "Twisting The Night Away" and "Another Saturday Night And I Ain't Got Nobody". B-side by Peter Yarrow. Both sides arranged and produced by Liam Hurley.



• Who Do You Wanna Be / Don't Play Me A Symphony
7" - Spider Records - WEB015 - IRL - September 1979 - PS
A-side by Jansen/Jansen. Arranged & produced by Liam Hurley.
B-side by Rolf Soja/Frank Dostal. Arranged & produced by Dermot O'Brien.
Entered the Irish charts on 23.09.1979, peaking at #7.


• Let There Be Love / You’ll Never Know
7" - Spider Records - WEB029 - IRL - 1980 - PS?
A-side by Jansen/Jansen. Produced by Irving Martin.
B-side by Tony Hiller/Paul Curtis. Produced by Tony Hiller.


• Champions Again!
LP - Spider Records - WELP 5002 - IRL - 1980

Notes: Contains 4 new tracks plus 8 recordings previously released as the A and B sides of 4 singles: Releaase RL 935, Releaase RL 950, Spider WEB09 and Spider WEB015.



• Drunken Sailor / Saturday Night
7" - WEA Records - IR ????? - IRL - February 1981
• Saturday Night / Drunken Sailor
7" - WEA Records - P-1585J - Japan - 1981 - PS
Entered the Irish charts on 29.03.1981, peaking at #13.


• Drunken Sailor / Nobody Does It Like You
7" - WEA Records - IR 18488 - IRL - 1981
7" - WEA Records - IR 18488 - Germany - 1981 - PS
A-side by Peter Koelewijn, produced by Liam Hurley.
B-side by Paul Curtis, produced by Tony Hiller.


• A Real Good Feeling / All Day Long
7" - WEA Records - IR 18741 - IRL - May 1981
Entered the Irish charts on 07.06.1981, peaking at #15.


• Give Me Back My Love / If You Want My Love
7" - WEA Records - IR 18742 - IRL - August 1981 - PS
Entered the Irish charts on 13.09.1981, peaking at #11.


Dale Haze & The Champions - It's A Real Good Feeling / Saturday Night Disco
7" - WEA Records - DHS 1 - IRL - 1981 - promo only


Dale Haze & The Champions - s/t
LP - WEA Records - IR 58292 - IRL - 1981
Some copies with poster.

Notes: A1, A3-A4, N1, B4-B5 produced by Liam Hurley.
A2, A6, B6-B7 produced by Tony Hiller.
A5, A7, B2-B3 produced by Irving Martin.
Design: Bob Hobby.



Dale Haze & The Champions - Real Good Feeling
LP - WEA Records - DHLP1 - IRL - December 1981

Notes: A1,A3-A6, B2-4 produced by Liam Hurley.
A7, B1, B5, B7 produced by Mossy Walsh.
A2, B6 produced by Irving Martin.
Compilation and design: Brian Wynne.



• No One Can Love / Best Seller
7" - WEA Records - IR19194 - June 1982 - no PS


• More To You Than Meets The Eye / Mellow Loving
7" - WEA Records - GINA 1 - IRL - February 1983
A-side by Wayne Bickerton & Roger Greenaway.
B-side by A.Monn/J.Cheeks/R.Williams.
Entered the Irish charts on 13.03.1983, peaking at #14.


• Maybe Tomorrow / Bottom Line
7" - WEA Records - GINA 3 - IRL - November 1983
Entered the Irish charts on 20.11.1983, peaking at #24.


• Playing With Fire / Playing With Fire (Instrumental)
7" - CBS Records - 6422 - IRL - June 1985 - PS
Entered the Irish charts on 18.07.1985, peaking at #18.


• Don't Talk / Morning Has Come
7" - CBS Records - 6632 - IRL - November 1985 - PS?


• I Wanna Live / I'm So Sorry
7" - CBS Records - CBS A 7006 - 1986? - no PS
From the forthcoming "Gina Dale Haze & The Champions" LP.


• G.D.H & C.
LP - CBS Records - 26693 - IRL - 1986 - sunburst label
Collects various 1983-86 A and B sides. Released early '86.


• There's A Kind Of Hush / Are You Magic
7" - Raglan Records - RGS 4 - 1987 - no PS?


Gina - Run Like The Wind / Heartbreak
Polydor Records - ??? - IRL - December 1986 - PS
Entered the Irish charts on 02.01.1987, peaking at #15.


Gina - Breakaway / ?
7" - Chart Records? - ??? - October 1988 - no PS?
Entered the Irish charts on 27.10.1988, peaking at #19.


Gina - A Woman In Love / Can't Live On Memories
7" - Harmac Records - HMS 32 - IRL - 1989? - PS


Gina - Love Me Tender / Boomerang
7" - Harmac Records - HMS 38 - IRL - May 1990 - PS
Entered the Irish charts on 02.07.1990, peaking at #20.


Dale Haze - Lonely Nights / I Will Return
7" - Koffi Records - KOFFS 1 - IRL - 19?? - PS?
Dale Haze - Lonely Nights / I Will Return / All Day Love / A Real Good Feeling
K7 - Koffi Records - 4 KOFF 1 - IRL - 19?? - PS?


Gina - I'm Blue / Mama Mama
7" - Koff Records - KOFF 3 - IRL - 1991 - PS?


Gina - The Cause Of It All / ???
7" - label? - ??? - IRL - 1992 - PS?


• s/t EP
CD - label? - ??? - IRL - 2009 - PS
4-track EP, probably self released, taken from the Best Of CD.


• The Best Of Gina, Dale Haze and The Champions
CD - Chart Records - ??? - IRL - 2009 - PS
Vinyl transcriptions?


• On Location
DVD - label? - GDHDVD1 - IRL - 20?? - PS
A collection of location recordings


• Baby I Love You
CD - label? - ??? - IRL - 2012 - PS
Origin?


Compilation appearances:

• v/a - 20 Stars Of Ireland Vol.1
LP - Release Records - DRL 2005 - IRL - 1973
LP - Capitol Records - SQ80.007 - Canada - 1969
See Compilations section for full track listing.
tracks:
Gina & The Herdsmen - Paper Mansions



Help!

We need your help to correct and/or complete this entry. If you can provide more information about this band, have scans, photos or any other memorabilia we can use, or spare copies of any releases, then please get in touch.




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