The son of a British army officer, Alan Garrity moved to Rhodesia with his parents shortly before his fourteenth birthday. As a child he performed in various school musical activities. He learned to play guitar at fifteen and, after completing his schooling, trained and worked as a radiographer. As a hobby he sang in local pubs and hotels. He joined a band in Bulawayo (The Tabbron Trio) and Geoff Tabbron penned their first seven single, a song called Coloured Rain. It scored an immediate success, and raced up the Rhodesian record charts, peaking at Number 2.
In 1970 the well-known Peter Lotis of Gallo Records offered Alan a recording contract. At Peter’s suggestion Alan recorded Put Your Hand in The Hand. The song topped the Springbok Top 20 for four weeks, and the Rhodesian charts for five. This run at No 1 started on 5 June 1971.
In 1971 he was presented the Springbok Award for South Africa’s Most Promising Male Vocalist. In September 1971 his first album, predictably entitled Put Your Hand in The Hand, was released.
Quips, Quotes & Anecdotes
His next chart success, I Need Someone, held the record for over ten years as the song with the longest chart run on Springbok Radio’s Top 20 hit parage. It spent 33 weeks on the charts between June 1972 and January 1973. This song, which peaked at No 2 on Springbok’s Top 20, earned him two Gold Discs, as well as the 1972 SARI Award for Best Song of the Year.
In 1973 he won that year’s award for Best Album of the Year, as well as the SARI Award for Best Male Vocalist. Home isn’t Home Anymore was Alan‘s next chart entry, spending 16 weeks on Springbok’s Top 20, peaking at No 5 in 1973. In December 1973 he released his third album, Goodbye Mama, which peaked at No 15 in January 1974, spending 7 weeks in the Top 20. The single Give Me Back My Woman from his album reached No 9 in the Top 20 in April 1974, and was present on the charts for 10 weeks.
In November 1974, Alan released the album Words and Music, for which he composed all the songs and lyrics.
In 1975 he won his second SARI Award for Best Male Vocalist and succeeded in getting yet another song onto the charts – She’s My Woman. This release reached No 15.
In 1976 Alan‘s acting skills came to the fore when he took the lead role of Joseph in PACT’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, performing alongside well-known artists such as Richard Loring, Jody Wayne and Alvin Collison. This production toured extensively throughout South Africa and Rhodesia.
Hit singles continued to accumulate, with Santa Maria reaching No 4 on the Springbok Top 20 in 1981, spending 11 weeks in the charts.
Once again, in 1981, he garnered SARI Awards for Best Male Vocalist as well as Best Top Twenty Artist, making 8 SARI Awards in various categories that he has received.
Alan is also a holder of the Shure Golden Microphone award. In April of 1982 he entered the charts with You Stood By Me, which reached No 18.
His music has been released in Holland, Germany, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand and other countries. His songs have been covered by artists such as Steve Hofmeyer, Patricia Lewis, Gerry Pretorius in South Africa, and Mark Ronder in Holland, amongst others.
Alan continues to be featured in compilation CD’s in South Africa year after year.
You can visit Alan Garrity‘s facebook page by clicking the link below: