It was a manager's worst nightmare: With two EPs and an album under their belt, television appearances pending, and on the cusp of touring with a major international act, manager Bob Rod's carefully groomed band, The Overlanders, had fallen apart at the seams – but Bob was determined that the show would go on.
The Overlanders first formed in 1959 around the nucleus of an already existing three-piece, The Wanganui Western Trio, which was made up of brothers and vocalists Harold and Tommy (AKA Graham) Bates and guitarist Neville Cowley. The new additions to the line-up were Tom McDermott (lead guitar, vocals) and Ian Morgan (lead guitar). The new band quickly gained a local following through regular live-to-air broadcasts on Whanganui radio station 2XA and achieved wider prominence with the release of a self-titled 7-inch EP on the HMV label.
Tommy Bates - vocals, guitar, ukulele
Harold Bates - vocals, guitar, ukulele, drums
Neville Cowley - guitar
Tom McDermott - vocals, guitar
Ian Morgan - guitar
Bevin Brown - vocals, guitar
Bill Rod - guitar
George Keat - bass
Roger Fairbrother - guitar
Jeff McManaway - bass
One of the rejected hopefuls during Bob Rod's final auditions was a very young Murray Loveridge – who was to some years later become bass player for the final line-up of Quincy Conserve.
Red Herring: A British band also called The Overlanders achieved moderate success in the USA, Australia, and the UK between 1964 and 1966 but was in no way related to the preceding NZ band of the same name.