Harold Bates (Drums / Ukelele / Vocals)
    Tommy Bates (Guitar / Vocals)
    Roger Fairbrother (Lead Guitar)
    Bill Rod (Guitar)
    Jeff McManaway (Bass Guitar)
    Bob Rod (Manager & Harmonica)

The Overlanders were a Wanganui country group who originally formed in 1957 and were known as the Wanganui Western Trio. They consisted of leader Harold Bates, his brother, Graham "Tommy" Bates on vocals and Neville Cowley providing guitar backing. At that time they mainly played at 21st birthdays and social events. They stayed as a trio for about two years until 1959. At that point they added guitarists Tom McDermott and Ian Morgan. They found success after auditioning at a local radio station, where they commenced monthly 15 minute broadcasts. It was at this point that they changed their name to the Overlanders.

Overlanders 1960

A self-titled EP was released on HMV in 1960.

A second EP called "Country Holiday" was released shortly afterwards.

By 1964, the group consisted of Harold and Tommy Bates, along with Roger Fairbrother, Jeff McManaway and Bill Rod. Bill's brother Bob became their manager and provided harmonica on some songs.

They released an album called "Weeping Willow" on HMV in 1964 and from it came their only single, "Fraulein"/"Judy".


Tommy and Harold Bates went on to record after the Overlanders. See Bates Brothers.


New Zealand Music