Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

Do you remember the singing duo Mr. & Mrs. Garvey?

Posted Monday, September 6, 2010, at 1:49 PM
View 27 comments
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  • This immediately made me think of the characters "Mitch & Mickey" in Christopher Guest's hilarious "A Mighty Wind" -- which, if you haven't seen, you need to, immediately or sooner.

    I'm not familiar with the Garveys but it sounds like they might have been part of the inspiration for Mitch and Mickey, just as "The Folksmen" are obviously based on the Kingston Trio and the Chad Mitchell Trio, and "The New Main Street Singers" are obviously the New Christy Minstrels.

    -- Posted by Jicarney on Mon, Sep 6, 2010, at 11:08 PM
  • I'll look it up John. Thanks. If I find a good link, I will post it.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Sep 7, 2010, at 9:27 AM
  • There were numerous sites especially YouTube, but with a little weeding out I found the offical site http://amightywindonline.warnerbros.com/

    Mickey looked so muck like Victoria (Vickey) Garvey that kept going until I found her name. Still not convinced they are not one and the same person, but I have run out of time today.

    I would like to see the movie all the way through and will see about getting a copy.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Sep 7, 2010, at 9:57 AM
  • It's a really funny movie, as are Christopher Guest's other mock documentaries ("Waiting For Guffman," "Best In Show," and "For Your Consideration"). The plot of "A Mighty Wind" involves three 60s-era folk groups reuniting for a TV special after the death of their longtime manager. Guest has a sort of stock company of actors he works with over and over again, and much of the dialogue is improvised. I've never seen the TV show "Glee," but Jane Lynch -- who is supposedly very funny as the evil cheerleading coach -- is also one of Guest's regulars, and she is particularly funny in "A Mighty Wind."

    -- Posted by Jicarney on Tue, Sep 7, 2010, at 10:04 AM
  • I used to hear Pat and Victoria Garvey often at Cafe Lena in Saratoga Springs, New York back in the early 70's. I had the album "Mr. and Mrs. Garvey" and actually found a second one at a flea market. Alas they were both destroyed when my basement flooded a few years ago. I LOVED that record! And they were terrific as a duo. I recorded one of their songs, "The Trail of Tears" on one of my own CDs.

    Pat and Victoria eventually parted company, and later Victoria married Don Armstrong. She has been performing with him ever since. I had the good fortune to host them in my home once when they were in Michigan. You can find them at donandvictoria.com. They have a really good sound and a great following in the southwest. They live in Tucson.

    I was sad to read online that Pat Garvey has suffered a stroke - or maybe more than one. I read something a while back about a benefit at Cafe Lena for Victoria for health care of some sort. I don't know what that was about. Guess we all have our challenges sooner or later. It's wonderful that both Pat and Victoria have left such a rich legacy that will live beyond them.

    -- Posted by Pamelachappell on Sun, May 12, 2013, at 6:46 PM
  • Pamela, I'm afraid I sold that album on eBay a while back, but I will keep my eye out for them. It was one to which I truly enjoyed listening

    What a great remembrance you have of them and especially Victoria. I bookmarked that website and will research it later this week. Thanks so much!

    -- Posted by stevemills on Mon, May 13, 2013, at 9:24 AM
  • I am so glad to see something posted about this couple. I had googled them some time back, but came up with nothing. Now there are several listings.

    I first became familiar with their album in 1969, while living in a commune at North and Wells in Chicago. (The area was much different back then than it is now.) We used to play that album a lot. All I remember of the songs was the one with the lyrics: "Today is the first day of the rest of my life; I'll wake as a child and see the world begin." The lyrics were powerful and have stayed with me all these years, and wish I could find that album somewhere. Thanks for the great memories.

    -- Posted by yeunome on Wed, Jan 29, 2014, at 5:05 PM
  • Not sure if today's performers would move me the same as they (and others of the time) did. Pat and Victoria had a "special" touch.

    I've started to run into a resurgence of folk in Nashville. I met a local girl from Nashville on a flight out of Detroit International who was returning from a folk concert in Switzerland.

    Seems more popular in Europe right now. Her name is Erin Rae.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Jan 30, 2014, at 11:00 AM
  • Kathleen Williamson from Arizona wrote to me this morning to let me know Victoria Garvey, known as Victoria Armstrong for most of her life passed away last night. A more current photo and snippets from her life can be found on her husband's facebook page https://www.facebook.com/armstrong.dv?fref=ts

    According to Kathleen, she "played music right to the end".

    Lung cancer apparently took her. "She was a very spiritual and special woman".

    -- Posted by stevemills on Tue, May 6, 2014, at 5:47 AM
  • Victoria actually succumbed to a recurrence of colon cancer that returned after five years. There will be a memorial for her here in Tucson on Sunday, June 15, and one at Caffe Lena (our favorite place to play) in Saratoga Springs, NY on Monday, Sept. 8. We had almost completed a new CD, which should be available by summer's end, along with a reissue of both Mr. & Mrs. Garvey (now entitled "Bon Voyage, Miss Tischhauser") and Songs: 1965 - 1971, both on CD.

    -- Posted by Don Armstrong on Tue, May 20, 2014, at 11:19 PM
  • Thanks for your post Don and our sincere condolences for your loss and everyone's in Victoria's life. I will also post your words on another post regarding Victoria.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Wed, May 21, 2014, at 9:13 AM
  • Oh Don, I am so sorry! What a terrible loss. She was a very special woman. May her next journey be blessed and beautiful.

    -- Posted by Pamelachappell on Mon, May 26, 2014, at 4:48 PM
  • I am sorry to hear of the loss of Victoria.

    I loved the Mr. and Mrs. Garvey album but it went missing when I moved several years ago--along with long-favored Allen-Ward Trio and the first US Corries with Paddy Bell albums.

    Anyone know how to get copies of any of these.

    -- Posted by Faye2023 on Wed, Jul 23, 2014, at 11:11 PM
  • There is a Buy It Now available on Ebay for 14.99 and 4.00 shipping. There are several others but they are all more expensive. I did not look for the others........

    -- Posted by Palindrome on Thu, Jul 24, 2014, at 12:01 AM
  • Thanks for looking palindrome.

    Faye, you might also try Gemm.com and musicstack.com

    I'll look around some as well, later today.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Jul 24, 2014, at 1:05 AM
  • I only found one with Paddy Bell on MusicStack but there was some interesting background on the Corries.

    "Scottish folk music duo Roy Williamson and Ronnie Browne. Started off in 1962 as the Corrie Folk Trio made up of Roy Williamson, Bill Smith, and Ron Cruikshank who parted company soon after and so Ronnie Browne joined.

    They also teamed up for a while with Irish singer Paddie Bell. By 1965 Bill and Paddie had moved on and Roy and Ronnie carried on as a duo called The Corries.

    Sadly Roy (a fervent rugby fan himself) died in 1990 of cancer from a brain tumour although he lived long enough to see his Scotland side win the 1990 Grand Slam that year. "

    On Gemm there was one by Allen-Ward Trio but wow, what a price!

    There are actually quite a few choices on eBay. I thought Gemm and Musicstack would beat eBay, but it didn't. If you search for Paddie Bell use the "ie" version. Many more come up.

    However, many are from United Kingdom, so as palindrome mentioned, they will be more expensive to acquire.

    The Allen-Ward Trio is a little more elusive. Only two on eBay but much better price than Gemm.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Jul 24, 2014, at 10:25 AM
  • After all this time, let me thank everyone for the kind words expressed about Victoria since her passing, with thanks especially to Pamelachappell. So well we remembered playing in Kalamazoo when we were first together. And what a lovely job you did on Pat's & her song "Trail Of Tears." She is a light that will burn forever in all our hearts.

    -- Posted by Don Armstrong on Mon, Mar 16, 2015, at 8:51 PM
  • Don, the time for you to get back was actually a small blessing. It once again refreshed Victoria's memory and music. Thanks.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Mar 16, 2015, at 9:26 PM
  • I first met Pat and Victoria back in the summer of '67 or 68' when they played The Buddhi in Oklahoma City. They returned several times over the next year or two to play The Sword and Stone and I got to know them very well. Their songs and especially Vicky's harmonies were off the chart. I remember a group of us driving up to Wichita, Kansas to see them play one night and Pat almost forgot the words to the song they were singing when she hit some wierd seventh or ninth or something they had never done before. Their song "The Loving of the Game" is one of the greatest songs ever written and I almost never do a set without including it, and that's been almost 50 years now (Here's a link if you'd like to hear my arrangement. http://www.banjohangout.org/myhangout/media-player/audio_player2.asp?musicid=357...

    In the summer of '69 while a I was making a swing through New Mexico and Colorado, I reconnected with them and house set for them for a couple of weeks when they were living in Central City. It was at that time that I also met John Denver. He had just left the Mitchel Trio and was on his way to LA do the final engineering on his first solo Rhymes and Reasons. He wanted to let them know he had put one of their songs "Fugacity" (which he called "Sugacity") on the album. When they returned, I hung around for a week or so and we got to know each other pretty well.

    Interesting piece of trivia, Pat was one of the original Hell's Angels back when it was still only a motorcycle club. He had just gotten out of the Air Force and the Angels were a bunch of guys who liked to ride motorcycles, get drunk and have bar fights. He was going to school at San Jose State if I remember the story right, majoring in Drama and the Angels told him they were going to crash the show he was in. He told them that was a great idea and he would even write them into the script, give them lines and everything. The pretty quickly decided that was a bad idea and dropped the plan, much to Pat's relief.

    They also did a season in the early 60's at Knott' Berry Farm along with the New Christy Minstrels. They were invited to join, but Pat didn't trust Randy Sparks so it didn't happen. The Cristy's did put one of Pat and Vicky's songs "The Blacksmith of Brandywine" on one their albums. Don't recall which one.

    I didn't really know Don. I met him when he and Victoria played the Sword and Stone shortly after she and Pat split up. Mutual friends tell me he was a nice guy and was very good to Vicky. Many of us were still pretty angry over her breakup with Pat and I recall things being sort of tense the two days they were there. I was really sorry to hear about her death and my condolences to both Don and Pat. She was, indeed, a special lady.

    -- Posted by garyflksngr on Fri, Apr 17, 2015, at 2:31 PM
  • You've got a nice sound Gary.

    If I ever find this album again, I believe I will not be parting with it. Combined with the good music, I now know much more background and it means so much more.

    Thanks for sharing your memories and talent

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Apr 17, 2015, at 4:29 PM
  • Thanks for posting your version of "Lovin' Of The Game," Gary. Good to hear. Victoria was maybe the most gracious soul I have ever met, and even though she and Pat had some very serious issues which led to the end of their marriage, way before I came along (many of which I haven't discovered until after her passing), she NEVER spoke a word against him in all the 42 years we were together. I should also add that Pat referred to her recently in a letter to me as a "beautiful musical genius." Well said. It is now almost a year since she passed. I miss her dearly.

    -- Posted by Don Armstrong on Sun, Apr 26, 2015, at 2:34 AM
  • Don, Thanks for keeping in touch with us. I am sure that there are many who feel a personal connection to Victoria, you and Pat even though we have only met through your music.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Apr 26, 2015, at 9:23 PM
  • I was friends with Pat and Victoria in the early 1970's. I co-managed a coffeehouse in Urbana, Illinois, called The Red Herring, and they played there several times. I also visited them in Central City, CO in 1971. I am very saddened to hear of Victoria's passing, now 2-1/2 years after it happened. I stayed in touch with Pat until about 2010, but have since lost touch. Don, I met you once when you played The Red Herring with Victoria. Do you remember the place? (Fred Koller was working there at the time.) If you know how to reach Pat, could you please email me at steve@quartetsystems.com ? I wish you all the best.

    -- Posted by stevecowan on Thu, Dec 15, 2016, at 7:07 PM
  • SteveCowan, I doubt that Pat monitors this post but I just checked his Facebook page and it still seems to be active,so you should be able to reach him through that. https://www.facebook.com/armstrong.dv?fr...

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Dec 15, 2016, at 7:38 PM
  • Thanks very much, Steve. I'll try that.

    -- Posted by stevecowan on Fri, Dec 16, 2016, at 4:18 PM
  • Steve Cowan reconnected with me at Christmas time, to my great pleasure. I am pleased to pass along to everyone that I was informed that Pat now resides in a VA Home in Clinton, Oklahoma. I know one person who tried unsuccessfully to see him. If I get more information, I will be happy to pass it along. Victoria has been gone now three years. I am amazed at how many people have come out of her (and our) past that have so many wonderful stories - and often, photos - to share. Thank you all.

    -- Posted by Don Armstrong on Tue, Jun 13, 2017, at 6:30 PM
  • I just heard from Doug Garvey that his brother PAT GARVEY passed away after suffering a second stroke on October 26, 2017. My heart grieves for Pat and his brothers & sister, as I know Victoria would have, as I know that Pat so dearly grieved the loss of Victoria. Doug told me a toast will be had in Pat's honor on Tuesday, December 12, which would have been Pat's 86th birthday. Please join us.

    -- Posted by Don Armstrong on Fri, Nov 17, 2017, at 12:07 AM
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