Tony Keeling and the Graduates
From Skerries County Dublin
Hits Kelly ! Edelweiss! and ! Crystal Chandelier
Kelly was the B side of a Del Shannon Record
Tony and the Graduates
A few years ago I was attending a book launch in Dublin,s Teachers Club on Parnell Square, the book being entitled “Good night Safe Home and God Bless” , written by an ex showband member , Finbar O, Keefe. Present that night was a man who uttered those well known words many times ,at the end of a nights dancing, Tony Keeling.
Tony was lead
vocalist with Skerries based showband , the Graduates, formed out of the
merger of two skiffle groups back in 1960. As lead vocalist, Tony was joined
in the band by : Andy Radley, Gerry Bradley,
Colm McCormick, Fergus O, Brien, Paddy Landy,(R.I.P.) Tony Coleman and George Hand , who was the bandleader. Playing on a semi-pro basis they decided to go full time under the management of George Wickham, a wise move for this up and coming popular band. They played all over Ireland and dancers in the Fiesta saw them fairly often , such was their popularity here in the North West. Due to their increasing following and excellent musical repertoire, they went into the recording studios , and Tony went to the No. 8 spot in the Irish Charts with his recording of the Del Shannon number , “Kelly.” They also recorded “Crystal Chandeliers” and “ Edelweiss”, and their only album entitled “Kelly “ featured many of their singles and also some of the material that they used in their dancing programme.
In 1966 and 1967 , they undertook
two successive tours of the USA and also Canada., and combining this
with the usual Lenten tours of England and Scotland , they were a very
busy band.. They made T.V. appearances on The Showband Show and were
to be heard on Gay Byrne,s radio show “ The Seventeen Club”, these being
only some events as part of their hectic schedule. As someone who has heard
the Graduates a few times, I must say that their musical ability and professional
outlook to the showband scene always impressed me , as it most probably
did many others. One thing worth noting is , that in all of their
ten years together ,they only had one personnel change in their line up,
Tuam trumpeter Tommy Walsh came in for a member that had left the band.
So ends the story of the Graduates , a band that gave us ten years of great
music, Tony Keeling is now the Principal of a North Dublin Secondary School
and some years ago, he brought out a CD of all the band,s recordings, the
proceeds of the sale going to aid the Skerries Sheltered Housing Association.
Well done Tony.
|Help | Site Help Map | Advertise With Us | Add Site|
Computing & Internet
Research & Learn
Copyright © 2000 Netscape Communications