Most of the original members of the Cadets came from The Melochords Showband
at that time fronted by Dickie Rock .
They were  Guitarist Brendan O'Connell, pianist Gerry Hayes and
saxophonist Jimmy Day  Willie Deevy; Jas Fagan trombone Paddy BurnsTrumpet

Formed in Dublin in 1962, the Cadets quickly became one of the most popular showbands -- ensembles of usually six people or more, doing dance-oriented American-style music, including rock & roll, country, R&B, and soul -- in the Irish capitol. Their success was partly a reflection of the popularity of their lead singer, Eileen Reid, whose powerful voice and effective intonation, coupled with good looks topped off with a huge beehive hairdo, made her one of the most popular young singers in the country. They were initially signed by Decca Records but switched to the Pye label soon after their first single, "Hello Trouble," faltered. With Pye they enjoyed a string of Irish hits, hitting number one with their version of the Jim Reeves song "Fallen Star," and following it up with another smash, "I Gave My Wedding Dress Away" -- the Cadets also charted a few records in England, and were among the few Irish showbands to get featured on British television, including Thank Your Lucky Stars.
The group, whose repertory favored country songs, played on Johnny Cash's and June Carter Cash's late- 1963 tour of Ireland, and they rated an introduction to the Beatles when they toured Ireland that same year.
They even managed to tour America briefly in 1964, and had their own radio show in Dublin.
They lasted until 1970, two years after Reid's exit following her marriage to Jimmy Day.
The Cadets are among the most fondly remembered of the 1960s showbands.

Cadets 1966
Back L:-R: Jimmy Day,Jas Fagan,Brendan O'Connell
Front L:-R: Gerry Hayes,Paddy Burns,Gregory Donaghey
Eileen Reid,Noel McGann
The band had a distinctive look and feel and instead of the usual mohair suits,
they wore naval uniforms.
They had their dry run on Stephen's Night 1961
in the Garda Club on Harrington Street.

From Frank Keegans collection

The Cadets
The Cadets were one of the more colourful Irish showbands of the early/mid-60s. The original line-up comprised Eileen Reid (vocals), Patrick Murphy (harmonica), Jas Fagan (trombone), Paddy Burns (vocals/trumpet), Gerry Hayes (piano), Brendan O'Connell (lead guitar), Jimmy Day (tenor saxophone/guitar) and Willie Devey (drums). The band played the usual showband fare of C&W and cover hits, but gained considerable attention for their fancy naval-inspired uniforms and exotic lead vocalist. Eileen Reid, with her enormous beehive hair-do, was an instant hit with audiences and before long the Cadets were attracting record company interest. After a false start with Hello Trouble on Decca, they switched to Pye Records and were soon number 1 in Eire with their version of Jim Reeves’ Fallen Star. During this period, they also toured America and appeared on the UK television show THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS. They were even given their own show on Radio Eireann, CARNIVAL TIME WITH THE CADETS. In late 1964, they charted with their most famous song, I Gave My Wedding Dress Away. For this melancholic C&W ballad Reid regularly appeared onstage dressed in a wedding dress, which caused a minor sensation at the time. The Cadets continued to tour the showband circuit and notched up an impressive run of hits including Right Or Wrong, If I Had My Life To Live Over, More Than Yesterday, At The Close Of A Long Day and Land Of Gingerbread. The group split in 1970, just before the showband scene went into a sharp decline.

Gregory Donaghy
who had previously been with the Drumbeats and The Polka Dots.
 joined The Cadets in 1966 replacing Paul Green
His first chart topper was More Than Yesterday" in 1966.
Gregory  joined the Carlton Showband in 1974
The band was formed in 1963 in Ontario, Canada,by a group of Irish-Canadians


                                Dubliner, Eileen Reid of the Cadets was generally regarded as being the
                              first female showband star  and during the 60’s she had some of the biggest hit records
                               of that time,  including “Falling Star”, “Are You Teasing Me” and of course
                                                                       “I Gave My Wedding Dress Away”.
As a gimick to go along with the song Eileen used to dress up in a wedding dress - the first night she wore the dress was in the Arcadia in Bray and she had to do the song 6 times such was the reaction.
She used to hate hearing herself sing on the Juke box or radio but would get really upset when she saw herself on TV as she hated the way she looked back then.
Eileen went on to marry Jimmy Day for the band in 1968 and at last after years of performing in a wedding dress finally got to wear her own special dress.
However the course of young love nearly did not run at all let alone smoothly.
Jimmy was opposed to Eileen joining the band - he believed the female fans wanted a male sex symbol as the lead singer - but after only a few months in the band Jimmy was smitten with Eileen and the rest as they say is history.

The Cadets appeared on   Thank Your Lucky Star's and The 625 Show Their first record
Fallen Star" reaced  No.1 in the Irish charts in May 1964 and "Jealous Heart" in 1965
                Willie Deevey drummer with The Cadet's Showband
died suddenly in Dublin of a Heart Attack on Sat 22nd May 2004.
From John Baird's Collection
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