One of the more adventurous Irish showbands of the mid-60s, the Chessmen featured singer Alan Dee who was also a strong songwriter. It was almost unprecedented for a showband to compose their own material, but Dee penned several hit songs such as Fighting and What In The World Has Come Over You. His greatest success, however, came with an evocative ballad of emigration, Michael Murphy's Boy. With its haunting chorus (‘My name is Patrick Joseph, I'm Michael Murphy's Boy’) the song was played frequently on Radio Eireann and reached number 4 in the Irish charts in the summer of 1966. The Chessmen enjoyed the privilege of being managed by Noel Pearson, a talented impresario who wrote and was on the board of the Abbey Theatre and producer of such acclaimed Irish films as MY LEFT FOOTand THE FIELD. Although the Chessmen were a promising act, they felt restricted by the showband routine and fragmented in the late '60s following the departure of Dee.
L/R Alan Dee,Terry Brady,Pascal Haverty,Jimmy Hughes,
Bobby Ballagh,and John L Sullivan (Real McCoy)
Seated Willie Halpin
Hustlers vocalist Mike Munro sang with
The Chessmen, and later Dave Glover.
Francie Leneghan (Stylos)
ROBERT (Bobby) BALLAGH
(1943 - ) artist
Born 22nd Sep 1943, Dublin
Educated St Michael's College, Blackrock and College of Technology, Bolton Street, Dublin. He is an outspoken commentator on issues of art and culture, and has earned a reputation for political astuteness and organisational ability in his dealings with Ireland's art bureaucracy. Before becoming a full-time painter he qualified as an architect and played with a showband (Chessmen)for a number of years. His work has appeared in several exhibitions both in Ireland and abroad, including the Lunds exhibition of Irish artists in Sweden 1971.
During the 1980s he designed the sets for several productions in the Gate Theatre in Dublin. His work on a number of commissions with a high public profile, including designs for stamps and book covers and the set for 'Riverdance', and his involvement in various political causes have helped to maintain his position as one of Ireland's best-known artists. He is a member of Aosdána, Ireland’s state-sponsored academy of creative artists.
Source: Modern Irish Lives: Dictionary of 20th-century Biography, Louis McRedmond (General Ed.), Gill & Macmillan, Dublin, 1996
Gerry Anderson, Jimmy Hughes,
Pascal Haverty, (Clouds, Regal, Virginians, Billy Brown)
Willie Halpin,John L. Sullivan, Terry Brady
This Picture fro the file's of Gary McKie
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