The Fendermen Showband
Roy Buckley (Woodchoppers) Dill Katz,( Madrid)
Gerry Kent,(Madrid) (Memphis) Ricky DeLisle, (Madrid)
The Fendermen were an English-Irish band,
kind of like the Shadows.
The lead player even wore glasses!
Some Irish singers could be credited as having touched
the genre known as "country and Irish" before the showbands era.
One of the most successful of these was
Maisie McDaniel from Sligo who was the first female country singer
to have her own network TV show. In 1963 she had a fanbase of of over 5,000
and toured with stars such as Jim Reeves, Cliff Richard and Johnny Mathis.
She was the first girl singer with the Nevada Showband
R.I.P. June 28th 2008
Maisie McDaniel was widely regarded as Ireland's
greatest queen of country music,although her career peaked early.
At the height of her fleeting fame in the early 1960s, she starred with accordionist Dermot O'Brien on the RTÉ television shows Country Style and Jamboree and had a string of hits, including her fans' favourite Pick Me Up On Your Way Down, and the one she loved best herself, Room Full of Roses.
Maisie came to the attention of George O'Reilly, who signed her up to a stable that included
Dermot O'Brien and his Clubmen, the Victors and Nevada Showband.
O'Reilly put together a backing band, the Fendermen, specially for her and suggested the cowgirl outfit of fringed skirt and calf-length white boots that became her trademark costume.
She was the first Irish female country singer to star on her own TV show and was acknowledged by another Sligo singer, Sandy Kelly, and Philomena Begley as the role model who inspired them.
She shared stages with Jim Reeves, Cliff Richard and Johnny Mathis.
Reeves told a US radio audience that she was the best entertainer he met in Ireland.
She dazzled on stage and exuded joy in performing for an audience,
but few fans knew she constantly struggled with a crisis of confidence
and never fully understood how enormously popular she was.
Her career began to falter after she suffered severe injuries in a road accident in the mid-1960s.
She was hospitalised for two months and forced to abandon plans to represent Ireland in the 1965 Eurovision Song Contest. Butch Moore competed instead and came sixth with Walking The Streets In The Rain.
A marriage to musician Fintan Stanley was short-lived and for many years
Maisie battled alcoholism, before conquering her demons in the early 1990s.
She is survived by her daughter Lisa, five-year-old granddaughter Sofia Stanley, her partner of 22 years Tommy McGowan, her estranged husband Fintan Stanley, sister Deirdre Jorgensen and brothers Patsy and Diarmuid.
Maisie McDaniel: born October 28th, 1939; died June 28th, 2008
From John Bairds collection
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