The Johnny Flynn  Showband

The town of Tuam in Co.Galway, has more or less been regarded as “the Showband capital of Ireland”
in the fact that at one time in the early 60,s , 6 top class bands plyed their trade from the well known market town. One of them and probably the best known was the Johnny Flynn Showband, a brilliant musical combination with its roots firmly steeped in the Tuam Brass Band as the bandmaster Danny Kelly (Sen.) was a member of the original Showband.   In 1958, Johnny Flynn,s  original band was:  Johnny Flynn (Leader: Organ/Accordion) his brothers Brendan (Sax/Clar.) and Francie (Bass Guitar),Danny Kelly Jnr,(Trombone), Billy Potter (Guitar) Frankie Hannon (Drums), Ollie Maloney (Trumpet) and Gerry Cronin (Lead Vocalist).

This band toured America and while over there recorded a single featuring Gerry Cronin entitled “You took her off my Hands” .
It never went on release here as the hole in the middle of the record was too large  for a standard record player.
In the early 60,s, Ollie Maloney , Gerry Cronin and Billy Potter left to form the Ohio Showband.
The Johnny Flynn Band continued to travel countrywide and had a huge following up here in the Nort-west ,.
More tours of the USA and trips to the UK were undertaken, and they took part in the
New York St. Patricks Day parade in 1963.


The Johnny Flynn Danceband  1949.
As like other bands there were many personnel changes
but the line up that made the most impression on the recording scene was :
Johnny and Francie Flynn ,Frankie Hannon, Jim Dalton ,Danny Kelly ,Roy Donnelly,
Joe McIntyre (Sax) , Billy Kelly(Trumpet), Pete Creighton (Guitar) and vocalist Pat Smyth who had a
No. 1 hit with “The Black and Tan Gun” in 1966.
This fine line up also recorded many singles and an album entitled “The Magnificent 7”
which covered much of the band,s varied stage repertoire


This Photo courtesy of Liam O'Reilly Collection

Like all the Tuam bands The Flynn Band  featured many brass arrangements, this being their trademark and their varied dancing programme of pop , dixieland , country ,and ballads was well received by appreciative dancers.
They had in their enigmatic drummer Frankie “Flash” Hannon a suberb drummer and showman and his rendering of Fats Domino numbers were Showstoppers to say the least. In the early 1970,s the end of the traditional showband line up was in sight , but Johnny Flynn continued on as The Johnny Flynn Sound  until the end of 1972. This great showband has left us with a host of memories and will never be forgotten,They were great musicians all , names like Mickey Eagleton , Mickey Devaney . Billy Mc Glinchey,Patsy Haugh, Angelina Mc Donagh, Martin Murphy, and others were a part of this famous Showband

Sadly Johnny Flynn died in 1996 preceeded by Brendan Flynn, Billy Kelly, Frankie Hannon, Gerry Cronin , Ollie Maloney
and more recently by Jim Dalton.  May all the deceased band members Rest in Peace.

John Baird


  Johnny Flynn Showband taken circa 1958
They are :Back L-R. Billy Mack (Sax/Clar.) Francie Flynn (Bass)
and Frankie "Flash" Hannon (Drums / Vocals)
Middle Row: Mickey Eagleton (Guitar/Vocals), Olly Maloney (Trumpet),
and Brendan Flynn (Sax./Clar/.)
      Front: Johnny Flynn (Accordion/Piano) Bandleader
This Photo courtesy of Liam O'Reilly Collection
 


A rare photo of the Flynn band taken on tour in England 1962
L-R, Gerry Cronin, Brendan Flynn, Johnny Flynn, Miko Kelly (Manager),
Danny Kelly, Francie Flynn , Olly Maloney
   Standing at back on the bus doorway is Pat Smyth,
  At extreme left front is Frankie Hannon.
   From Miko Kelly,s archives of the band.


Miko Kelly sadly passed away after a prolonged illness at his home in Tuam  9th. Oct  2006
. A legendary figure in sporting and public life in the Tuam area,
he was well known also as being the manager of the renowned Johnny Flynn Showband ,
a post in which he was held in such high esteem by all in the music business.
On a personal note , i.ve only had contact with him in the last year and found him to be a true gentleman.
He will be sadly missed firstly by his immediate family circle and by all who knew him .
Miko, may your soul Rest in Peace ."
 John Baird



 

The Johnny Flynn Band - mid 60's -
L to R Back  Pete Creighton,Johnny Flynn,
Jim Dalton,( HootenannysThe Fleet Showband
Middle  Billy Kelly, Frank Flynn,Pat Smyth. 
Front Frank Hannon, Jimmy Hart,
Danny Kelly, Joe McIntyre.

                    From Robert Merchant collection 
                   robert.merchant@ntlworld.com

            Link to Showband Story

Johnny Flynn Showband from Tuam.
 You Took Her Off My Hands (Now Please Take Her Off
My Mind) / Hoots Mon Twist.


 

From John Bairds collection
 bairdart@iol.ie
 

 
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