By Claire Duignan
The untimely death of local country music star Cyril McKevitt
A native of Broomfield, Mr McKevitt sadly passed away after a heart attack on September 16, 2009
The trombone player and vocalist with famed Castleblayney showband ‘Big Tom and the Mainliners’
he enjoyed a career that had stretched back over 40 years.
The popular musician, who had been living in Dundalk, is survived by his wife Helen and three daughters.
He will be fondly remembered by many from his showband days when he first joined ‘Big’ Tom McBride
and his band back in 1965 as a trombone and country singer.

Tom McBride (front center) achieved great success
   as Big Tom.
Big Tom is one of the true legends of the Irish music scene. There is no village or town from Antrim down to Kerry that Big Tom would not be recognised in and made welcome. That is the true extent of the fame and popularity of one of Ireland's best loved entertainers. Today, Big Tom, one of nature's gentlemen, remains one of the all-time favourites with country music followers in these islands.
Of course, the Mainliners are fragmented just now. Henry McMahon now manages young Kildare sensation Michael English, Ginger Morgan has his own group,Hot Fever
John Beattie has his own business
Ronnie Duffy the drummer is now playing with his
brother in law Paddy Cole, in the Jazz Band
Ginger Morgan the Bass Player is still gigging around the pubs in Monaghan.
John Beattie the Keyboard man has a Taxi firm
Seamus McMahon has gone on to other things.

But if Big Tom  comes back they may all get together again.
“The situation is that if Tom was ready to sing again the lads would get behind him at least for a time. Yes, there is a fair chance that Tom and the boys will be back again. I would like to think that he will sing again,” says his manager.
Big Tom’s trademark was, of course, Irish country. He had massive hits like Gentle Mother and The Old Log Cabin and, no doubt, his legions of fans would greatly appreciate a comeback if only for a farewell tour.

 


 Both my parents worship the Big Man himself Big Tom (my dad calls him the King of Country)
we took my mum to see him when I was home in Oct 04. this is one of the pictures of us with the King.
I have to show my folks this they'll be happy to see I can still feel at home so far away.
 Eileen Mulhern.



 

From John Bairds collection
bairdart@iol.ie
 

 
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