Showband Stars


 (1938 - ) singer
  Born 12th Oct 1938, Waterford
Brendan Boyer and the Royal Showband defined the music of a generation in the swinging sixties in Ireland with ‘The Hucklebuck’ – in dancehalls all over the country they were wriggling like snakes and waddling like ducks to one of the biggest dance tunes of the decade. Brendan heard a swing version of The Hucklebuck by Frank Sinatra and decided to record it – it was completed in 20 minutes as it was a nice simple catchy number but he never intended it as a single release.

Together with the Royal Showband Brendan played all over Ireland and the UK, not surprisingly they had a string of chart hits with songs like ‘Kiss Me Quick, No More and Bless You but it was The Hucklebuck that made Brendan Boyer a household name.

                            He began his career with the Royal Showband in 1957. His  ability to tailor American Rock'n'Roll music to the tastes of Irish audiences, and his athletic and spirited on-stage
                            performances, made him by far the most popular vocalist  of the showband era of the 1960s. In 1971 Bowyer left the Royal and joined the Las Vegas circuit with his new band, the Big 8. He has been based in  Las Vegas since then. In 1977 he made a brief return to the Irish charts with his tribute 'Thank You, Elvis'.

Royal Home Page

MP3 Site
MP3 Kiss me Quick

Showband Video

Dickie Rock
The charismatic frontman of the Miami Showband inspired a devotion among
Irish music fans in the  60s  which was unparalleled until the screams of
Boyzone teenies 30 years later.
Before he was famous Dickie was an Apprentice Welder.
he went from earning £15 a night to getting £300 pounds a night
and he travelled the world performing.
The former was the subject of a well-known catchphrase - "spit
on me dickie"
Dickie remembers the time with great fondness - "spit on me dickie"
took off in Belfast in the 60's and spread all over the country.
Between 1963 and 1977 Dickie and the Miami Showband had 8 top ten hits.

COME BACK TO STAY - Dickie Rock 1966

Come back to stay was written by Rowland Soper and was released in 1966 -
When Dickie and his band the Miami Showband first heard the song they immediately agreed
to enter it into the National Song Contest - which it won.

Declan Cluskey, George Jones, Dicky Rock,Con Cluskey
 Con & Declan from The Bachelors

Joe Dolan
Joe was the youngest of eight kids. His father died when he was just eight,
his mother when he was 15, so Joe was left with his brother Ben to look after him,
the rest of the family having emigrated or settled down.
On Ben’s advice Joe got a job with the Westmeath Examiner as an apprentice newspaper compositor. However, both Joe and Ben had bigger ideas. They put together a band and played the local dancehall circuit, with Joe on guitar and lead vocals.
In the mid 60s Joe’s success landed him with the influential Drifters Showband which led to Joe cutting his first record “The Answer To Everything” which reached No. 4 in the Irish charts.
His first international hit “Make Me An Island” was in 1969. It reached No. 3 in the British charts and went to No. 1 in no less than 14 other countries, including Ireland.
It was not just in Europe that Joe and his band had wowed audiences either. He toured Israel, South America and South Africa in 1973, as well as playing all over the continent.
The remainder of the 70s saw Joe become even more of a household name on both sides of the Irish sea. “Lady In Blue”, written by Robert Danova and Peter Yellowstone, sold over a million copies.
In 1978, Joe Dolan was the first Western artist to perform in Russia. In those days pre-perestroika, Joe’s songs were playing on National radio and his tapes were being sold as bootlegs on the streets of Moscow.
In 1981 “More And More” was released followed by “It’s You, It’s You, It’s You”, “Come Back Home”, “Take Me I’m Yours” and more hits besides.
Although his record promotions and concert tours kept Joe away from Ireland a lot, he never forgot his home following and played the dancehall circuit to capacity audiences throughout the 80s.
In the 90s, Joe set up his own record label, Gable Records and built his own recording studio in Mullingar.
It was here that Joe produced three hit albums in the first half of the 90s,
“Ciara”, “Can’t Give Enough” and “Endless Magic”.
His most successful single of the 90s was not, however, included in any of these albums. His “Good Looking Woman” duet with Dustin The Turkey shot to No. 1 in the Irish charts and preceded a big change of direction for the Westmeath bachelor.
In 1998, the critically acclaimed “Joe’s 90s” was released – an album of songs including covers of contemporary artists such as Blur, Oasis, and Pulp.
A year Joe recorded the follow-up, “21st Century Joe”, which included songs by
David Bowie, U2, REM and Bruce Springsteen.
Today Joe continues with his two passions, golf and music. At the moment he is working on a new album for release towards the end of this year.

MAKE ME AN ISLAND- Joe Dolan- 1969

Interview with Joe



Butch Moore, Lead singer with the Capitol Showband
represented Ireland in the 1965 Eurovision.Song Contest
with the song (I'm walking in the streets in the rain)
Written by Phil Coulter;

The first ever LP recorded by a showband was called "Presenting the
Capitol Showband". It contained mostly Irish ballads performed to a
        "showband" beat, but one of the most poplular tracks was "Silver Threads
and Golden Needles", an old country standard.
Died April 3rd 2001

Billy Brown
. Billy Brown  and the Freshmen arguably the best showband of them all
Billy"s name is spoken with reverence and respect, not just by his fans,
but by his contemporaries in the music business.
Billy was the music, and he helped make the Freshmen one of the
biggest attractions in the country
He died June 6th 1999

The mellifluous voice of Tommy Drennan
              helped The Monarchs become one of the biggest crowd pullers in the land.
O Holy Night was Tommy Drennan's and The Monarchs single biggest hit.
It went straight to number one at Christmas 1971, outselling the Beatles.

In late 1961 Tom Dunphy,Bass Player and singer with the predominantly rock and roll
band the Royal Show Band recorded "Come Down the Mountain, Katie Daly". It was a
bluegrass tinged traditional tune and early in 1962 became the first
    "showband" country single to enter the charts.
       Tom  was tragically killed in a car accident in 1975, on his way to the 'Mary from Dunloe' Festival.

If I Didn,t Have a Dime

Clem Quinn
Lead guitar with The Miami Showband
Had a big hit with his recording of the Buck Owen's
instrumental, "Buck's Polka". Sadly now deceased


Roly Daniels was born in Jubbulpore India  immigrated to Dublin, Ireland
and is a hot favourite in that area.
He was recently acknowledged as the Top International
Country & Wester Music Entertainer in Nashville, Tennessee ;
Roly Daniels first performed with The Memphis Showband and later with the
              colourful Nevada Showband. He had major record successes with "Hello Darling"
              and "The Fighting Side Of Me".and Sunny Tennessee“He Stopped Loving Her Today”, “Mr Jones”.
Roly is regarded as one of the best entertainers on the entertainment scene.
He has led a reclusive life recently, and has not
              performed in public for six years.

When Irish Eyes are Smiling
Rare Ould Times

Anyone who has ever danced to an Irish showband
will remember Doc Carroll and The Royal Blues.
As lead singer, Doc topped the charts in 1966
with that very dancable record "Old Man Trouble",
that even today still gets lots of airplays.
Doc comes from Ballinrobe in Co. Mayo,
and is still a regular and popular performer around
the cabaret venues of his native county.


Paddy Cole
Paddy Cole is a household name in Ireland,
Having played with a number of bands around the country in his youth, Paddy Cole shot to fame as the sax player with the Capitol Showband, which had several No. 1 hits throughout the 60s both at home and abroad. Later he joined the Big 8 Showband, which enjoyed equal success. The band proved a huge hit in Las Vegas where they spent six months each year, earning a world-wide reputation for their nightly performances.

Eileen Reid

I GAVE MY WEDDING DRESS AWAY- Eileen Reid and the Cadets 1964
Real Audio File

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 with her enormous beehive hair-do,was an instant hit with Audiences
Eileen has turned her hand to more than singing in recent years and now
also enjoys a successful career as a serious actress.

 Red Hurley 1976
Lead singer with the Nevada Showband
He was 28 and had 6 years of performance experience behind him when he represented Ireland in the Eurovision song contest with the song When,There weren’t many pre-performance nerves for him - just a relaxed and polished performance from a true professional. Although there were plenty of directors and stage managers to tell him what to do Red kept his performance simple and, as he says himself, European.

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