Great Beat Show band 33 Tracks 1964-67
"... They played their first date outside their native county when on St Patricks night 1958 the took the stage of the Olympia Ballroom, Parnell Sq, Dublin.Carlow businessman T.J. Byrne took over in 1958 after he had heard this young musical combination while on a business trip to Waterford and decided to put his trust in the band . It was a wise decision and the Royal went “ full time” on Easter Sunday 1959. By November of that year they were playing to packed dancehalls across the Country 6 and 7 nights a week. They never looked back and it was not long before they found themselves in the recording studios where Tom Dunphy recorded “Katie Daly” the first Showband recording issued on a single
They were also the first Showband to use the now famous “Binson” echo chamber, and they also made their TV debut at Easter 1963 with a forty five minute show “The Royal Showband Show”.Their recorded single “Kiss me Quick” spent 14 weeks in the Irish charts , seven of them being at No. 1. They also made a film “The One Nighters” depicting life in the Showband and issued their first LP of the same name. They also won the coveted Carl Allan Award in England for being the most outstanding modern Dance Band on the Mecca dance circuit and while playing a gig in Liverpool ,the Beatles played as support band for them... "
Biographie: Von Homepage:
The Story Not much has been written, shown, or said about the Irish Showband era without extensive reference to Brendan Bowyer and the Royal Showband. The Royal followed followed the initial success of The Clipper Carlton, the band that was credited with starting the whole music industry upheaval in Ireland. The Clippers transformed the genre from a conservative, static stage to an exciting display of talent, energy and entertainment. However, where the Clippers left off, the Royal took it to a whole new level, playing to a dancing public that had awakened from the slumber and drabness of the 50's. The Royal came roaring out of Waterford and took the entire country by storm, setting many of the records for attendance which stand to this day. The band also made the first single by a showband, had the first Irish showband number one hit on the Irish charts, and captured the imagination of a generation in the 1960's and beyond. The Royal Showband possibly stands alone as the most successful showband in Irish history. However, the band's origins were the same as any other band. Michael Coppinger and Jim Conlon started playing together originally. Michael was the "guru" with his accordion and saxophone and Jim played banjo and guitar. Together they joined up with the Harry Boland Band, and soon they wanted to expand. "We wanted to play pop and rock music," says Jim Conlon today, "and we roped in Charlie Matthews, Tom Dunphy and Gerry Cullen." Charlie, Michael and Gerry all lived in Ferrybank (Ard Mhuire) in the same area, while Jim lived on the Cork Road - all in Waterford of course. Brendan Bowyer was the only boy of musical parents so it was probably natural he would become a musician. He made his first public appearance in the Redemptorist Church in Limerick where his Father conducted the choir (Spotlight, July 31, 1971) After leaving school, Brendan took a job as a clerk in Waterford and he was mates with Tom Dunphy. When Harry Boland left Waterford, the final piece of the puzzle came in the form of Brendan who had previously played with The Rhythm Kings and the line up was set. Eddie Sullivan also joined the band a short time later. Launched in the Fall of 1957, Jim came up with the name, Royal, from a local theatre, "at the time, I felt that the band needed a name that would command respect. So, I used the Royal (from the Theatre Royal) because it suggested royalty (a stretch of course) and because Ireland had its own royalty long before our neighbors across the Irish sea. It had no connotation of the Empire. I reversed the words Band Show (the Clipper Carlton used it at times) and joined the words into Showband. Tempo, acknowledged it as a "brainwave". All I can say is that it looked great on the Stardust Hotel sign on the Strip in Las Vegas later on. I had to clear the name with the Theatre Royal in Dublin at the time. They had no objections. Of course, we had our own one in Waterford as well." The original lineup included: Brendan Bowyer (trombone), Michael Coppinger (sax), Jim Conlon (guitar), Tom Dunphy (bass), Gerry Cullen (keyboards), and Charlie Matthews (drums). Eddie Sullivan (trumpet) would join the band in early 1958. However, so uncertain were the band about their future that Jim Conlon took 18 months off in 1959 and 1960 to study accountancy. In the meantime Mickey Gilligan (pictured below who would eventually join The Blue Aces) stepped in on guitar. Other than this one change, the lineup would remain the same for the next 13 years. Originally, the band had no front man...several members sang different styles of songs as was the tradition in the early showbands. However, it wasn't long before Brendan's talent took center stage and he became the band's main attraction, even though they would be the only showband to have number one singles recorded with four different band members on lead vocals. Meanwhile, T.J. Byrne had been working for Cotts of Kilcock (in Kildare) selling musical instruments among other things. Jim bought his first guitar from them on hire-purchase (HP) and T.J. became interested in Jim and his band. He heard Jim had a group in Waterford and Jim I invited him to hear the band rehearse. T.J. eventually offered himself up as their manager, but took no pay until they started to get some dates in 1957. All the musicians had day jobs and could only play at the weekends. It wasn't until Easter, 1959, that the band turned professional, and never looked back. Over the next few years, the band's talent and showmanship, augmented by Byrne's astute promotion, coincided with the rise of popularity of the ballrooms across the country and by 1960, the band was playing for huge money almost every night of the week. Eventually likened to Ireland's version of the Beatles, the Royal Showband had arrived. The lack of dance dates during Lent in Ireland also helped the band, who used the time to tour Britain and the United States, creating even more excitement. The Royal made their first trip to the States in 1960, invited by Bill Fuller, who brought all the bands to the East Coast in those days. In 1961, they won Britain's Carl-Alan Award for box office achievements as "Most Outstanding Modern Dance Band" of the year. In 1962, they released the first record ever by an Irish showband, Come Down the Mountain Katy Daly, sung by the late Tom Dunphy. However, nothing was to prepare the band for the magic that was 1963. That year, Brendan recorded Kiss Me Quick, which was to become the first number one single by a showband. They also starred in the film, The One Nighters, which was produced by Peter Collinson and followed the band through their "wholesome" private lives and onto the stage. By the time 1965 rolled around, the band had achieved almost everything possible. That year, they released a single called I Ran All The Way Home, the B-side was a little R&B number from the late 1940's called The Hucklebuck which had been made into a minor U.S. hit by Chubby Checker in 1960. Once the band realized the potential for the song, it was made the A-side and reached Number 1 in the Irish charts, staying on the charts for 12 weeks. It even charted in England as well. The song would chart again in 1976 and has become the song most associated with the showband era by many people, due to its enduring popularity even though it came relatively late in the peak of the showband era. .........