Based In Sligo, Ireland / email: showbands@gmsproductions.com

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All About The Miami Showband (1961-1996 and 2008-present)

Photo Gallery - Band Lineups - Discography - Audio samples - Where Are They Now?

The Story

With thanks to Jimmy Harte, Anto Long and Caroline Allen

Dickie's Miami (1961-1972)

Few bands in Ireland have had as prolific, and tragic, a history as the Miami. The band was formed in 1961 when The Downbeats Quartet were taken over by manager Tom Doherty. The band was playing in the Palm Beach Ballroom in Portmarnock and changed their name appropriately to the Miami.

Murty Quinn was playng with the Chris Lambe Band (which had just broken up) and had returned from a stint in the States when Joe Tyrell approached him to join a new group. "I had nothing to lose," said Murty, "I went along and played at the first date in the Ierne Ballroom. After the dance I still didn't know what band I was with. A week later I was told that I was in the Miami." In was an inauspicious start for the band that would become one of the greatest of the era. 

Meanwhile, Jimmy Harte started his musical journey with a band called The Crescendos. They played every Monday night at the Ritz in Ballyfermot. Next came the Melonotes who played every Saturday at the Mayfair in Clondalkin. Out of the Melonotes, came a band called The Ambassadors who had a regular Sunday gig at a hall in Kevin Street Garda (Irish police) station.

Jimmy continues, "the bass player, I remember, was Tommy Boyle who went on to be the conductor of the Garda Band. It was while I was with this band that I was approached by a drummer friend of mine Tony Bogan. He came down to Kevin Street one Sunday with Joe Tyrell and we had a brief conversation about a new band they were starting and were interested in me joining as lead singer. We met again a few days later and I confirmed that I would join. Two weeks later I was in Louis Copeland's (tailor) getting measured for a suit and rehearsals started with this new band which was going to be called "The Miami."

The band was managed by Tom Doherty whose brother also managed the Capitol Showband. Their first gig was at the Palm Beach Ballroom, Portmarnock and the original lineup was Jimmy Harte (vocals), Tony Bogan (drums), Joe Tyrell (keyboards), Martin Phelan (sax), Murty Quinn (trombone), Tommy O'Rourke (trumpet), Clem Quinn (guitar) and Tony Harris (bass).

Jimmy takes up the story. "Before we had a chance to settle in we were on a roll, playing all over the country. One funny story I will always remember is playing in Belfast at Romano's with Val Doonican and he requested backing on piano and drums.
Joe Tyrell was never the best piano player and backed out by saying "Jimmy you can play piano you do it" After much discussion I found myself on stage with Tony Bogan on drums, me on piano and about to back Val Doonican. I am not a piano player but knew the chords etc. Val had no music but all his songs were simple 3 chord jobs and we survived the night.

The Miami was a success even at this early stage and it wasn't long before they were playing 5 and 6 nights a week up and down the country. Jimmy was studying at the time, as well as working and playing in the band. "One day Joe came to me," recounts Jimmy, "and said that we were all going to have to give up our day jobs and play music as a full time career. This was really what I wanted, but my parents talked me into finishing what I was doing and then take to the road. For 3 months I agonised over this and in the end told Joe I was definitely leaving the Miami.

To fill the lead vocalist spot, the band brought in Dickie Rock, a young singer who had been playing with a Dublin band called the Melochords. Jimmy joined The Jack Flahive Orchestra which played in the Olympic Ballroom every night except Monday.
Said Dickie, "It was a great experience for me learning from people like Noel Keelehan etc."

With Dickie out front, the band became a smash hit across the country. Within a short time, Dickie and the Miami were one of the top two or three bands in the nation, competing head to head with the legendary Royal Showband from Waterford for top honours on the showband scene. Dickie and the band hit number one in the Irish charts in 1963 with There's Always Me.

1964 started with a bang as the band's follow-up release, I'm Yours, also hit the number one spot, firmly establishing the band as a top draw and Dickie as a major star. Going from strength to strength, the band appeared at the famed London Palladium that year and set attendance records where ever they played. Dickie and the band finished the year with yet another number one, and one of Dickie's all time classics, From The Candy Store On The Corner.

Miami mania hit a fever pitch in the mid 1960's. In 1965, they released five singles, three of which went to number one in the Irish charts. Guitarist Clem Quinn had a hit with Buck's Polka and the number ones kept coming. In 1966, Dickie was selected to represent Ireland in the Eurovision song contest with Come Back to Stay, only the second performer to appear for Ireland. Placing fourth overall, Dickie returned to Ireland a national hero.  

In late 1967, after five years of hit singles (6 number one hits) the unthinkable happened...the Miami broke up. The final appearance of the original Miami was on September 3rd in Dromkeen. At first, it was rumoured that Clem Quinn would be leaving the band, but this was incorrect. Murty Quinn felt the band could be more popular with a change of direction. Murty, Joe Tyrell, Denis Murray and Martin Phelan left to form The Sands. They recruited the Vampires' Tony Kenny to front the new band. The Sands would also go on to become one of the most successful bands of the era.

The "new" Miami made their debut on Saturday, September 23rd in the Palm Beach Ballroom in Portmarnock. The band immediately regrouped with a new lineup that included two members of one of Ireland's up and coming beat groups, The Chosen Few. Pat Egan reported in his Beat column that Frank (Fran) O'Toole (keyboards), and Paul Ashford (bass) were joining the band and Dickie was "lucky to have them." Rounding out the five new members of the band were Des McAlea (a.k.a. Des Lee) on sax from the Arrivals, Pat McCarthy of the Columbia Showband on trombone and Brian McCoy of The Secrets on trumpet. The new look Miami continued the band's record of success and in 1968, Dickie and the band had yet another number one hit with Simon Says. Danny Ellis would replace Pat around 1969 when he left to join the Dreams. During this entire period, Dickie Rock, although enjoying success after success, was paid the same wages as everyone else in the band. This created some pressures within the band. At this point, the band had always been an eight piece, but when Danny Ellis left the band around 1971, they went to a seven piece and eventually would be only six. 

Once he took to the stage, Fran O'Toole began drawing a lot of attention in the band. He was a young, good looking singing keyboard player, who also had a strong songwriting ability. In 1972, Fran won the Gold Star Award on RTE's series "Reach For The Stars."  In claiming the top prize, he beat out 60 other acts chosen from 350 auditions. Second place went to Sligo's Old Market Street while other finalists included Hugo Duncan (Tallmen), Des Wilson (Big Country) and Joe O'Toole (who would soon join the Dixies). Rumours started to spread that Fran was ready for a solo career, which he continued to deny. Meanwhile, all was not well in the Miami camp.       

Miami without Dickie (1973-1982)

Finally, in August 1972, Dickie decided to leave and form his own band, which he called Dickie's Band. An article in Spotlight on September 7th, announced that Dickie would be drafting the Arrows to back him. The Arrows had been fronted by Mick Roche, who left the band in Canada to join the Dublin Corporation (formerly the Pacific). Dickie's last date with the Miami was announced to be December 18th in the Television Club in Dublin, but instead, it was December 19th, in the Stardust in Cork. As an aside, in a strange twist of fate, Mick Roche returned from Canada in August, 1973 and ended up fronting the Miami, in essence the two singers swapping bands. 

In the meantime, the Miami needed a lead vocalist. A half page advert in the October 12th, 1972 issue of Spotlight announced the band was auditioning for a "Young Top Class Guitarist - Must Double on Vocals." In a little remembered move, the Miami drafted two brothers, Frankie and Johnny Simon from Boyle in Co. Roscommon to fill Dickie's shoes. Unfortunately though, the brothers didn't last long and after a St. Stephen's Night debut (December 26th for those not familiar with the Holiday), the brothers were replaced by Billy Mac six weeks into the new year. Strangely enough, the Simon brothers seemed to disappear without a trace or word of surprise by the fans.  

Billy MacDonald (a.k.a. Billy Mac) joined the band in a blaze of publicity. They released a record, That's A Woman, but neither the record nor the band seemed to get any mileage and Billy left at the end of the summer. At this time, Johnny Brown, who had been with the Real McCoy joined the band replacing Paul Ashford on bass. The Real McCoy had recently been involved with a serious road accident that would put lead singer, Tina, off the road for nearly a year. 

In August, 1973 Mick Roche, previously of The Arrows, returned from Canada where he had gone with the Dublin Corporation (formerly known as the Pacific) to front the band. A blurb in the July 24th, 1974 issue of Spotlight reported that Mick had been sacked by the band. He explained that he had been in a car accident and had to wear a collar, restricting his movement on stage, but that the sacking came as a complete shock to Mick. A few weeks earlier, Clem Quinn had left the band and was replaced by Dave Monks.

It was obvious the Miami were having a problem filling Dickie's spot until they decided to stick with their existing lineup. Not missing a beat, Fran O'Toole stepped out front and the band continued to enjoy success. In June, 1974, long time member Clem Quinn left the band and according to Julie Boyd, formed a small group playing around the Dublin area. In late 1974, Fran's song Clap Your Hands and Stomp Your Feet, was a huge hit for the band, reaching number eight in the Irish Charts, but it was even an bigger hit on the dance floor. However, the good times were soon to come to an untimely and tragic end. Also in late 1974, Tony Geraghty, who had been with the Gentry, joined the band on lead guitar and Dave Monks moved onto bass when Johnny Brown left the band, reported by Julie Boyd to join the Dick Keating Trio. Six months later, Dave Monks would leave and be replace by Stephen Travers.   

The Miami Tragedy (1975)

On July 31, 1975, on a lonely country road outside Newry, the band were making their way home to Dublin from a gig at the Castle Ballroom in Banbridge, Co. Down when they were flagged down by men in military dress. Anyone who traveled the roads of Northern Ireland in those days will remember that it was a relatively common occurrence as the security forces often established makeshift check points at all times of the day and night. However, the band were ordered out of their van and a group of UVF militants started to plant a bomb in the van...when it detonated prematurely. In the ensuing chaos, the remaining terrorists opened fire, killing Fran O'Toole, Brian McCoy, Tony Geraghty and seriously wounding Stephen Travers.

The killings shocked the entire country and changed the showband scene for many years to come as overnight, the North was avoided by most bands from the South. It would take years before bands started to make the trek across the border in any numbers. More importantly, the tragedy struck at the core of the showband industry, cutting short the lives of three musicians whose only crime was that they dedicated their lives to entertainment. Ireland would never be the same.  
 

Relaunching The Miami (late 1975)

Devastated, the Miami appeared to be finished. However, before the end of the year, the three surviving members, Des McAlea, Stephen Travers, and Ray Millar reformed the band with Noel Ryan (keyboards), Des Flaherty (guitar), and Norman Clifford (trumpet) and hit the road again with Des Lee taking front and center. (Picture at right)

The band was re-launched on October 26th, 1975 with their first appearance in the Seapoint Ballroom in Salthill, Co. Galway. The new lineup included Noel Ryan on keyboards (Noel had been with the Big 8 and had been riding with Tom Dunphy on the night the bass player was killed outside Drumsna, Co. Leitrim), Dessie O'Flaherty (guitar) and Norman Clifford (keyboards) along with Des, Stephen and Ray.

Fran O'Toole's record, Love Is, was released posthumously and reached number eight in the Irish Charts. Once again, the Miami were on top, demonstrating the hope and resolve of a nation torn by the troubles in the North. The Miami continued to be one of the top drawing bands in the country and had succeeded in adapting to the new trends on the ballroom scene as they occurred, yet remained true to the original vision of the band.

The rebirth of the band would prove short-lived. By late 1976, Stephen Travers left, tired of recognition due to the terrorist incident rather than his music. Stephen set aside his performing career to take up bass guitar tutoring. A few months later, in April, 1977 Ray Millar quit and went to work as a car salesman in his native Antrim. Stephen was replaced by Peter Eades, a young bass player who, along with Dessie Flaherty, would lead the band through the next chapter in its long history. Ray was replaced by P.J. Coyne who had previously been the drummer with Dickie's Band. The changes would continue as Noel and Norman also left and the Kaye Twins were drafted to fill the vacant slots.

This left Des Lee as the only band member with connections to Dickie and the original band, However, in early 1978, Des left to take a position as the the entertainments manager/leader of the resident band in The Stardust Ballroom. However, Des only stayed in the position for about three months and in June 1978, he launched Starband, coaxing Stephen and Ray out of "semi-retirement" to join him in the new venture. They joined with Adrian Mullen of Chips, guitarist Aonghus McNally from Mushroom, and newcomer Dee McMahon and the band was launched as "The Best Thing for Dancing since Feet!"

Yet again the Miami was faced with a total overhaul of its lineup and the newly built Miami had only Des Flaherty remaining who had been with the band in 1975 and no one who had ever played with Dickie Rock. The new lineup was much younger and was a hit with the new generation of dancers coming on the scene in the ballrooms. The released a single, I like It Like That, which reached number 10 in the charts.

The band's new lineup was led by Charlie Chapman with P.J. Coyne adding vocals and playing drums. Peter Eades would also feature prominently in the early 80's. Around 1980, Peter Eades and P.J. Coyne left the band and were replaced by Liam Slattery on bass and Brian O'Reilly on drums. Peter and Brian would also play together in Jump The Gun, the five piece band that represented Ireland in Eurovision 1988 with Peter's composition, Take Him Home. The band also added a female vocalist around this time, however she did not stay for very long (we do not know her name).

As the ballroom scene in Ireland continued to dwindle, the boys decided it was time to leave the country and ended up in Mexico where they toured for a year as the Europa Show. The band enjoyed much success, but after a year, they called it quits and went their own ways. 

The New Miami (1982-1986)

Back in Ireland, in 1982, the next chapter in band started when manager Tony Bogan spotted a band called Speedway and recruited them to be the New Miami. The final piece to the puzzle was added when Caroline Allen was spotted singing in a Dublin cabaret venue.

Caroline takes up the story, "I was only 16 when I was doing a cabaret gig in Molly’s pub in Tallaght. The compere at that time was Mick Roche (who I believe also sang with the Miami in the 60’s) and before I went on stage he told me to “break a leg” as there was someone in the audience who wanted to hear me sing.  After the show I was introduced to Tony Bogan and Joe Tyrrell who asked me to audition for The New Miami Showband, the auditions were held in the National Ballroom.  Anyway I went along with my friend and I met up with the new band, Tony and Joe I sang about 3 or 4 songs and left.  My friend and I went for a drink afterwards to calm my nerves when about half an hour later Tony and the band came in, we all sat down and chatted for a while and Tony told me I had the job, I was as you can imagine over the moon.  During the 4 years we did numerous television shows including SBB (the Irish show) The Brendan Grace Christmas Special, The Late late, Live at 3 and Good Evening Ulster.  We also recorded tracks including Fly me home, A +B+C, and Don’t Let It Get Under Your Skin, which I sang and You Are Temptation (sang by Colin Goodall).  We entered the Ballina Song Contest and got to the final."

The full line up was Caroline Allen (vocals), Mick McAvenue (vocals), Colin Goodall (keyboards), Michael Connelly (guitar), Alan Menton (bass), and Brendan Keogh (drums). Mick McAvenue left after about 3 months and the rest of the line up stayed together till 1984. At that time, they added two female dancers/backup vocalists to the lineup: Sharon McGrail was from Dublin and Denise Hyde was from London. Sharon recently contacted us via email to say she and Denise stayed with the band for about 2 years. She also told us that after leaving the band, she fronted a band called Casablanca.

In 1985, Colin Goodall left to form his own band and was replaced by Pat Coldrick (formally of the Memories). Pat played lead guitar so Michael Connelly switched from lead guitar to playing keyboards. In 1986, Caroline went off the road suffering from nodules on her vocal chords, but she returned after six months. Anto Long tell us the band eventually emigrated to Mexico under the name the Europa Show where it disbanded about a year later, but we think this was the earlier version of the band (see above).

Resurrected by Gerry Brown (1996-97 and 2008-present)

However, the final chapter in the Miami saga would not be written until 1996 when a Newsround article by Betty O'Brien announced the relaunching of the Miami on Easter Sunday, 1996, reportedly thirty four years after the launch of the original Miami. The article reported that Gerry Brown, brother of Eurovision winner, Dana was to lead the new band on stage. Gerry approached band manager Michael Magill with the idea and the band was formed with a programme that consisted of "all the Miami hits, 14 songs from Fran O'Toole, 6 from Des Lee and all Dickie Rock's big hits."

The new lineup was: Gerry Brown (vocals/keyboards), Michael McGuiness (drums), Paul Beattie (guitar), Niall O'Connor (keyboards), Stephen Bradley (sax), Noel Barr (trumpet) and Connie Doherty (bass). We have no idea at this point how long the last version of the Miami was on the road, but we will find out as soon as we can.     

The Miami will never be forgotten. After being rebuilt five times (or more), they continued to provide excitement for dancers and profits for promoters and remain one of the best loved, and most successful, showbands of the era. One of the greatest gatherings of ex-showband musicians took place in July, 2005 at Vicar Street, Dublin for the much celebrated 30 Year Memorial concert for the Miami. The show was a great success and featured many of the stars of the era, but also had a great finale with Des Lee returning from South Africa where he then made his home to lead an All Star lineup play several of the band's greatest hits. The proceeds from the event helped fund the building of a Miami Memorial in Dublin, a campaign led by Stephen Travers and several of the late band members' families.

Update 2008: Following the success of the Vicar Street concert in 2005, Des Lee, Stephen Travers and Ray Millar joined with Gerry Brown (who bought the Miami name in the mid 90's) to recreate the excitement of the Miami Showband. Joining the foursome were Johnny Fean (who has since left), former guitarist with Horslips and Barry Woods, a long time veteran of the showband ranks having played with The Newmen, Real McCoy and Lyttle People, among others. The band hit the road in late 2008 and are managed by David Hull, promoter of the famous "Do You Come Here Often" series of concerts.

Update 2012: We came across an advert for the band playing a gig in 2012 which shows the lineup is now Des Lee, Ray Millar, George Brown, Barry Woods and Trevor Millar. We are not sure if Ray is related to Trevor as both of their names are spelled Miller in the article. 

Photo Gallery

Click on thumbnails for full images

The Miami - 1962 Miami Showband - 1963 The Miami - 196? Miami Showband (LR) Miami Showband (BF)
Miami Showband-1964 (JD) Miami Showband (JD) Miami Showband (DL) Miami Showband (LR) Miami
Miami Showband - 1966 (LR) Dickie Rock (LR) Dickie at Eurovision - 1966 (LR) Dickie Rock - 1966 Dickie Rock
Miami Showband (LR) Clem Quinn - 1966 (LR) Joe Tyrell of the Miami - 1966 (LR) Tony Bogan of the Miami - 1966 (LR) Martin Phelan of the Miami - 1966 (LR)
Denis Murray of the Miami - 1966 (LR) Tommy O'Rourke of the Miami - 1966 (LR) Murty Quinn - 1966 (LR) Murty, Dickie & Clem - 1967 Miami Showband (LR)
The Miami - 1967 The Miami - 1967 The Miami - 1967 Dennis, Marty, Tommy and Murty - 1967 Dickie Rock (LR)
Dickie Rock & The Miami - 1967 Dickie Rock & The Miami - 1967 Miami - 1967 (KS) Dickie Rock - 1967 Dickie Rock - 1967
The Miami - 1967 Paul Ashford - 1967 Brian McCoy - 1967 Miami - 1967 Miami - 1967 (LR)
Dickie Rock - 1967 Dickie Rock - 1967 Dickie Rock - 1967 Dickie Rock - 1967 Dickie Rock - 1967
Miami (LR) Miami - 1968 Miami - 1968 Miami - 1968 Miami - 1968
Dickie Rock - 1968 Dickie Rock - 1968 Dickie Rock - 1968 Dickie Rock - 1968 Dickie Rock - 1968
Dickie Rock - 1968 Dickie Rock - 1968 Miami - 1968 (LR) Dickie Rock - 1968 Dickie Rock - 1968
Dickie Rock - 1968 Dickie Rock - 1968 Dickie Rock - 1968 Dickie Rock - 1968 Dickie Rock - 1968
The Miami - 1968 The Miami - 1968 The Miami - 1968 The Miami - 1968 The Miami - 1968
The Miami - 1968 The Miami - 1968 The Miami - 1968 The Miami - 1968 The Miami - 1968
Fran O'Toole - 1968 Fran O'Toole - 1968 The Miami - 1969 Dickie Rock - 1969 Dickie Rock - 1969
Miami Dickie Rock - 1969 The Miami - 1969 Dickie Rock - 1969 Dickie Rock - 1969
Dickie Rock - 1969 Des Lee - 1969 The Miami - 1969 The Miami - 1969 The Miami - 1969
The Miami - 196? Des Lee - 1969 The Miami - 1970 The Miami - 1970 Miami - 1970
Fran O'Toole - 1970 Fran O'Toole - 1970 Fran O'Toole - 1970 The Miami - 1970 The Miami - 1970
Dickie Rock - 1970 Dickie Rock - 1970 Dickie Rock - 1970 The Miami - 1970 The Miami
Clem Quinn - 1971 The Miami - 1971 (KS) Dickie Rock & The Miami - 1971 (TP) Miami - 1971 Miami (LR)
The Miami - 1971 The Miami - 1971 Dickie Rock - 1971 Dickie Rock - 1971 Dickie Rock - 1971
Dickie Rock - 1971 Dickie Rock - 1971 The Miami - 1971 The Miami - 1971 The Miami - 1971
The Miami - 1971 The Miami - 1971 The Miami - 1971 The Miami - 1971 The Miami - 1971
The Miami - 1971 Fran O'Toole - 1971 Fran O'Toole - 1971 Fran O'Toole - 1971 The Miami - 1972
The Miami - 1972 The Miami - 1972 The Miami - 1972 Fran O'Toole - 1972 Fran O'Toole - 1972
The Miami - 1972 The Miami - 1972 The Miami - 1972 The Miami (LH) Miami (PH)
Dickie Rock - 1972 Dickie Rock - 1972 Dickie Rock - 1972 Dickie Rock - 1972 Dickie Rock - 1972
Dickie Rock - 1972 The Miami - 1972 The Miami - 1972 Dickie Rock - 1972 Dickie Rock - 1972
Fran O'Toole - 1972 Fran O'Toole - 1972 Fran O'Toole - 1972 Fran & Dickie - 1972 Simon Brothers - 1972
Miami - 1972 The Miami - 1972 The Miami - 1972 The Miami - 1973 Fran O'Toole - 1973
Fran O'Toole - 1973 Miami - 1973 Billy Mac - 1973 Billy Mac - 1973 Miami - 1973
Miami - 1973 Miami All Stars - 1973 (DL) Miami Fran O'Toole & The Miami - 1973 (PB) Fran O'Toole - 1973 (LR)
Fran O'Toole - 1974 Fran O'Toole - 1974 Fran O'Toole - 1974 Fran O'Toole & The Miami - 1974 (DL) Fran O'Toole
Fran in 1974 The Miami - 1974 The Miami - 1974 The Miami - 1974 The Miami - 1974
Fran O'Toole - 1975 The Miami - 1975 The Miami - 1975 Miami-1975 The Miami - 1975
The Miami-1975 (DL) The Miami - 1975 The Miami - 1975 The Miami - 1975 The Miami - 1975
The Miami - 1976 Miami - 1976 (PH) Miami - 1978 Miami (PH) The Miami - 1980 (DD)
Miami (PH) Miami (PL) Miami (PL) Miami (PL) Miami (PL)
Miami - 1982? (PH) Miami - 1983? Miami - 1986 Miami - 1980's Fran O'Toole (KS)
Miami (PH) Dickie Rock (DH) Miami-2012 Dickie Rock - 1970

Miami

Miami (PL) Miami (PL) Miami (PL) Miami Story (PL) Miami Story (PL)
 
Miami Story (PL) Miami Story (PL) Miami Story (PL) Miami Story (PL) Coming Soon
         
Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon
Record Sleeves
A - Miami - 1966 B - Miami - 1966 A - Miami - 1971 B - Miami - 1971 A - The Miami - 1972
B - The Miami - 1972 A - Miami - 1973 B - Miami - 1973 A - Miami - 1980 A - Miami - 1981
A - Miami - 1986 B - Miami - 1986 A - Miami - 1973 B - Miami - 1973 A - Fran O'Toole - 1976
B - Fran O'Toole - 1976 A - Miami B - Miami A - Miami Showband B - Miami Showband
A - Miami Showband B - Miami Showband Dickie Rock (LR) Miami - 1969 The Miami - 1970
         
Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon
Year Vocals Guitar Bass Drums Keyboards Sax Trumpet Trombone
1961   Clem
Quinn
  Tony
Bogan
Joe
Tyrrell
Martin
Phelan
   
1961 Jimmy
Harte
Clem
Quinn
Tony
Harris
Tony
Bogan
Joe
Tyrrell
Martin
Phelan
Tommy
O'Rourke
Murty
Quinn
Mid
1962
Dickie
Rock
Clem
Quinn
Tony
Harris
Tony
Bogan
Joe
Tyrrell
Martin
Phelan
Tommy
O'Rourke
Murty
Quinn
1962 Dickie
Rock
Clem
Quinn
Denis
Murray
Tony
Bogan
Joe
Tyrrell
Martin
Phelan
Tommy
O'Rourke
Murty
Quinn
1967 Dickie
Rock
Clem
Quinn
Paul
Ashford
Tony
Bogan
Fran
O'Toole*
Des
McAlea
Brian
McCoy*
Pat
McCarthy
1969 Dickie
Rock
Clem
Quinn
Paul
Ashford
Tony
Bogan
Fran
O'Toole*
Des
McAlea
Brian
McCoy*
Danny
Ellis
Sept
1971
Dickie
Rock
Clem
Quinn
Paul
Ashford
Martin
Branigan
Fran
O'Toole*
Des
McAlea
Brian
McCoy*
Danny
Ellis
Dec
1972
Frankie
Simon
Clem
Quinn
Paul
Ashford
Martin
Branigan
Fran
O'Toole*
Des
McAlea
Brian
McCoy*
Johnny
Simon
Jan
1973
Billy
Mac
Clem
Quinn
Paul
Ashford
Martin
Branigan
Fran
O'Toole*
Des
McAlea
Brian
McCoy*
 
Aug
1973
Mick
Roche
Clem
Quinn
Johnny
Brown
Ray
Millar
Fran
O'Toole*
Des
McAlea
Brian
McCoy*
 
July
1974
  Dave
Monks
Johnny
Brown
Ray
Millar
Fran
O'Toole*
Des
McAlea
Brian
McCoy*
 
Nov
1974
  Tony
Geraghty*
Dave
Monks
Ray
Millar
Fran
O'Toole*
Des
McAlea
Brian
McCoy*
 
May
1975
  Tony
Geraghty*
Stephen
Travers
Ray
Millar
Fran
O'Toole*
Des
McAlea
Brian
McCoy*
 
July 31, 1975 The Miami were attacked and Fran O'Toole, Brian McCoy and Tony Geraghty were killed
Oct
1975
  Des
Flaherty
Stephen
Travers
Ray
Millar
Noel
Ryan
Des
McAlea
Norman
Clifford
 
1976 Ray
Clifford
Des
Flaherty
Peter
Eades
Ray
Millar
Paul
Kaye
Des
McAlea
Gerry
Kaye
 
1976 Charlie
Chapman
Des
Flaherty
Peter
Eades
P.J.
Coyne
Paul
Kaye
Des
McAlea
Gerry
Kaye
 
1978 Charlie
Chapman
Des
Flaherty
Peter
Eades
P.J.
Coyne
Mike
Daly
Paul
Duffy
   
1980 Charlie
Chapman
Des
Flaherty
Peter
Eades
P.J.
Coyne
Anto
Long
Paul
Duffy
   
1981 Raphaelle
Ward
Des
Flaherty
Liam
Slattery
Brian
O'Reilly
Anto
Long
Paul
Duffy
   
1982 Caroline
Allen
Michael
Connolly
Alan
Menton
Brendan
Keogh
Colin
Goodall
Mick (vocals)
McAvenue
   
1982 Caroline
Allen
Michael
Connolly
Alan
Menton
Brendan
Keogh
Colin
Goodall
     
1984 Caroline
Allen
Michael
Connolly
Alan
Menton
Brendan
Keogh
Colin
Goodall
Sharon
McGrail
Denise
Hyde
 
1985
- 86
Caroline
Allen
Pat
Coldrick
Alan
Menton
Brendan
Keogh
Michael
Connolly
Sharon
McGrail
Denise
Hyde
 
The band was off the road for at least 10 years until reformed in 1996
1996
**
Gerry
Brown
Paul
Beattie
Connie
Doherty
Michael
McGuinness
Niall
O'Connor
Stephen
Bradley
Noel
Barr
 
Reformed Miami in 2008
2008
 
Des
McAlea
Johnny
Fean
Stephen
Travers
Ray
Millar
Gerry
Brown
Barry
Woods
   
2009
 
Des
McAlea
Alan
McCartney
Stephen
Travers
Ray
Millar
Gerry
Brown
Barry
Woods
   
2012 Des
McAlea
??? Trevor
Miller
Ray
Millar
Gerry
Brown
Barry
Woods
   

* Tony Geraghty, Fran O'Toole and Brian McCoy were killed by terrorists on July 31, 1975
** This lineup was a new band and were launched on Easter Sunday, 1996.

Discography (partial list):

Singles

There's Always Me / Boys (featuring Dickie Rock) - #1 Irish Charts
Pye/Picadilly Records - 7N.35154 - November, 1963
I'm Yours /
Please Don't Drag That String Around (featuring Dickie Rock) - #1 Irish Charts
Pye/Picadilly Records - 7N.36185 - March, 1964
From The Candy Store On The Corner / Twenty Flight Rock (featuring Dickie Rock) - #1 Irish Charts
Pye/Picadilly Records - 7N.35202 - September, 1964
Just for Old Times' Sake / Me Not You (featuring Dickie Rock) - #2 Irish Charts
Pye Records - 7N.15729 - December, 1965
Round and Around / Shake A Little Baby (featuring Dickie Rock) - #2 Irish Charts
Pye Records - 7N.15750 - January, 1965
Every Step of the Way / Rock n' Roll Music (featuring Dickie Rock) -
#1 Irish Charts
Pye Records - 7N.15855 - May, 1965
I Left My Heart in San Francisco / One by One (featuring Dickie Rock) -
#4 Irish Charts
Pye Records - 7N.15891 - August, 1965
Wishing It Was You / Georgie Porgie (featuring Dickie Rock) -
#1 Irish Charts
Pye Records - 7N.15977 - October, 1965

Buck's Polka / O Solo Mio (featuring Clem Quinn) - #8 Irish Charts
Pye Records - 7N.17006 - November, 1966
One Kiss For Old Time's Sake / Someone Told Me (featuring Murty Quinn) -
#3 Irish Charts 
Pye Records - 7N.17028 - January, 1966
Come Back To Stay / Can't Make Up My Mind (featuring Dickie Rock) -
#1 Irish Charts
Pye Records - 7N.17063 - February, 1966
Darling I Love You / Suspicion (featuring Dickie Rock) -
#4 Irish Charts
Pye Records - 7N.17206 - November, 1966
When You Cry / To Whom It Concerns (featuring Dickie Rock) -
#7 Irish Charts
Pye Records - 7N.17253 - January, 1967
There Goes My Everything / Make Believe (featuring Murty Quinn) -
#17 Irish Charts
Pye Records - 7N.17295 - April, 1967
Baby I'm Your Man / Mairzy Doats And Dozy Doats (featuring Dickie Rock) -
#13 Irish Charts
Pye Records - 7N.17316 - May, 1967
Simon Says / Somebody Else Is Taking My Place (featuring Dickie Rock) -
#1 Irish Charts
Pye Records - 7N.17527 - June, 1968
Christmas Time and You / The Little Boy Santa Forgot (featuring Dickie Rock) -
#10 Irish Charts
United Artists Records - UP.2256 - November, 1968
Goody Goody Gumdrops / Then I'll Count Again (featuring Des Lee)
Target Records - 7N.17790 - May, 1969
The Wanderer / Uncle Tristian's Moonship (featuring Dickie Rock)
Target Records - 7N.17806 - 1969
Jack and Jill / Rectify (featuring Des Lee)
Target Records - 7N.17836 - November, 1969
Emily / Waterfall (featuring Dickie Rock)
- #12 Irish Charts
United Artists Records - UP.3507 - April, 1969
Burning Bridges / Run To The Clown (featuring Dickie Rock)
Pye Records - 7N.45014 - 1970
When My Train Comes In / Day by Day (featuring Dickie Rock) - #15 Irish Charts
Pye Records - 7N.17966 - July, 1970
My Heart Keeps Telling Me / We Did It Together (featuring Dickie Rock)
Pye Records - 7N.45062 - May, 1971
Cathedral In The Pines / Go (featuring Dickie Rock) - #15 Irish Charts
Pye Records - 7N.60005 - October, 1971
Shake A Hand / Pledge of Love (featuring Fran O'Toole)
Pye Records - 7N.60007 - November, 1971
Till Mini Monster EP / Just For Old Times Sake / Georgie Porgie / The Candy Store (featuring Dickie Rock) - #9 Irish Charts
Pye Records - PMM.601 - January, 1972
Loci Porti (Crazy for You) / Writing On The Wall (featuring Fran O'Toole) - #19 Irish Charts
Pye Records - 7N.60019 - July, 1972
Lollipops, Lace and Lipstick / When You Cry (featuring Dickie Rock)
Pye Records - 7N.60024 - September, 1972
Lot 109 / Teardrop on Teardrop (featuring Dickie Rock)
Pye Records - 7N.45137 - 1972
Captain Zero / Bye Bye (featuring Fran O'Toole)
Pye Records - 7N.600025 - March, 1973
That's A Woman / Is Anybody Goin' To San Antone (featuring Billy Mac)
Solo Records - SOLO 113 - June, 1973
There Won't Be Anymore / It Never Rains In Southern California (featuring Brian McCoy)
Emerald Records - MD 1177 - July, 1974
Clap Your Hands, Stomp Your Feet / Drift Away (featuring Fran O'Toole) - #8 Irish Charts
Emerald Records - MD 1179 - October, 1974
Lend A Hand / (featuring Fran O'Toole)
Emerald Records - Unknown - May, 1975

Love Is - Tell Me Again (featuring Fran O'Toole - released posthumously)
- #3 Irish Charts
Mint Records - CHEW 1 - September, 1975
Hold On To Love / Angel of Love (featuring Des Lee)
Mint Records - CHEW 14 - August, 1976
Out There Singing / Can't You Understand (featuring Fran O'Toole - released posthumously)
Mint Records - CHEW 17 - June, 1977
Don't Put the Boy Down / (featuring Dessie O'Flaherty)
Mint Records - CHEW 22 - 1978
I Like It Like That / My Life Is Rock n' Roll 
- #10 Irish Charts
Mint Records - CHEW 23 - August, 1978
Too Much Is Going On / Miami Melody (featuring Peter Eades)
Mint Records - CHEW 28 - May, 1979)
Reelin' and Rockin' / Suzie / Clap Your Hands, Stomp Your Feet
Mint Records - CHEW 31 - Late 1979
Words and Music / Save The Last Dance For Me (featuring Charlie Chapman)
Mint Records - CHEW 43 - 1980
King of Hearts, Queen of Spades / Part 2 (featuring Anto Long)
Ritz Records - RITZ 011 - 1981
Money Is The Root of All Evil / Sitting Here All Alone To-Night
Crashed Records - CAR 10 - April, 1981
A+B+C / Don't Let It Get Under Your Skin
Crashed Records - CAR 64 - 1984
You Are Temptation / Your Are Temptation - #20 Irish Charts
Dolphin Records - February, 1986

Albums

The Miami All-Stars on
Marble Arch  - MAL 700 - 1967
Ten Of The Best
Marble Arch Records - MAL 750 - 1967
The Wind Will Change Tomorrow 
PYE Golden Guinea  - GGL 0452  - 1970
Dickie Rock & The Miami Showband
Hallmark Records - HMA 233 - 1972
Miami Country
Emerald Records - GES 1126 - 1973


Audio Clips

 
Simple Simon Says Just For Old Times Sake Angel of Love King of Hearts Coming Soon

Where Are They Now?   (Coming Soon-incomplete)

Jimmy Harte: After leaving the Miami, Jimmy stayed close to home and joined the Jack Flahive Orchestra. A few years later he moved on to the Arrans Showband finally ended up living in Tuam and playing with the Johnny Flynn Showband before emigrating to Australia. Jimmy emailed us in 2006 to tell us he is now living in Perth Australia (he emigrated there in 1986) where he is still playing and singing. He has toured extensively in Asia and South Africa since leaving Ireland and released a CD of original songs in 2006 as well. He had a band there for 15 years which finished 7 years ago. He now plays solo using backing tracks and recently celebrated his 70th birthday.
Tony Harris: We think Tony went on to join Maisie McDaniel's Fendermen in the early sixties. If you know more, please let us know.
Murty Quinn: Murty left the Miami (and took most of the band along) in 1967 to form The Sands Showband. The Sands recruited Tony Kenny for lead vocals and enjoyed a very successful run in the late 60's and early 70's rivaling the popularity of the Miami in many venues. However, Murty left the band in 1973 and they eventually faded away. Although we know Murty is still in Ireland and continued working in the music business, we are unsure whether he is still playing. If you know more, please let us know.
Clem Quinn: RIP Coming soon
Tony Bogan: We received an email from Tony's nephew, Des Fitzgerald, to tell us Tony and Margaret emigrated to Canada a few years ago to be closer to their daughter who lives there. He was actively playing in the Dublin area up until then playing weekly in Jury's and Sak's. He was also playing with Martin Phelan's band, Martin's daughter Emma wrote to tell us recently. 
Joe Tyrell: If you know more, please let us know.
Martin Phelan: RIP Des Hickey had written to tell us that Martin had a five piece band in Dublin doing mostly weddings and corporate gigs. His son, Tagart was on keyboards, daughter Leanne sang and the band's guitarist was Brian Harris (ex-Creatures). On drums was Martin Branigan who played with many bands. From time to time, Des sat in on guitar when Brian was away. Martin's daughter Emma, recently wrote to say Tony Bogan was on drums before emigrating a few years ago. She also told us Martin was living in Dundrum. After leaving the Sands, Martin also went into the hotel business, purchasing a hotel in Dalkey. Sadly, Martin passed away on the 17th July, 2010.   
Tommy O'Rourke: If you know more, please let us know.
Dickie Rock: What can be said or written about Dickie that hasn't already been done? After leaving the Miami in 1972, Dickie first played the ballrooms with his own Dickie's Band before moving into the cabaret scene. Although he never enjoyed the chart dominance of his younger days with the Miami, he continues to pack crowds in where ever he appears and is now one of Ireland's most beloved and most successful entertainers with a career that spans over six decades. 
Denis Murray: Denis left the band to join The Sands along with the others and around 1974/5, he emigrated to the United States' west coast and for a while, he played a residency on the Queen Mary in Long Beach. He later formed an Irish ballad group. He is still in Southern California and works with the Los Angeles Department of Health Services.
Martin Branagan: Martin joined the band replacing Tony Bogan and had previously been with Roly Daniel's Green County. He left the band to join the Big Eight and was replaced by Ray Millar. Des Hickey writes to tell us Martin had been playing with Martin Phelan's band around Dublin doing weddings and corporate gigs. Since Martin's Phelan's passing in 2010, we are unsure what Martin is up to these days.  
Paul Ashford: RIP After leaving the Miami, Paul enjoyed a career as one of Ireland's most creative musical forces. He played with Stepaside with Robbie Brennan in the late 70's, as well as The Furey Brothers and Dave Arthur, Mike Hanrahan from Stockton's Wing, Ronnie Drew and spent two years touring with Jerry Lee Lewis. Paul had numerous song writing credits along with his own records (One In Every Town, Jenny, etc.). He played bass with Paul Brady, Mark Knopfler, Dire Straits, Joe Elliot of Def Leppard, Dolores Keane and Barbara Dickson, as well as numerous sessions. Sadly he passed away January 10, 2011.
Fran O'Toole: RIP After Dickie's departure, Fran eventually stepped into the role as the band's front man. In the early seventies he became increasingly known for his songwriting skills, as well as his vocals and musical abilities. Just as it appeared he was ready to become one of the top stars of the era, he was gun downed in the Miami massacre and his talents were forever lost to the Irish entertainment industry. He died, along with Brian McCoy and Tony Geraghty, on July 31, 1975, only days after the tragic death of showband legend Tom Dunphy.    
Danny Ellis: When Danny left the band, he went to New York to study with the Guru Maharaji Ji. That move lead him on a quest of self discovery that has lasted over 30 years, Danny still plays and writes music and has recently made a CD called This Tenderness which Danny describes as"simply a way for me to express my journey to joy, my longing for more of the same and my gratitude to life..." He then made 800 Voices which recollects his time spent in the Artane Industrial School and has been gaining a lot of notice both here and abroad. You can read more about Danny at www.dannyellis.net. 
Pat McCarthy: Pat stayed with the Miami for a while and left to join the newly formed Dreams and was eventually replaced by Danny Ellis. He has since played with the Jim Tyrell band as well as the Coolgreany Jazz Band and continues to play in jazz bands around the Dublin area. 
Des Lee (McAlea): Des survived the attack on the Miami showband and in late 1975 he reformed the band along with Ray Millar and Stephen Travers. After a couple of years he broke away and formed Starband. Starband did well on the dance circuit and in 1982, Des put together a new version of Starband which may have been also known as the Des Lee Band. The band emigrated to South Africa where Des lived until recently. The photo right is from the 2005 Miami 30 Year reunion Concert held in Dublin. Today Des is singing regularly with the reformed Miami Showband which has been touring Ireland since late 2008. 
Brian McCoy: RIP Brian joined the Miami in 1967 at the same time as Des, Fran and Danny Ellis when Murty Quinn and most of the band's lineup split to form The Sands Showband. Sadly, he was gunned down with Fran and Tony on the night of July 31st, 1975 in one of the worst tragedies in Irish entertainment history.  
Tony Geraghty: RIP Sadly along with Fran O'Toole and Brian McCoy, guitarist Tony perished on July 31, 1975 after terrorists attempted to plant a bomb in their band wagon which exploded prematurely. Tony had replaced the late legendary Clem Quinn on guitar when Dickie Rock left the Miami to form Dickie's Band in 1972.    
Stephen Travers: Although wounded in the Miami massacre, Stephen survived and together with Des Lee and Ray Millar, reformed the Miami in late 1975. In 1978, he went with Des and Ray again, but this time to form Starband with Adrian Mullin of Chips and Aoughus McNally. His time with the new band was short lived though as in 1980, he left to The Crack, a four piece rock/pop outfit. In 1996, Steven met up (again) with Johnny Fean of Horslips in London and they had been playing together until a few years ago. We understand Steven spends a lot of time in Florida these days, as well as touring with the reformed Miami Showband since late 2008.  
Ray Millar: After leaving the Miami, Ray went with Stephen and Des to form Starband. We have read online that he runs a major recycling company in Northern Ireland. In 2008, Ray joined up with former band mates Steve Travers and Des Lee in the reformed Miami Showband which was put together by Gerry Brown. The band is still on the road today and Ray is still in the lineup, which has undergone some change in the last few years. .
Des Flaherty:  If you know more, please let us know.
Norman Clifford: John O'Regan writes to tell us that Norman was with the Miami prior to the Big Eight. Our thanks to Ray Clifford for the updated photos of Norman. Ray tells us in an email in early 2011 that Norman's first Band was the Imperial Imps, he joined them when he was only 14 years old.  He then joined forces with Anne Mooney and Paul Hallion and formed Lola and the Gypsies. Later on he joined the reformed Miami Showband before moving on to the Big 8 Showband. Norman still lives and works in Las Vegas, these days as a soloist he performs in the various casinos in Vegas, then in season he perform on the Cruise Ship " Voyager of the Sea's " for Royal Caribbean.
Ray Clifford: We received an email from Lynda Clifford telling us that after leaving the Miami, Ray joined Stage Two. As the showband scene faded, he moved to cabaret and played with Johnny Christopher and Benny Kindillen. Eventually Ray went to Canada with Mick Dunne, but after six months returned to Ireland working the cabaret scene. After stints with the Pierce Butler band and Earl Gill band, he is now the musical director for Sonny Knowles and plays with his own band around Dublin called Charm. Our thanks to Lynda for the info.
Anthony "Anto" Long: After leaving the Miami he joined the Sands for a spell. Anto teamed up with Rob Strong, Kelley and Las Vegas before heading off with a band he formed to tour Mexico. After a stint there, he returned to Ireland and got back with Kelley in her band Klass and then on to Laurie Hartz' Band. Finally, he rejoined the Miami which eventually left Ireland to tour Mexico as the Europa Show. After a year, the band split but Anto remained in Mexico where he has been for the past 20 years. In 2003 he "retired" from live performing, although he still plays occasionally, but works full time in the tourism industry in Mexico. 
Raphaelle Ward: We know she was also in Cathal Dunne's band, Stateside in the mid seventies, but have no idea what happened to Raphaelle. If you know more, please let us know.
Charlie Chapman:  We received an email from Magarita Mendez in January, 2014 telling Charlie is living in Spain these days and still playing. If you know more, please let us know.
Peter Eades: After leaving the band, Peter joined Jump The Gun which included Roy Taylor (Nevada) and Miami band mate, Brian O'Reilly. He focused on songwriting and wrote the band's 1988 Eurovision entry, Take Him Home. In the 1990's he became well-known in Irish music circles as a composer and producer. As the director and sound engineer in one of Dublin's top recording studios, Peter has worked with some of Ireland's most popular recording acts.
P.J. Coyne: If you know more, please let us know.
Paul Duffy: After leaving the Miami, Paul, of Donegal, did a six year stint as a vocalist and saxophone player with the band The Commitments, who in 1991 had their history immortalized by Alan Parker’s movie of the same name. He then emigrated to the Florida and now has his own pub, The Irish Rover in the Sarasota area. His CD, Dublin, features all original music and his more recent release entitled Ride On features several Irish pop tunes. He also competed against band mate Peter Eades in the 1988 Irish Song Contest and placed third.
Caroline Allen: Gerry Brown writes to tell us that as of April, 2009 Caroline is married, has one child and is living in Wicklow. She also works as a DJ in the local bars and clubs. If you know more, please let us know.
Alan Menton:  Alan currently plays around in Ireland with his own band, Jewel.- www.jewel.ie
Gerry Brown:  Gerry has traveled the world as musical director for his famous sister, Dana, who was Ireland's first Eurovision winner in 1970. He brought the Miami back in the 1990's after buying the name. In 2008, Gerry brought the band together once again with former members Steve Travers, Ray Millar and Des Lee touring Ireland since the Fall of 2008. The band also included former member of the Plattermen, Alan McCartney.
Michael Connolly:  If you know more, please let us know.
Liam Slattery:  If you know more, please let us know.
Brian O'Reilly:  If you know more, please let us know.
Brendan Keogh:  If you know more, please let us know.
Colin Goodall:  If you know more, please let us know.
Mick McAvenue:  If you know more, please let us know.

Sharon McGrail: Sharon recently emailed us (Dec, 2011) to let us know that "after leaving the band I went on to front another band called Casablanca and we worked all over Ireland for about a year in 1986. Then I got a "real job" until 1997 when I started singing again and fronted a pop covers band called Savannah, a 3 piece with Damien Christie (Skerries)  on guitar, keyboards and vocals and Alan Brodington (Drogheda) on bass guitar. We were together for 4 years until I left." Sharon is the daughter of Steve McGrail who managed the Gaydons and also booked showbands playing the English "Irish" circuit. Sadly Steve passed away in October, 2010. Our thanks to Sharon for the update.    

Denise Hyde:  If you know more, please let us know.

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© 2002-2014 GMS Productions

In Loving Memory of Grant Gallagher: Sept. 21, 1990 - Nov. 18, 2006