Alma Carroll Feature (Active
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Where Are They Now?
Alma started her career at the tender age of 15 in 1965 doing solo
cabaret spots around Dublin during her summer holidays. In 1967, she
appeared alongside Bing Crosby as part of his Irish TV special
filmed in Dublin. She was singing with the "Young Dublin Singers."
This performance was made available in 2006 on a DVD of the show.
Also on the bill that night were Dermot O'Brien's Clubmen, Milo
O'Shea, The Ludlows and Siobhan McKenna...nice company for the 17
year old girl. Additionally, in 1967
Alma was given her own radio series on RTE and was the host of the
showband series, "Go 2."
In 1968, she sang Give Me All Your Love, in the Irish
National Song Contest which placed a respectable fourth in the
contest. The song was released by EMI as a single, but it did not
make an impression on the Irish charts. In fact, Alma never had a
solo single reach the Irish Charts. Later the same year, she
appeared on RTE's "Top of the Night" series alongside the Dubliners.
Despite a lack of record success,
Alma's star continued to climb and she was soon a regular on RTE
Television. In 1969, she appeared with Tony Kenny on RTE's series
"Steady as She Go-Goes." An article in the March 13, 1970 issue of
Spotlight reported that Alma was married to Gerry McGuinness
and had recorded another Eurovision entry, "Things You Hear About
Me" written by Des Smyth and Jim Doherty. She had delayed releasing
the single as she was expecting a baby. The song was consequently
also covered by Maxi, Dick and Twink who finished second in the
Irish National Song Contest with the song. Alma released her version
after the contest, but it failed to chart. Also in 1970, Alma
continued to do well on TV, being featuring on the BBC in Britain as
well as being featured on RTE's series "Girls" in June.
Throughout the early 70's, Alma
continued to enjoy success on TV and in cabaret. In 1973 she
released two singles, "Day By Day" from the musical Godspell
and "Kiss Me." She appeared on the very popular RTE series, "The
Likes of Mike" starring Mike Murphy and in Britain, she appeared on
the ITV show, "Lift Off."
Although a solo hit record eluded Alma, she was part of the
Swarbriggs Plus Two (along with Nicola Kerr) on the record, It's
Nice To Be In Love Again which made number one in the Irish Charts
and represented Ireland in Eurovision in 1977. The song finished
third, giving Ireland its only Top 3 finish since Dana's winning
entry in 1970.
In 1973, Alma tried her hand at
the National Song Contest again, this time singing the entry,
Isn't It Grand. She place a very respectable 2nd behind Maxi's
hit, Do I Dream (the same Maxi from Maxi, Dick and Twink that
had sung Alma's entry several years earlier). This would be her
final shot at Eurovision.
At this point, we do not know
(or if) Alma gave up performing. The last reference to her making a
record was in 1982 when she released "Only A Fool Would Stay." Prior
to that in late 1981 she was still singing in cabaret spots around
Dublin. Today, she is married to Penney's founder,
Arthur Ryan and serves as a Director of UNICEF in Ireland.
More to come.....
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