The largest digital showband archive in the world!
Based In Sligo, Ireland / email: showbands@gmsproductions.com

CLICK FOR:     FREE FORUM        HOME PAGE        GUESTBOOK      MAKE A DONATION

Dave Glover Orchestra / Showband (1952-1970)

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

The Story

Dave Glover once claimed credit for coining the term "showband" even though the Clipper Carlton are generally regarded as the band that first popularized this uniquely Irish form of entertainment. Validating his claim is difficult as the first mention we can find of the Dave Glover Showband was in December, 1956.

One way or another, Dave's story starts with his birth in 1925 in a fire station in Ardoyne, youngest of four children. All his brothers played instruments: Ollie (tenor sax), John (trombone) and Sam (tenor sax) played with Dave on his trumpet and his mother on piano.

Growing up in Belfast, he and his brothers played with the Belfast Military band. When he was in his early teens he joined the Whitehurst Silver Band, a local marching band. A few of the lads got together and formed a group that played in the local pubs. He first took a job as a fitter in the Short and Harlands shipyards and learned a trade, before setting off for a career in music. In 1945, he played trumpet for the summer in the Queens Ballroom and in 1946 he was in Milanos Ballroom with Jimmy Montague. In 1947, he turned 21 and started his professional career as the trumpet player with the Bob Robinson Orchestra which was the resident band in the Floral Hall in Belfast for 7-10 schillings a week.

However, in 1948 he left the orchestra and formed a four piece group which played functions and dinner dances in Belfast. Dave took the big plunge in late 1952 when he formed his own 14 piece orchestra and was they were listed in adverts for the band as the "resident band in the Midland Hotel in Belfast."

In the summer of 1953, Dave and his Orchestra became the summer resident band in the newly built Arcadia ballroom in Portrush. This was a relationship he would maintain for over a decade, performing there as the resident band every summer. In 1956, Dave added a 20 minute "show" to the act and changed the name of the band to the Dave Glover Showband, the first band to use the term in their name. In a 1989 BBC interview Dave admitted he got the idea from the Clipper Carlton and that the term, "showband" term grew out of "Crazy Night" in which he let the band smoke and drink on stage, as long as they dressed up and were willing to do a skit or two. From that came the idea of the cabaret "show" in the middle of the dance. The first actual instance in an advert of "Dave Glover Showband" we can find was in December, 1956.

Interestingly enough, Dave talked about the conditions that helped lead to the downfall of the showbands. In the early days, bands played the full four hours from 9 to 1 am (or with Long Dances from 9 until 3 a.m.). As bands became more successful, Dave feels they became lazy and started to substitute an inferior relief band for the band's first two hours. (Editor's note: Of course, in later years, even the relief bands would be replaced by discos!)   

The original Dave Glover Showband included Dave (trumpet), Gerry Rice (sax), Andy Wilson (trombone), Joe Clarke (vocals), Alex Burns (guitar), Jackie Flavelle (bass), Davy Martin (drums) and Harry Mitchell (keyboards). The band would play the summer seasons in Portrush and spend the rest of the year touring the ballrooms of Ireland. Harry Hamilton joined the band on bass in 1961 when he swapped jobs with Jackie Flavelle, Jackie going to Johnny Quigley's band.

Strangely enough, the band split in 1963, just as the showband era was in full swing. Everyone but drummer Davy Martin left and formed the Witnesses Showband, who recruited George Mullen on trumpet to replace Dave. The Witnesses would go on to their own fame and fortune, touring extensively outside Ireland and gaining a reputation for one of Ireland's most musical bands. Dave recruited a new lineup which included Gough Glenn (clarinet), Charlie Walker (bass), Jim Armstrong (trombone), Tommy Duffy (guitar and vocals), Jim Carson (guitar) and Bobby Wright (vocals).

The new lineup clicked with the dancing public and really took off. They were one of the first to feature both a male and female lead vocalist which gave them great range when covering the hits of the day. Throughout the 1960's the band continued to be one of the major draws across the country and toured extensively in England, playing the Irish clubs abroad. In April, 1965, Muriel Day (real name Galway) joined the band as she had married Dave about a year earlier. Muriel had been singing in England and sang a song in the film, "Billy Liar" before returning home to Ireland to marry Dave. She was an instant hit with fans.

In 1966 George Jones, former bandmate of Van Morrison in the Monarchs Showband, joined on bass guitar. In early 1967, Mike Mullen (stage name Munro and son of Dublin Labour TD, Michael Mullen) joined the band to handle male vocals, replacing (we think) Jim McManus. The band undertook their second tour in the United States, playing for three weeks across the northeast and Canada.

In April 1968, soon to be Plattermen member, Simon Scott joined the band as lead vocalist along with Muriel Day when M<ike Munro left to join the Chessmen. The next chapter in the band's history is a little difficult to decipher. Apparently before the ink could dry on new photos of the band featuring Simon Scott they disbanded. It appears that in July, 1968, the band broke up with Simon Scott going to the Plattermen. Jim Gunner joining the Clipper Carlton and Dave and Muriel went into cabaret (this reported in the March 8, 1969 issue of Spotlight). However, in early 1969, Muriel was selected to represent Ireland in the Eurovision song contest, a major break for the her. She sang "Wages of Love" and headed off to Madrid for Eurovision finishing a respectable 7th place.

A report in the Anglo Celt in September reported that due to Muriel's success, Dave Glover was putting another band on the road following her win. Dave had said that he thought it was a great opportunity to put Muriel out front and would allow him to manage the band. In Spotlight magazine in September, 1969, an advert announced Dave Glover was "back" with Muriel Day and Billy Joe as lead singers. Then band would be managed by Peter Dempsey of the Tom Costello Organisation. The line-up include returning members, Jim Gunner (who had just previously been with the Old Cross Bandshow), Johnny Anderson, Muriel and Dave. the newcomers were Billy Joe (vocals), Adrian Mullen (keyboards - who would eventually join Chips), Eddie McCann (bass) and Joe Trainor (drums). The band hit the road in October.

In 1970, things were really happening for Muriel. An article in the March 27th issue of Spotlight reported that Muriel had done an hour long special on BBC and that she had been booked for a series of shows that would take her to all the big towns of the six counties in the North. The series was slated to air beginning April 8, 1970. She was also featured a few weeks later on the first episode of the RTE series Girls, Girls, Girls. In October the band parted company with manager Dempsey. 

The end of the band came shortly thereafter. In early 1971 Muriel and Dave split up and it is a little difficult to tell what happened. One version is that the band went off to tour Canada and in the end, Muriel and Dave split up with Muriel staying and Dave returning home and the band went off the road. Muriel would stay in Canada for a long time and eventually work in a medical office doing laser procedures. The other version is that Muriel left Dave and the band and headed off to Canada where she formed a band called the Knights and would end up not returning to Ireland for many years. Dave continued on the road with band, but moved into cabaret around Belfast. We will research which story is correct.                

Dave continued to play music well into his 80's with his own jazz band. On the 27th of April, 2009, Dave (aged 85) sadly passed away in Belfast bringing to an end one of the most colourful careers of the showband era.

Photo Gallery

click on thumbnails for full image

Dave Glover - 1953 Dave Glover - 1965 Dave Glover - 1965 Dave Glover - 1967 Dave Glover - 1968
Dave Glover Dave Glover - 1965 (BS) Dave Glover (BS) Dave Glover 1968 (PB) Dave Glover (JB)
Dave Glover (LR) Dave Glover - 1963 (MN)

Muriel Day in 1967

Mike Munro - 1967

Dave Glover Band-1968
Dave Glover Band

Muriel & Billy Joe-1969

Muriel Day in 1969

Muriel Day in 1970

Muriel Day in 1969

Muriel Day in 1969

Muriel Day in 1969

Muriel Day in 1970

Muriel Day in 1969

Muriel Day in 1969

Dave Glover (RF) Dave Glover (RF) Dave Glover (RF) Dave Glover (RF) Dave Glover (RF)
Muriel Day (RF) Dave Glover (RF) Muriel Day (RF) Dave Glover (RF) Dave Glover (RF)
Dave Glover (RF) Dave Glover (RF) Dave Glover (RF) Dave Glover (RF) Dave Glover (RF)
 
Simon Scott (RF) Dave Glover (PL) Dave Glover (PL) Dave Glover - 1969

Coming Soon

Years Vocals Guitar Bass Drums Key/Vocals Trumpet Sax/Clarinet Trombone
1952 Joe
Clarke
Alex
Burns
Jackie
Flavelle
Davy
Martin
Harry
Mitchell
Dave
Glover
Gerry
Rice
Andy
Wilson
1956 Oliver
Harcourt
Alex
Burns
Jackie
Flavelle
Davy
Martin
Harry
Mitchell
Dave
Glover
Gerry
Rice
Andy
Wilson
1959 Ricky
Parkes
Alex
Burns
Jackie
Flavelle
Davy
Martin
Harry
Mitchell
Dave
Glover
Gerry
Rice
Andy
Wilson
1961 Ricky
Parkes
Alex
Burns
Harry "Trixie"
Hamilton
Davy
Martin
Harry
Mitchell
Dave
Glover
Gerry
Rice
Andy
Wilson
1963 Bobby
Wright
Jim "Kit"
Carson
Charlie
Walker
Davy
Martin
Tommy
Duffy
Dave
Glover
Gough
Glenn
Jim
Armstrong
April
1965
Muriel
Day
Jim
Gunner
Jackie
Flavelle
Dessie
McCarthy
Jim (vocals)
McManus
Dave
Glover
Jim
McDermott
Johnny
Anderson
1966 Muriel
Day
Jim
Gunner
George
Jones
Dessie
McCarthy
Jim (vocals)
McManus
Dave
Glover
Jim
McDermott
Johnny
Anderson
Feb
1967
Muriel
Day
Jim
Gunner
George
Jones
Dessie
McCarthy
Mike (vcls)
Monroe
Dave
Glover
Jim
McDermott
Johnny
Anderson
April
1968
Muriel
Day
Jim
Gunner
George
Jones
Dessie
McCarthy
Simon
Scott (vcls)
Dave
Glover
Jim
McDermott
Johnny
Anderson
DAVE AND MURIEL MOVE INTO CABERET FOR 18 MONTHS
1969 Muriel
Day
Jim
Gunner
Eddie
McCann
Joe
Trainor
Adrian
Mullen
Dave
Glover
Billy
Joe (vocals)
Johnny
Anderson
                 

Discography

Pedal From A Faded Rose / I Wear His Heart
Pye Records - 7N.17197 - 1966
Wages of Love / Thinking of You (Eurovision Entry) -
#1 Irish Charts
Dolphin Records - DOS 28 - March 1969
Optimistic Fool / Nine Times Out of Ten
Page One Records - POF 151 - July, 1969

Audio Clips

   
Like A Pedal From A Faded Rose - 1966 Wages Of Love - 1969 9 Times Out of 10 - 1969 Coming Soon Coming Soon

Where Are They Now?  

Dave Glover - RIP: As a boy of 14, Dave sang in the choir at Whitehouse Parish Church and dreamed of music as a career. But his mother insisted on a trade he and his brothers set up Roundwood Engineering which flourished for years in the city before the family sold out. Eventually, Dave did move into music and became of of the era's best loved characters. His second wife, Muriel Day, became a household name in 1969 when she came fourth in the Eurovision Song Contest with Wages Of Love. Teddie Palmer told us that Dave was playing regularly with his jazz band up until the year before his death. Claiming to be the first to use the word, "showband," to describe their band, Dave sadly passed away April 27, 2009.
Alex Burns:  If you know more, please let us know.
Joe Clarke - RIP:  We understand Joe sadly passed away. If you know more, please let us know.
Harry "Trixie" Hamilton:
Davy Martin:  If you know more, please let us know.
Harry Mitchell:  If you know more, please let us know.
Gerry Rice:  If you know more, please let us know.
Andy Wilson:  If you know more, please let us know.
Muriel Day: In December, 2013, we received an email telling us Muriel has released a new country single in Ireland. Her new manager, Malcolm McDowell, told us she has been the landlady of a busy gastro-pub, sold real estate in Canada and even set up a laser therapy clinic. She is now back doing what she loves best, singing and is looking forward to a 32 county tour of Ireland in 2014. Her new country CD is on the way as well. In early 2015 Muriel was once again a featured performer on the David Hull Promotions concert series, "Do You Come Here Often." 
Jim Gunner - RIP:  Sadly, Jim has passed away. If you know more, please let us know.
George Jones:  After a successful showband career, George first broke into radio came with a Sunday slot on Downtown Radio. He went on to work for the BBC, appearing mostly on radio. He had his own show, Just Jones, for BBC Radio Ulster, which won him a Sony Radio Academy Award for best local radio presenter. In June 2006, George moved to Sunday mornings on U105 and as of 22 January 2007 he presented his own show on the same station from Mondays to Fridays from 3 to 6p.m. However he then presented the Sunday night show on U105, Sunday Sizzler, 6pm to 9pm, until early 2012. He remains one of the era's most popular entertainers and a regular on the David Hull "Do You Come Here Often" concert series. 
Dessie McCarthy:  If you know more, please let us know.
Simon Scott - RIP (aka Ivan Vaughn ): Simon went on to sing with the Plattermen and then the Apaches as Big Chief in the late 70's. More recently, he was singing around the North as a one man band but was tragically killed in flooding during Storm Desmond on Dec 7, 2015.
Jim McDermott:  If you know more, please let us know.
Johnny Anderson:  If you know more, please let us know.
  Band Member:

 

Back

 


2002-2017 GMS Productions

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