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Swingtime Aces Showband (1957-1972)

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

The Story

The first mention of the Swingtime Aces we have found was an advert in the Connaught Tribune from October 20th, 1957 announcing the first visit of "John Moore, Claregalway, and his Swingtime Aces." A month later they were back in the same hall and this time featuring "Jeff Vines and his trumpet." For the next few months, the band was playing local dances but all within a few miles of Claregalway in places like Cortoon and Corrandulla. By May of 1958, they had started to spread their wings playing the Savoy Ballroom in Claremorris, Co. Mayo and the Classic Ballroom in  Gort, Co. Clare. By the end of 1958, they were now featuring Derek Kennedy, vocalist.

By May, 1959 the band was being advertised a a "ten piece band," but had still not been able to break much outside of the far west of the country. This was a little strange as all the photos we have of them show a line-up of 6-7 members with only one showing 8 members. As far as we can tell, the band made its Dublin debut in the Top Hat, Dun Laoghaire on "guest night" in early January, 1960. After this, they started playing regularly in the capitol city. It appears from reports in newspapers that the band turned "professional" around this time (which meant they quit their day jobs to play music full time). During this period the band was always advertised as being from Galway (as opposed to Athenry which would be their official home). 

In January 1964, Jim Gunner and Jackie Flavelle left and joined up with the Dave Glover Showband which had undergone quite a few changes at that time.  It appears Grant Curran was brought in on lead guitar and Billy Carson switched from rhythm to bass guitar. 

In 1966, the band had new line-up with only Jimmy and Derek remaining. This included Norman Payne (vocals), Joe Bernie (sax), Pat Hoye (bass), Mick Guinnane (trumpet) and Bob Madden on guitar. In an interview with the Evening Herald on April 15th, 1967, Jim Reilly said the band were planning to release their first record, but we don't think this ever happened.    

November 1969 - disbanded

Band went off the road in 1972 and four of the lads formed The Works band which continued to play in local pubs and dancehalls.

More to come.....

Photo Gallery

click on thumbnails for full image

 
Swingtime Aces - 1957 Swingtime Aces - 1957 Swingtime Aces - 1959 Swingtime Aces - 1960 Swingtime Aces
Swingtime Aces (JB) Swingtime Aces (JB) Swingtime Aces -62 (JB) Swingtime Aces (RF) Swingtime Aces (RF)
Swingtime Aces (RF) Swingtime Aces (RF) Swingtime Aces (RF) Swingtime Aces Swingtime Aces - 2007
         
Swingtime Aces Swingtime Aces Swingtime Aces Swingtime Aces Swingtime Aces
Years Vocals Keys/Vocals Guitar Bass Drums Sax Sax/Trumpet Trombone
1957 Derek
Kennedy
John
Moore
Joe
Dolan
Jim
Ruane
Jim
Reilly
Sean
Glynn
Jeff
Vines
 
Jan
1959
Derek
Kennedy
Martin
Connelly
Joe
Dolan
Jim
Ruane
Jim
Reilly
Sean
Glynn
Billy
Kelly
Pete (Acc)
Coyne
Apr
1961
Derek
Kennedy
Martin
Connelly
Joe
Dolan
Jim
Ruane
Jim
Reilly
Sean
Glynn
Billy
Kelly
Tommy
Hynes
  Derek
Kennedy
  Frank
Hogan?
Jim
Ruane
Jimmy
Reilly
Tommy
Fitzpatrick?
Billy
Kelly
Tommy
Hynes
June
1961
Derek
Kennedy
  Jim
Gunner
Jim
Ruane
Jim
Reilly
Joe
McIntyre
Billy
Kelly
Jimmy
Halferty
  Derek
Kennedy
  Jim
Gunner
Jim
Ruane
Jim
Reilly
Joe
McIntyre
Billy
Curtin (sax)
Joe (gtr)
Dolan
Mar
1963
Derek
Kennedy
Noel
Kingston
Jim
Gunner
Jim
Ruane
Jim
Reilly
Joe
McIntyre
Billy
Curtin (sax)
 
Aug
1963
Derek
Kennedy
Billy (Gtr)
Carson
Jim
Gunner
Jack
Flavelle
Jimmy
Reilly
Joe
McIntyre
Billy
Curtin (sax)
 
Jan
1964
Derek
Kennedy
  Grant
Curran
Billy
Carson
Jimmy
Reilly
Nick
McEvoy
Billy
Curtin (sax)
 
May
1966
Derek
Kennedy
Norman
Payne
Bob
Madden
Patrick
Hoye
Jimmy
Reilly
Joe
Bernie
Mick
Guinnane
 
Aug
1968
Derek
Kennedy
Shay
Higgins
Frank
Donohoe
Chas
Taylor
Jim
Reilly
  Gary
O'Dowd
 
1969 Derek
Kennedy
Shay
Higgins
Frank
Donohoe
Chas
Taylor
Jim
Reilly
Patsy
Carroll
Gary
O'Dowd
 
  Derek
Kennedy
  Frank
Donohoe
Chas
Taylor
Jim
Reilly
Francie
Higgins
Gary
O'Dowd
 
1972 Derek
Kennedy
Gerry
Gannon
Frank
Donohoe
Chas
Taylor
Jimmy
Reilly
Francie
Higgins
   
???? Pat
O'Brien
  Member we cannot place in the timeline      

Discography

Never released a record

Audio Clips

         
Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon

Coming Soon

Where Are They Now?  

Derek Kennedy: After the end of the band, Derek formed a group, The Works and played locally\y for many years. In 2012, he brought out his first and only CD "Memories of the Swingtime Aces" almost 54 years after he first stepped on stage with the band. He still lives in Athenry with his wife of over 50 years as of January 2018. 
John Moore: Please email us if you know anything.
Joe Dolan - RIP: Sadly passed away in January, 2008.
Jim Ruane: Please email us if you know anything.
Jim Reilly: Please email us if you know anything.
Sean Glynn: Please email us if you know anything.
Jeff Vines:Please email us if you know anything.
Martin Connelly: Please email us if you know anything.
Billy Kelly - RIP:
Pete Coyne: Please email us if you know anything.
Tommy Hynes: Please email us if you know anything.
Frank Hogan:Please email us if you know anything.
Tommy Fitzpatrick: Please email us if you know anything.
Jim Halferty: Please email us if you know anything.
Billy Curtin - RIP: Sadly passed away in January 2012.
Jim Gunner (aka George Hesse) - RIP:
Noel Kingston: Please email us if you know anything.
Billy Carson - RIP: Billy sadly passed away in September, 2002.
Jackie Flavelle: Please email us if you know anything.
Grant Curran: Please email us if you know anything.
Nick McEvoy: Please email us if you know anything.
Norman Payne: As far as we know Norman emigrated to the United States shortly after leaving the band and we think he is still there. Please email us if you know anything more.
Pat Hoye: Pat left the band to join the Drifters in August 1968. He would play with Joe Dolan until he went to Boston in 1974 to pursue a degree at Berkelee College of Music, and graduated in 1977. He then returned to Ireland and played with the Peter Law Band, and again played with Joe Dolan for another eight years. Pat returned again to Boston, and after two years of solo playing, started Brogue as a duo, but expanded to a 4 piece high energy rock band in 2005. They are still on the road today (January 2018).
Bob Madden: Please email us if you know anything.
Joe Bernie: Joe would play with the Magic Band, based in 1974 for several years before he retired from life on the road and managed Star Records in Galway during the 1980's. He still plays regularly around Galway with the Black Magic Band among others. Please email us if you know anything more.
Mick Guinnane: Please email us if you know anything.
Shea Higgins: Please email us if you know anything.
Frank Donohue - RIP: Frank sadly passed away in September, 2006
Chas Taylor: Please email us if you know anything.
Gary O'Dowd:Please email us if you know anything.
Patsy Carroll: Please email us if you know anything.
Francie Higgins:Please email us if you know anything.
Gerry Gannon: Please email us if you know anything.

 


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