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Art Supple and the Victors Feature (1963-1973)

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

The Story

The Victors came together in the Spring of 1963 and the original lineup was Len McCarthy (sax), Chris St. Ledger (sax-whoi came from a stint with the Derek Joys Showband), Tony Erangey (drums), John Sweeney (bass), and Wolfgang Nordt (guitar), but the band needed a lead vocalist. Murt Lucey, owner of the famous Redbarn Ballroom in Youghal, suggested the lead singer with his relief group, a young lad named Art Supple. Art fit in perfectly with the band and they took the stage for the first time in June at the Highfield Rugby Club.

For most of 1963, they generally played in and around Cork, rarely venturing from from home, but they were gaining a reputation as a good outfit. On July 29th, 1963 they played support to worldwide star Chubby Checker when he visited the Redbarn in Youghal. By September, they had played in the Olympic Ballroom in Dublin and started to extend their circuit beyond the southern counties of Munster.

We found a small article in the Munster Express from January 1964, which reported that Michael Cleere had left the Savoy Showband to turn professional with the Victors on lead guitar. In April, 1964 in was announced in the Evening Herald that Terry Logue had taken over managing the band.

In November of 1964, one of Ireland's top vocalists, Pat McGeegan announced he was joining the Victors and around this same time Mickey Brennan joined on trombone). Pat had made quite a name for himself with his own band, The Big Four, in the early 1960's. The move gave the band a new lease on life and, in fact, helped Art Supple develop more as an entertainer as he wasn't having to carry the full load of the singing chores. Additionally,. the band release its first single in early 1965 which featured Pat, but followed it up with a slew of singles during the year featuring alternately Pat and then Art. The first to hit the charts was the band's novelty song, "Showbands On Parade" for which Art mimicked many of the leading singers of the era and it went to number 9 in the Irish Charts giving them their first top ten hit. 

In early 1966, the band announced a unique gimmick as beauty pageants were held in ballrooms across the country and bands were always booked to play at the events. They announced their own search for a beauty who would become Miss Victor. It was announced the contest would run from January 23rd till Sept 17th and four provincial finalists would be named from which Miss Victor would be chosen. The move came amid a noticeable fall off in midweek dancing which had bands scrambling to bring in more patrons. The contest definitely got a lot of free publicity for the band. At some point prior to this the manager also change managers to Hugh Hardy.   

In April, 1966 singer Pat McGeegan left the band to join the Skyrockets of Enniskillen and although it was rumoured he was returning to the band in mid 1967, he elected to stay with the Skyrockets. At the same time they added Des Smith of the Collegemen and ex-Nevada accordionist, Pat Neary. In May of 1967 Chris St Ledger left the band and Art Supple became the leader of the band. Chris left to manage the fortunes of Declan Ryan and the Arrivals. Said Chris at the time, "the Arrivals should have been a nationwide attraction a long time ago."

Pat would not stay long with the Skyrockets, leaving them a few years later and then representing Ireland in Eurovision and then getting back with and leaving the Big Four, all before 1970. In 1969, Noel Carty took over managing the Victors, the third manager of the band's fortunes.

An interview published in the September 6, 1973 issue of Spotlight said Art and the band were going to be touring Europe for the following six months. At that time, Art said the band, "will still be coming back for the Summer months. What we intend doing is spending the Autumns and Winters abroad and playing the Irish scene during the Summer." We know from Art's own site that this did not last long. Less than a year later, an article in Spotlight in July, 1974 reported that Art had return to Ireland and joined the Brendan Shine Superband. We also now know that this was the end of the Victors. The last dance we can find them advertised to play was in July, 1973. 

We received an email from Des Hopkins in which he reported that in March, 1973 the cabaret scene was starting to take off and together with brother Billy Hopkins (Airchords and Royal), Arthur O’Neill (Airchords/Victors) and Jimmy Byrne (Victors) they formed Just Four. This group lasted eleven years with considerable success.

As with many bands, it appear the Victors simply "fell apart." We are not sure about their time in Europe and we are trying to contact Art to find out more.  

Photo Gallery

click on thumbnails for full image

Victors Showband (JD) Victors Showband (PB) Victors Showband (DD)

Art Supple (DD)

Art Supple - 1966 (LR)
Art Supple (KS) Victors Showband The Victors - 1971 (AC)

Art Supple and the Victors - 1972 (DK)

Victors in Toronto (JP)
Victors in 1966 (MB) Victors Art Supple (GF) Art on RTE - 1967

Victors

Art Supple - 1970 Art Supple - 1970 Art Supple - 1969 Art Supple - 1967 Art Supple - 1970
Victors (RF) Victors (RF) Victors (RF) Victors (RF) Victors (RF)
Victors (RF) Victors (RF) Victors (RF) Victors (RF) Victors (RF)
Victors (RF) Victors (RF)

Victors

Victors - 1964

Victors - 1966

   

Victors - 1964

Victors - 1965

Victors - 1966

Coming Soon

Coming Soon

Lineup Changes (May not be complete)
 

Years Vocals Guitar Bass Drums Trmbn/Trmpt Sax Sax/Accrd Trumpet
1963 Art
Supple
Wolfgang
Nordt
John
Sweeney
Tony
Erangey
  Len
McCarthy
Chris
St. Ledger
 
1964 Art
Supple
Michael
Cleere
John
Sweeney
Tony
Erangey
  Len
McCarthy
Chris
St. Ledger
 
Nov
1964
Art
Supple
Michael
Cleere
Pat
McGeegan
Tony
Erangey
Mickey
Brennan
Len
McCarthy
Chris
St. Ledger
 
Mar
1965
Art
Supple
Wolfgang
Nordt
Pat
McGeegan
Tony
Erangey
Mickey
Brennan
Len
McCarthy
Chris
St. Ledger
 
Apr
1966
Art
Supple
Des
Smith
Joe
Prendergast
Tony
Erangey
Mickey
Brennan
Len
McCarthy
Pat
Neary
Jim
Prendergast
1967 Art
Supple
Jim
Prendergast
Joe
Prendergast
Tony
Erangey
Mickey
Brennan
Len
McCarthy
Pat
Neary
 
1971 Art
Supple
Jimmy
Byrne
Martin
Gildea
Des
Hopkins
  Neil
Gildea
Arthur
O'Neill
Alan
Carr (trmpt)
Mar
1973
Art
Supple
  Martin
Gildea
    Neil
Gildea
  Alan
Carr (Trmpt)
                 

Discography


My Heart Sings / A Thousand Clowns (Pat McGeegan)
Decca Records / F.12078 / April, 1965
Remember Me / Till Then My Love (Pat McGeegan)
Rex Records / R.11007 / June, 1965
Showbands on Parade / If She Asks (Art Supple)
- #9 Irish Charts
Rex Records / R.11008 / July, 1965
New Orleans / La Yenka (Art Supple)
Rex Records / R.11014 / October, 1965
Danny Dear / What Time Will Santa Be Coming (Pat McGeegan)
Rex Records / R.11016 / November, 1965
Safely In Love Again
/ Showbands Round the Corner - #8 Irish Charts
Emerald Records / MD 1043 / May, 1966
Don't Cry On My Shoulder / I'm Gonna' Get Married (Art Supple)

Emerald Records / MD 1066 / May, 1967

At The Club / All Join In
(Art Supple)
Emerald Records / Unknown / December, 1968
Boys of Kilmichael
/ Big Chief Buffalo Nickel - #14 Irish Charts
Honey Records / COMB 06 / July, 1969 
Showbands in Hippyland / My Grandfather's Clock (Art Supple)
Honey Records / COMB.12 / November, 1969
Three Flowers
- #18 Irish Charts
Honey Records / COMB.23 / June, 1970
A Soldier's Farewell / Wandering Star medley
- #15 Irish Charts
Honey Records / COMB.25 / July, 1970
Offaly The Champs

Play Records / PLAY.12 / February, 1972
Plaisir D'Amour / Once Upon A Time Again
Play Records / PLAY.16 / 1972


Audio Clips

Coming Soon

Where Are They Now?  

Art Supple: The Victor's stayed on the road until about 1974 at which time Art was invited to join the Brendan Shine Superband, which had been on the road for a short time. Around 1978, he joined Joe Mac in Stage 2, taking over from Alan Carr who emigrated to Canada. When Stage Two packed it in, Art once again formed his own band called "The Showstoppers" which worked extensively on the cabaret circuit in the 1980's. The 1990's saw Art put together a band with his son, Shane, and focus on the growing corporate and functions market and is still playing today.    
Wolfgang Nordt:   Unknown - if you have info please email us 
John Sweeney:   Unknown - if you have info please email us 
Tony Erangey: We understand that Tony was playing with Art in his band in the mid 1990's, and we got an email in January, 2014 from Shane Supple telling us Tony still plays in the local scene in Cork and can be seen during the Jazz festival playing with different bands in and around the city of Cork. Still plays the occasional gig with Art.
Len McCarthy: Shane Supple tells us in January, 2014 that Len is one of the leading sax players in the Jazz scene in Ireland and can be seen playing around Cork with many different bands today.  
Chris St. Ledger - RIP:
Pat McGeegan - RIP: After leaving the Victors, Pat went to the Skyrockets of Enniskillen and represented Ireland
In the Eurovision song contest in 1968 with Chance of A LIfetime. He formed a cabaret group, The Big Four, which he would also reform later in his career. Pat (real name McGuigan) sadly passed away on June 27, 1987.
Jim Prendergast: Shane Supple emailed us in January 2014 and told us Jim has retired from the pro music circuit, and living in County Waterford, however, several of his brothers are still active on the local scene.
Joe Prendergast - RIP:
Mickey Brennan: Mickey still lives in Strandhill County Sligo and regularly plays with several jazz groups around the Sligo area. In 2012, Mickey returned to the lineup Sligo's legendary Jazz Ladds which also features former showband stars Roddy Gillen and Padraic Potter. .  
Des Hopkins:   Unknown - if you have info please email us 
Arthur O'Neill:   Unknown - if you have info please email us 
Neil Gildea: In January, 2014, Shane Supple tells us that after the Victors Neil played for many years with different bands for a few years he played with Red Hurley. Neil is still playing music in and around his home of Ardara, Co. Donegal.  
Alan Carr: When he left the Victor's, he joined Brendan O'Brien and Joe Mac in their new band, Stage 2 around 1974. Alan left Stage 2 at the end of the 70's and emigrated to Canada and settled on the West Coast. A few years ago he relocated to Red Deer, Alberta, where he lives with his wife. He is still very active in music and now plays the North American "casino circuit" under the name Alan James. He has his own website at www.alan-james.com.
Jimmy Byrne: Shane Supple tells us (Jan 2014) that after the Victors Jimmy played with Just Four for several years then he played with Twos Company. Jimmy still plays music in his local area and is often seen in the pit at local productions in Kilkenny playing guitar for local shows. He plays in churches for weddings, confirmations etc in his local area. In recent years he was one of the main guitar technicians for Cort Guitars here in Ireland. He repairs guitars for many of the top players in the country today. He also plays with Art Supple and his band on a regular basis in and around Munster.
Martin Gildea:  We received an email from Shane Supple in January, 2014 telling us that after the Victors Martin played with many bands. He had his own band Rockabilly Rebel with his sister Valerie Gildea singing with them, he played with Roly Daniels for a few years and Glen Curtin, More recently he played with Jessie Conlon. Martin still works in the music scene in and around his home in Ardara Co Donegal. He is involved in local radio there Owenea FM and he also does a Kenny Rogers tribute show on the local music circuit. 

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