Country and Western Band Photos
Current Count - 817 Photos!
On this page, we pay tribute to the hundreds of country
bands that entertained Irish audiences back in the "good old days." After the
steam ran out of the showband engine, bands generally disbanded or regrouped as
either "pop" or "country." In the beginning, the bands played the same circuit
as the ballrooms were large enough to accommodate alternating pop and country
nights outfits without affecting attendance. However, as the ballroom crowds
shrunk and more hotels got into the dance business, the gigs got more
specialized, further increasing competition among the bands.
nights became a regular feature of hotels and clubs around the
country. Country acts also found it easier to move into the cabaret
scene. While discos appealed to the young crowds, in the end, it was
the country segment of the industry that survived the longest. Most
likely, this was because of the broader appeal of country music to
an aging audience.
One of the most unusual aspects of the Irish
country scene was the "invention" of a new musical style particular
to Ireland, dubbed "Country and Irish." With the success of artists
like Big Tom, Margo, Larry Cunningham, Philomena Begley, and others,
this new style of bastardized country music took the dancing public
by storm, while also creating a divide between those that enjoyed
the new music and those that preferred their country music on the
"western" side. As American country music (on which the Irish model
had been based) continued to morph through the seventies and
eighties, the Irish version remain relatively unchanged, causing
some critics to further deride the music as unoriginal and without
If anyone takes exception to having these
photos exhibited on our website, please let us know and we'll remove
them immediately. Thanks. By the way, if you know where any of these
bands are today, please click here.
Acknowledgements: Our special thanks to Shaun Magee, Dick
Lynott, David Dwane, Anthony Grace, Francis Kennedy, Teddie Palmer, Jan Lynch,
Kathleen Smith, Declan Colgan, Peter Kinsey, Joe Dodd, Brian "Shorty" O'Kane,
Andy Monk, and Alan Carr for additional photos. All photos are identified with
contributor's initials (see full details at
bottom of page).
Individual Head Shots
Click on a thumbnail photo to see a full size
image and additional information.