Jan 09 2009

Published by at 10:22 am under News



Tommy Delaney Band


Many people from the Cabra area will remember the name and music of Tommy Delaney and his Band from the 1950’s and 60’s era in particular. They would have danced to Tommy’s music in the Metropole Ballroom, the Central Hotel, the Kingsway, Barry’s Hotel, the Top Hat and the Crystal Ballroom. These are just a few of the many national and international venues that pulsated to the music of the Tommy Delaney Band.  Tommy’s father originally came from Marino. He played his first ever piano duet with his sister at the tender age of six years old. Tommy Delaney worked with most of the great artists and performers of his time including Rose Tynan, Bridie Gallagher, Ronnie Drew, Joe Lynch and Val Doonigan. During Lent each year Tommy would have to leave Ireland to find work as a musician in England and America. Because of religious observance for that period all dance and music was forbidden by the Church. Tommy also played on the ‘Town Hall Tonight’ radio programme with Joseph Locke. Also on the programme were Maureen Potter, Peter Heffernan and the Black Jesters.


In his early days Tommy played with the Billy Carter Band and they had their uniforms made by Best’s in O’Connell Street. Radio listeners will also  be familiar with the sound of the Tommy Delaney Ceili Band from the Mitchelstown programme. Tommy Delaney came from a very strong musical family background. His family originally had their own Ceili Band and it was while in this family band that Tommy decided to break out with his own band. He was the first musician in Ireland to use a Cordovox. This was an accordion style instrument that had the capability to sound like a full orchestra and enable the player to act as a one man band. Tommy Delaney also played in the Addison Lodge Hotel in Glasnevin with Frankie Blower singing. Tommy and the famous bandleader Johnnie Butler were great friends. They very often covered gigs that the other was perhaps double booked on. While playing with his band in Dublin’s Stephen’s Green Tommy was introduced to the famous actor Yul Brynner. Tommy’s wife was a trained classical pianist. Unfortunately for the Irish and international music scene Tommy Delaney passed away in June 1978. Ireland had lost another of its great musicians and a man who lived for music and the joy of entertaining the people of his native city of Dublin. Is there a connection with Tommy Delaney and Cabra you may ask? Well yes there is, Tommy played with singer and compere Joe Cahill who was bestman for none other than Dickie Rock.

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