The Carlton Dance Band were later changed to the Flying Carltons as they were the first band to fly to a gig due to a busy schedule and that made them famous in their day. http://www.irishshowbands.net/pg_flying_carltons.htm
Regarded as the ' U2 of their era' the band recorded some notable first nationwide records, including becoming the first Irish band to fly to a gig and the first group from the Republic to headline at the King's Hall in Belfast. At the end of the night they had to play ' God Save the King' - and didn't know the words!
They began life around 1939 and thrilled audiences the length and breath of the country for close on two decades.
They became the first band to fly to a show, Dublin to Limerick, and within two weeks were off to another one in London.
They played a residency in the Abbey Ballroom and their partnership became synonymous with good times in Drogheda.
'It was actually the Drogheda Independent that got them the name. They were called the Carlton before they took that first flight and then the paper christened them the Flying Carlton,' Aidan explained.
The arrival of Rock n' Rock killed the dancehall days in many ways and the years of travelling certainly took their toll on the members, Joe Leech passing away at the age of 54 in 1964.http://www.drogheda-independent.ie/news/flying-carlton-were-the-u2-of-the-1950s-2876560.html
P. Breathnach wrote: »
Some precursor to rock bands! Five of the eight members are wearing Pioneer pins.
It's odd that they are credited as being "one of Ireland's first showbands"; there is a widespread opinion that the very first showband had a very similar name: the Clipper Carlton. They were from Strabane.
Founded in the late 1940's as Hugh Tourish and the Carlton, the Clippers are credited with starting the whole showband craze in the late 1950's. Up until that point all "orchestras," including the Clippers, sat behind music stands and read their music, playing the dance hits of the day and a wide range of musical styles. The only "frontmen" were the bandleaders and the entire band divided the songs among the members based on each musician's singing style.
One night in 1949, the band held a contest to find a new name and the "Clipper Carltons" were born. http://www.irish-showbands.com/Bands/clippercarltonf.htm
The term "showband" was reportedly coined by legendary Belfast musician Dave Glover. In a 1989 interview on BBC Ulster radio he said that although the Clipper Carlton were the first band to put on a show with their "Saturday Night Jukebox" segment, he first added the word to his band's name, becoming The Dave Glover Showband. Although in later years the term would come to identify a broad range of musical styles, in the mid 1950's it meant just that...the band included a "show" in the middle of the evening. Usually this "show" included comedy skits, impersonations, or other acts that stopped the crowd in their tracks and they watched the "show" for up to a half hour or more, after which time dancing would be resumed http://www.irish-showbands.com/showbands.htm
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