Episode 6 of ‘Showband Heroes – Remembering when we danced together’ features Pat McCrossan, the inspirational guitarist from ‘The Checkers’, that featured on both of RTÉ TV’s showband series ‘Picking The Pops’ and ‘The Showband Show’ in the early Sixties. Pat is not just a great guitarist, he also made the twin-neck guitar he played on those iconic TV shows and, consequently, is often referred to as Ireland’s Les Paul. Here, Pat talks about his early musical influences in his native Derry and about his great musical journey with beat groups, folk groups and showbands such as ‘The Magnificent Seven’ around Ireland, The UK, Canada and the USA, where he finally settled in Phoenix, Arizona. Pat McCrossan continues to perform, teach and inspire musicians to this day. This is his story.
In 2020, TaRP recorded a number of online events in its limited series, ‘Music – A Bridge Over Troubled Waters’. The response left the producers in no doubt that music could re-connect, reawaken and re-invigorate the common, cross-community bond that endured even through our darkest days. For that series, musicians were mainly drawn from the folk/acoustic genre. This time, the focus is on stars from the showband, cabaret and rock groups who entertained mixed audiences from the early Sixties through to the late Seventies; many of whom still attract large audiences to dancehalls and concerts. Ironically, the Showbands remain the unsung heroes of their time, but now their priceless legacy is finally being acknowledged and honoured.
Produced and presented by Stephen Travers.
Online Producer: Tracy Dempsey
Executive Producer: Eugene Reavey
Co-Executive Producer: Joe Campbell
‘Showband Heroes – Dancing in the Dark’, ‘Speaking for Myself’ and ‘Music – A Bridge Over Troubled Waters’ are Truth and Reconciliation Platform educational projects, hosted by The Miami Showband Peace Centre Online and assisted by consultant and coach, Tracy Dempsey. The ‘Showband Heroes’ and ‘Speaking for Myself’ series are assisted by Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
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