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Showband Heroes 7: Dushy “Gene” Chetty

Episode 7 features Dushy ‘Gene’ Chetty, lead singer with ‘Gene and The Gents’, who came to Dublin in the early Sixties as a student but was so smitten by the sound of the Showbands and by the hysteria they created that he gave up his studies to join the band at the invitation of its legendary guitarist, Henry McCullough. As ‘Gene’, Dushy was an instant sensation in the ballrooms and concert venues throughout the island of Ireland. The band shared top billing with iconic British groups like The Tremeloes and The Move, among others, until the so-called ‘Troubles’ erupted and reminded Gene too much of the life he had left back in South Africa just six years before. As a result, he decided to quit the band and resume his studies. 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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