Showbiz and farming have been a way of life for Art Supple for over six decades. The Cork man is still the epitome of the showband era, a master showman who delivers performances as good as he did in the halcyon days.

Art has never lost his love for music and stage. Some months ago, he went back into the studio to record a version of the Jerry Lee Lewis classic, What Made Milwaukee Famous. It proved an instant winner with audiences and he was chuffed with the response from around the country.

“My son Maurice of Blue Shed Productions, based in Kinsale, shot the video here on the farm and at our own stables as well as down on nearby Pilmore Beach, beside Youghal. It is very close to the site of the famous Red Barn dancehall, which was such a huge venue back in the 1960s.

“The Milwaukee song is a great number and comes from a wonderful era of classic country songs. The video has been aired on a number of the country channels on Sky TV and there has been a lovely and warm reaction to it,” says Art.

Art started out on the music scene back around 1956/57 with a local band, Pat Irwin and The All Stars. In 1963, he fronted The Victors Showband who enjoyed great popularity all over the country as well as overseas.

“Those were magical times,” says Art. “We had some lads in the band from Cork, one from Sligo and another from Germany. There were different personnel over the years. Pat McGuigan, father of the Monaghan boxer Barry McGuigan, was with us for a while as well.

“We played dancehalls all over Ireland and the scene was hopping in those times. We toured all the Irish venues in England and crossed the Atlantic where we did shows in New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago, as well as going north to Toronto in Canada.

“Another outlet for a chosen few of the Irish bands in those times was invitations to play for the American troops who were stationed in Germany. Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley and Tom T Hall were among some of the very well-known singers that spent time in Germany.

“We played some shows in Frankfurt and Heidelberg and the troops were hugely appreciative of the music and the enjoyment they got from the visiting singers and bands.”

Farming has always been a part of the family culture in east Cork. “I recall when we grew sugar beet here, which was then sent to the factory in Mallow. We also grew a lot of malting barley back through the years. The land in these parts is ideal for that crop. Farmers around here had contracts with Guinness in those times.

“We raised cattle and brought them to the fairs and the marts and also had pigs. We have concentrated on horses in more recent years. I find that very relaxing and enjoyable.”

Art still enjoys the music scene after all the years. “I still get the same buzz when I step out on the stage and see people enjoying the music so much. It is good to be still in demand for concert spots and sharing time with such fine people from all over the country. I’d do it all over again.”

Busy times for Big Don

Galway singer Don Stiffe is back home after featuring among the guests on the Cherish the Ladies Celtic Christmas Tour that took in several venues around the New York and eastern seaboard region of the US.

“Joanie Madden runs a terrific show and the response of audiences in America is truly something special. I love those shows and it is great to see the appreciation there is for them at all the concert hall venues and theatres,” says Don.

Back home again, Don is looking forward to resuming his regular gigs around the Galway and Mayo region as well as other guest spots all over the country.

Mulhern to headline Claremorris

Mick Mulhern.

Mayo singer Mick Mulhern has been building up a sizeable following around the country in recent years. The man from Bohola is looking forward to a special occasion when he hosts his own show in Claremorris Town Hall Theatre on Saturday 20 January.

Mick’s easy rapport makes him a firm favourite with audiences and last April saw him make his first overseas guest appearance on the popular Gerry Flynn Events music holiday in Torremolinos, Spain.

“It was great to be invited out to Spain and meet so many lovely people from all over Ireland and England,” says Mick. “I am delighted that Gerry has invited me out there again for the next venture in early April.”

Two popular and acclaimed albums from Mick in recent years have seen him garner extensive airplay on regional and internet radio. “People are very good and have been exceptionally kind to me when it comes to airplays. The goodwill is excellent and I was honoured to record a duet with Tony Allen (of Foster and Allen) on the song, The Folks Out On The Road.”

His video of My Old Home in Mayo, shot by Alan Clarke, has received excellent reviews and has featured on a number of shows on Sky TV. “Alan captures some beautiful scenery from various parts of Mayo including Westport, Achill, Clare Island and Newport and it has been very well received by so many people including Mayo Tourism.”

Mick and his band will be joined by guest artists Matt Keane, PJ Murrihy and Eunice Moran for the show in Claremorris. Tickets are now

available from Claremorris Town Hall Theatre on 094 93 10999.

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