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Alma Carroll Feature (Active 1965-1978?)

Photo Gallery - Band Lineups - Discography - Audio samples - Where Are They Now?

The Story

Alma started her career at the tender age of 15 in 1965 doing solo cabaret spots around Dublin during her summer holidays. In 1967, she appeared alongside Bing Crosby as part of his Irish TV special filmed in Dublin. She was singing with the "Young Dublin Singers." This performance was made available in 2006 on a DVD of the show. Also on the bill that night were Dermot O'Brien's Clubmen, Milo O'Shea, The Ludlows and Siobhan McKenna...nice company for the 17 year old girl. Additionally, in 1967 Alma was given her own radio series on RTE and was the host of the showband series, "Go 2."  

In 1968, she sang Give Me All Your Love, in the Irish National Song Contest which placed a respectable fourth in the contest. The song was released by EMI as a single, but it did not make an impression on the Irish charts. In fact, Alma never had a solo single reach the Irish Charts. Later the same year, she appeared on RTE's "Top of the Night" series alongside the Dubliners.

Despite a lack of record success, Alma's star continued to climb and she was soon a regular on RTE Television. In 1969, she appeared with Tony Kenny on RTE's series "Steady as She Go-Goes." An article in the March 13, 1970 issue of Spotlight reported that Alma was married to Gerry McGuinness and had recorded another Eurovision entry, "Things You Hear About Me" written by Des Smyth and Jim Doherty. She had delayed releasing the single as she was expecting a baby. The song was consequently also covered by Maxi, Dick and Twink who finished second in the Irish National Song Contest with the song. Alma released her version after the contest, but it failed to chart. Also in 1970, Alma continued to do well on TV, being featuring on the BBC in Britain as well as being featured on RTE's series "Girls" in June.  

Throughout the early 70's, Alma continued to enjoy success on TV and in cabaret. In 1973 she released two singles, "Day By Day" from the musical Godspell and "Kiss Me." She appeared on the very popular RTE series, "The Likes of Mike" starring Mike Murphy and in Britain, she appeared on the ITV show, "Lift Off."     

Although a solo hit record eluded Alma, she was part of the Swarbriggs Plus Two (along with Nicola Kerr) on the record, It's Nice To Be In Love Again which made number one in the Irish Charts and represented Ireland in Eurovision in 1977. The song finished third, giving Ireland its only Top 3 finish since Dana's winning entry in 1970.

In 1973, Alma tried her hand at the National Song Contest again, this time singing the entry, Isn't It Grand. She place a very respectable 2nd behind Maxi's hit, Do I Dream (the same Maxi from Maxi, Dick and Twink that had sung Alma's entry several years earlier). This would be her final shot at Eurovision.

At this point, we do not know when Alma gave up performing. Today, she is married to Penney's founder, Arthur Ryan and serves as a Director of Unicef in Ireland.

More to come.....

Photo Gallery

click on thumbnails for full image

Alma - 1968

Alma - 1968

Alma - 1968

Alma - 1969

Alma - 1970

Alma - 1970

Alma - 1971

Alma - 1971

Alma - 1971

Alma - 1971

Alma - 1971

Alma - 1972

Alma - 1972

Alma - 1972

Alma - 1973

   

Alma - 1973

Alma - 1974

Alma - 1975

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Discography

Give Me All Your Love (National Song Contest Entry)
EMI Records - Unknown - March, 1968
Yesterday When I Was Young / I May Not Always Love You
Columbia Records - IDB 801 - March, 1972
Things You Hear About Me / Frank Mills
Rose Records - Unknown - March, 1970
Day By Day
Polydor Records - Unknown - February, 1973
Kiss Me
Polydor Records - Unknown - October, 1973

It's Nice To Be In Love Again / Here We Are Again (as part of Swarbriggs Plus 2)
- #1 Irish Charts
EMI Records - IEMI 5059 - March, 1977

Audio Clips

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Where Is She Now?  

Alma Carroll: We know that Alma has retired from singing these days and is married to Dublin retail mogul Arthur Ryan, who owns the Penney's and Primark chains in Ireland and the UK. Alma is also current a Director of Unicef in Ireland.

 


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In Loving Memory of Grant Gallagher: Sept. 21, 1990 - Nov. 18, 2006