Angela Farrell Feature (More
Photo Gallery -
Band Lineups -
- Audio samples -
Where Are They Now?
After Dana's triumph in the 1970 Eurovision Song Contest with All
Kinds of Everything, the gala event was held in Dublin the
following year. Ireland's National Song Contest (from which its
Eurovision entry would be picked) featured showband favourites like
Red Hurley, Danny Doyle and Sonny Knowles among others. The cover of
the Spotlight issue dated March 6, 1971 featured a photo of
most of the National Song Contest singers...but surprisingly absent
was Angela Farrell.
The preview of the contest
described Portadown, Co. Armagh-based, 19 year old Angela, as
leading a "double life," working in a chemist shop by day and
singing cabaret at night. She was also making her debut on RTE
television, although the article reported that she had appeared on
Ulster Television and on RTE radio previously. Although living in
the North, Angela was actually born in Donegal.
The song, One Day Love, was written by Donegal dentist, Donal
Marin and Dublin housewife, Ita Flynn (although a report elsewhere
suggested Ita had arranged the song). Despite a strong showing by
the showband "heads," Red Hurley was edged into second place by the
relative unknown Angela, with the Coterie Folk group taking third
place. The showband loss continued a new trend as Ireland's first
five entrants in Eurovision had all been showband stars. But Dana
and Angela both came from cabaret, a growing entertainment trend at
the time. Additionally, Angela was the third consecutive female
singer based in the North to win the National Song Contest (Muriel
Day was the first).
In the run up to Eurovision,
Angela appeared in entertainment weekly, Spotlight, several
times, posing with her parents and in her old job at the chemist
shop. There was speculation that she would be backed by a local two
piece cabaret group from near Portadown called The Sandmen, but we
don't know if this ever happened. The article also featured Angela
with her manager, Bill Carville, who also happened to be her cousin.
It was also reported that although she had gone back to work for a
few days following the National Song Contest, she had quit her job
to become a full time cabaret artist before Eurovision.
However, lightning did not strike
twice and it would be another decade before Ireland would win
Eurovision again with Johnny Logan singing Shay Healy's What's
Another Year. Angela acquitted herself well, placing 11th
overall. Severine, from
Monaco, was the winner that year with
"Un banc un arbre une rue." Reportedly signed
by Decca subsidiary, Rex Records prior to the song contest (as was
Dana the year before), the record of One Day Love entered the
Irish charts just before the Eurovision and went as high as number
4, staying on the chart for 5 weeks. Her follow up, I Am,
also charted in the top ten, reaching number 9, but only stay in the
charts for two weeks.
Our records show that Angela
released one more record on Rex (the same label as Dana), Top of
the World, which failed to reach the charts.
Although we have searched the Internet, we can find no information
on Angela today, other than You Tube videos of her 1971 performance.
If you know any further info about Angela, please let us know.
Hopefully, more to come.....
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