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Breakaways / Signs / Cade's County Story (1963-1974)

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

The Story

From what we can gather through archival newspaper research, the Breakaways hit the road sometime late in 1963. They were based out of Magherafelt in Co. Derry and managed by E. Regan. The original line-up was: Brendan Quinn (guitar), Robin Averill (bass and vocals), Billy Cushley (guitar), Dave Quinn (drums), Tommy McCullough (sax), Des Kerr (sax) and Albert Kerr (perhaps trumpet). Tracking the history of the band has been made somewhat difficult by the fact that there were actually three different bands using the name, Breakaways, during the era including one based in Naas and another based in Cork.

Originally advertised as "Robin and the Breakaways," the band would soon also be known as the Breakaways Showband. It seems they were slow to get going as we found a newspaper advert for the band from February 1966 for the Pavesi Ballroom in Donegal which described them as "a new sensation in the showband world."  

Around 1968 Jimmy Devlin from Cookstown in Co. Tyrone took over the management of the band.

We have found an advertisement for Robin and the Breakaways Showband in February, 1969. At the same time, the band had gone into the studio to record a new single which was written by Ray Doherty called "There's Nothing In This World" and featured Robin on vocals. In conjunction with the new record the band decided to change their name, having grown tired of "being confused with other bands called the Breakaways." The new name would be the Signs Showband.

By early 1970, the band was being managed by Finbarr Burns, who immediately put to rest rumours that Robin was leaving the band for a solo career. However by September, 1971, Brendan did take over the lead singer role when the band released Help me Make It Through the Night as his debut single on the Velvet label. The band, now known as Brendan Quinn and the Signs, were doing well across the nation, but mainly in the North.

In March, 1972 an article in the Evening Herald reported that the band was now changing its name yet again, this time to "Cade's County" (copied from an American TV show of the same name from 1971 which starred Glenn Ford). At this time, there was both a change in musical direction from pop to country as well as yet another new manager, Tom Murray.

In late 1974, the Mighty Avons were undergoing a series of changes and they asked Brendan Quinn to join the band as one of the featured lead singers, which he did, bringing with him at least one member of Cade's County. As far as we know, this meant the end of Cade's County. 

More to come....

Photo Gallery

click on thumbnails for full image

Breakaways (BS) Breakaways - 1966 (LR) Breakaways - 1964 Breakaways (RF) Breakaways (RF)
Breakaway (RF) Breakaways (RF) Breakaways (RF) Breakaways (PL) Signs Showband
Signs (RF) Signs (RF)

Cades County (KS)

Cades County (LR) Cades County (RF)
Cades County (RF) Cades County (RF) Cades County (RF) Cades County (RF) Cades County (RF)
Mighty Avons - 1974 Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon
Years Trumpet? Guitar Bass Drums Guitar Sax Sax
1964 Albert


Danny Boy / Your Kind of Love
Pye Records - 7N.15973 - November, 1965
There's Nothing Left In The World (Robin)
Unknown Records - Unknown - February, 1969
Help Me Make It Through the Night (Brendan Quinn)
Velvet Records - Unknown  - September, 1971
In The Arms of a Heartache (Brendan Quinn)
Unknown Records - Unknown - April, 1972

Audio Clips

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Where Are They Now?  

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