The Flying Carlton Feature (1937-1960)
Photo Gallery -
Band Lineups -
- Audio samples -
Where Are They Now?
Although our website is dedicated to those bands that played the
ballrooms between 1955 and 1985, we occasionally get info about the
bands that preceded the showband era. One such band is the Flying
Carlton, a band that played the ballrooms across Ireland, England
and Scotland long before the Carlton Clippers came on the scene.
The band got its name from the dancing public themselves and
perhaps, to some extent, as a result of their own unique appetite
for always being in the forefront with new ideas. They had been on
the road about eleven years when in 1948, they became the first
Irish dance band to take to the air to fulfill a long distance
engagement in Hospital, Co. Limerick. At first they wanted to
charter a plane and take off from a large field in Rathmullan owned
by a Mr. Kelly but as this was not feasible, they flew via Aer
Lingus from Dublin to Shannon and completed the trip via road. Of
course in those days, equipment was not a problem as they virtually
had none to carry other than their instruments.
History had been made, but it was
a publicity stunt astutely executed which paid off for years to come
as "The Flying Carlton" from Drogheda became a word of mouth crowd
puller in every corner of Ireland. The band was managed by Tommy
Mathews who, according to legend, was the first professional manager
of an Irish dance band. Additionally, when the band added Ella Bannon as lead vocalist, this was also a first in Ireland.
When the band toured England and
Scotland, they became the first Drogheda based band to do so.
More to come.....
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