Polka Dots Feature (1964-1971)
Photo Gallery -
Band Lineups -
- Audio samples -
Where Are They Now?
When they formed around 1964, the Polka Dots had several future
stars among their ranks.
Within a short time, Rob Strong was on bass, Frankie McBride
lead singer and Gregory Donaghy was also in the band. Gregory would
be first to leave, joining the Cadets. A year later, Rob strong
moved to the Plattermen. And the band also included guitar ace, Arty
McGlynn for a time.
There aren't many Irish showbands that can claim success in the
British single charts, but Frankie McBride of the Polka Dots is one
of them. In the summer of 1967, his single, Five Little Fingers,
reached number 19 in the UK charts. The massive success of the
single resulted in rumours that Frankie would be leaving the band to
pursue a solo career. However, Frankie stayed with the band, saying
in a 1967 Spotlight interview, "I have been very happy with the Dots
and we have come a long way together. We are looking forward to even
In November, 1970, Frankie
announced he was leaving the Polka Dots to start a country band of
his own. To coincide with the launch of the new outfit, Emerald
planned a release of a new single, Daddy's Little Man, while the new
band was rehearsing. However, in February, 1971 Frankie
announced he had joined a new outfit, The Highwaymen. Frankie
released an album, Real Smooth Country, in 1971.
1972, Frankie had moved on to a new band, Rio Grande, which included
Barry McAllister (keyboards), Brendan Sweeney (guitar), Martin Coll
(guitar), Don Sherry (bass), Anthony Hughes (drums) and Frankie
In the meantime, Pio McCann of the band, spotted a
young singer at a local talent show which turned out to be Hugo
Duncan, who had just left the Melody Aces after six months. He was
introduced to the band and replaced Frankie, but the magic was gone
and the band disbanded after only a few months.
More to come.....
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