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Big Tom and the Travellers (1975-1989)

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

The Story

When Big Tom McBride announced he was splitting with the Mainliners in April, 1975, it rocked the country and Irish scene. The Mainliners had been one of the most successful country bands to emerge from the showband era. Love them or hate them (and many did) they were packing in them in by the thousands in ballrooms across the country. It was still hard to imagine why Tom would part company with this long time band mates. However, as was previously experienced with the split of the Drifters, Miami, and many others, it was almost inevitable it would happen.

The band made its debut just 4 nights after the final appearance of Big Tom and the Mainliners on 8th May, 1975 in Athy. The same night, the new look Mainliners debuted at the Annadown Carnival with new lead singer John Glenn (Hanratty). The transition for Tom was made a little easier by the fact that the new Travellers were actually the old Everglades, who had been on the road since the early 70's and previously been fronted by Sean Thompson. However, the move was not a total surprise as bass player, Paddy King, of the Everglades was actually Big Tom's brother-in-law.

Although Big Tom was one of the greatest attractions the ballroom scene had ever known, even his staunchest fans found it hard to swallow his new sound. Spotlight magazine was full of reviews and comments about how the new band was not up to the standard of the Mainliners. One of the main problems for the new band was that Big Tom and the Mainliners had a very distinct sound and the new outfit struggled with NOT sounding like the Mainliners, while still backing Big Tom playing mainly Mainliner's hits. Not an easy task. The Travellers certainly  had big shoes to fill. Despite some rough going early on, they eventually hit their stride and Tom's success as the King of Irish Country continued. 

More to come....

Photo Gallery

click on thumbnails for full image

Everglades (LR) Everglades - 1971 Sean Thompson & the Everglades - 1973

Big Tom & The Travellers (KS)

Big Tom & The Travellers

Big Tom & The Travellers Big Tom & The Travellers Big Tom & The Travellers Big Tom & The Travellers Big Tom & The Travellers
Big Tom & The Travellers Big Tom & The Travellers Big Tom & The Travellers Big Tom & The Travellers Big Tom & The Travellers
Big Tom & The Travellers

Big Tom & The Travellers

Big Tom Big Tom & The Travellers (DL) Big Tom and the Travellers - 1981 (PH)
Big Tom and the Travellers - 1982 (PH) Travellers - 1979 (PH) Big Tom & the Travellers (RF) Big Tom & the Travellers (RF) Travellers (RF)
Travellers (RF) Travellers (RF) Travellers (RF) Travellers (RF) Travellers (RF)
       
Travellers (RF) Travellers (RF) Travellers (RF) Travellers (RF) Travellers (RF)
Years Vocals Guitar Bass Keyboard Drums Sax Sax
May
1975

Tom
McBride

Patsy
McDermott
Paddy
King
Harry
Conlon
Noel
Cassidy
Kevin
McCooey
Ken
Kennedy
June,
1975
Tom
McBride
Patsy
McDermott
Paddy
King
Harry
Conlon
Sean
McCormack
Kevin
McCooey
Ken
Kennedy
               
               

Discography

Singles:

Four Country Roads (Big Tom) - #5 Irish Charts
Denver Records - Unknown - July, 1981
Streets of Dublin City (Big Tom) - #7 Irish Charts
Denver Records - Unknown - October, 1981
Lonesome Guitar (Big Tom) - #12 Irish Charts
Denver Records - Unknown - July, 1982
Drinkin' 'Em Beers (Big Tom) - #16 Irish Charts
Denver Records - Unknown - March, 1983
If I Needed You (Big Tom) - #10 Irish Charts
Denver Records - Unknown - March, 1984
Old Pals of Yesterday (Big Tom) - #20 Irish Charts
Denver Records - Unknown - October, 1985
Tubbercurry (Big Tom) - #25 Irish Charts
Denver Records - Unknown - December, 1986

Albums (Our thanks to Richard Cooke for the info on the Travellers albums)

When The Roses Bloom Again
Denver Records - LPDNV6 - 1975
Travel On
Denver Records - LPDNV7 - 1977
I Would Like To See You Again
Denver Records - LPDNV8 - 1978
Live at the London Irish Festival
Denver Records - LPDNV9 - 1979
Blue Wings - Nashville
Denver Records - LPDNV10 - 1980
Four Country Roads
Denver Records - LPDNV11 - 1981
Songs of Home and Far Away
Denver Records - LPDNV12 - 1982
Blue Wings / Four Country Roads
Denver Records - LPDNV14 - 1984
Teardrops In The Snow
Denver Records - LPDNV15 - 1985
Around Ireland with Big Tom
Denver Records - LPDNV16 - 1986

Audio Clips

Coming Soon

Where Are They Now?  

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