Wednesday, 7 March 2018. Oliver Loughran: The ’50’s Music Scene
Probus Vice-President, Oliver Loughran chose as his topic his involvement with the Music Industry in Ireland in the days of his youth. Much of what he recalled resonated with members and evoked their own memories of listing to Radio Luxembourg. As a teenager growing up in Ballygawley, attending Omagh CBS, opportunities to go to dances listen to live music were limited. The annual Music Carnival organised by the parish in Ballygawley to raise funds was an exciting event in the late ‘50’s, especially if the Melody Aces were playing. He recalled a Fordson tractor parked behind the hall to power the generator for the amplifiers and hearing the tractor between the numbers. The local music scene in those days was dominated by early showbands such as the Clipper Carlton and the Quigley Band. On arrival at Queen’s University in 1961 Oliver and some friends formed their own band in which he was the drummer. Their reputation on campus grew and memorable gigs included rag week concerts compered by Bob Monhkouse and Des O’Connor. In their final year at university the band appeared on stage in the Ulster Hall supporting big name bands such as the Royal Showband and the Capital Showband. After his talk others were keen to add their own reminiscences of the showband era and the meeting ended with humorous anecdotes of loves lost and won at dances in Tyrone and Fermanagh.