Opening today, Monday, April 1, and running until April 27, the exhibition is a fascinating insight into this genre of music which packed dance halls full of people throughout the darkest days of Northern Ireland’s troubles.
The exhibition was officially opened on Thursday by Mayor of Derry and Strabane District Council John Boyle, and BBC Radio personality Sean Coyle.
The photo exhibition will take you on a journey into the past, while the audio visual display of the bands, movie film footage of dances and jukebox, bring history back to life.
Eugene Quigley, the man behind the exhibition, encouraged as many people as possible to come along and see the display.
He said: “This is a fabulous way to not only celebrate the rich of the Showband era, but also our social history.
“There are many people across the North West who will have fond memories of the Showbands, and the exhibition will reignite memories of a time that many remember with great fondness.
“However I would also encourage young people and school groups to come along and learn about the Showband phenomenon.”
Between 1957 and 1972 more than 500 Showbands were active in Ireland, working up to five nights a week, playing in ballrooms, dance halls and marquees, to crowds sometimes in excess of 1500.
Local people will recall Gay McIntyre’s Showband, who travelled across Ireland and were highly regarded by dancers and musicians alike as being one of Ireland’s top five dance bands; Johnny Quigley’s All Stars, a big band with thumping brass arrangements, the Clipper Carlton from Strabane, known as the band who put the word ‘Show’ in Showband; the Melody Aces from Newtownstewart, The Dave Glover Showband, and The Witnesses.
Visitors to the exhibition at Aras Colmcille Heritage Centre (formerly the Wee Nuns School, at Long Tower Church), are asked to make a donation towards the Aras Colmcille centre which is managed by a group of volunteers who believe in preserving this great historic building.Tags: