Famous Son Of Ireland: Musician Category:
Longevity In Music & Showbiz Hallmark Of Co. Monaghan's Paddy Cole
Instant recognition around your native soil and throughout the nation is not always a signal to elevate a person into a Hall of Fame. Monaghan and Castleblayney native Paddy Cole is certainly around for over 40 years playing his saxophone and clarinet and his legions of fans embrace his musical talent.
He is a great ambassador of music and an artist who is worthy of recognition and incorporation in our All Ireland Hall of Fame Online Gallery.
The Castleblayney district is famed for its production line of famous musicians and singers and in recent times the Castleblayney Town Council bestowed the freedom of Castleblayney on three of its most famous music ambassadors, Paddy Cole, Big Tom McBride and Anna McGoldrick.
Paddy Cole’s distinguished musical career began with a local band from Castleblayney, The Maurice Lynch Showband. This band was hugely successful all over Ireland and had a number of Irish chart successes. The showband that brought Paddy Cole to national and international stardom at home and abroad was the famous Capitol Showband.
The sax and clarinet legend had a huge jazz repertoire also and with The Capitol Paddy toured Ireland, Britain, America and Canada and the Irish group were the first ever Irish Showband to feature on the world famous TV show – Saturday Night At The London Palladium. The TV audience was over 30 million.
When the music mood for the showbands of Ireland began to decline in the early 1970’s, the fallout was immense. An opportunity later arose with Brendan Bowyer's new band ‘The Big 8’ and the neon lights of Las Vegas beckoned Paddy Cole to start out a new and great adventure.
The new band was fronted by renowned vocalist Brendan Bowyer and Dubliner Twink. An annual Las Vegas contract of seven months playing three gigs every night on the Las Vegas strip was a demanding task and finally Paddy decided that the green fields of the Emerald Isle were calling him back home.
Raising a young family under the Las Vegas neon lights had lost its shine for Paddy and his wife and a decision was made to return home to Ireland. Twink had also returned to Ireland.
In the late 1970’s and early ‘80’s another horizon came his way. After his re-engagement on the Irish music circuit, the Catleblayney superstar musician founded ‘The Paddy Cole Superstars’ with Twink out front on vocals.
The emphasis was primarily on North Of Ireland venues but the entire music industry in Ireland fell into a mortal gloom when three members of the famous Miami Showband were fatally ambused by a Loyalist group near Banbridge, Co. Down.
The fallout from the Miami Massacre effected Irish bands financially but Paddy Cole made a surprise decision to leave his own band (some say he was sacked by his own band) in 1981 and set up in the pub business in his home town of Castleblayney.
The pub trade lasted for 12 years but music was Paddy’s life all through his childhood and teenage years and doors in that direction were not bolted on Paddy Cole.
The popular Irish ‘King of Jazz’ has presented his own TV and radio shows in the 1990’s and in 1993 RTE television crowned the Monaghan musical wizard ‘Showbiz Personality of the Year’.
Induction into the Irish Music Hall of Fame in 1997 was always beckoning and duly accorded.
A music career that started as a nine year old student has incorporated several decades in showbiz and mention of the name Paddy Cole immediately focuses on the saxophone and clarinet genius from Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan.
The famous annual Cork International Jazz Festival was also an occasion for Paddy Cole to assemble with many of the world's greatest jazz musicians and huge crowds always came to his Cork gigs.
The incorporation of Paddy Cole ‘Ireland's King of Jazz’ into our All Ireland Hall of Fame Online Gallery is a welcome addition to our music collection of Irish legends.