Tributes are being paid to entertainer and showband legend, Brendan Bowyer.
The Waterford-native has passed away in Las Vegas at the age of 81.
He was best known for fronting the Royal Showband and The Big Eight.
Musician, Paddy Cole, was a good friend of Brendan’s and he spoke to Fran Curry on Tipp Today about the impact he had:
“When the Royal Showband came on the scene, Ireland was – well, let’s be honest about it – in the late 50s it was a dull sort of place and they brightened up a lot of lives and a lot of homes.
“They fowarded the showband scene bigtime. The Royal Showband finished up being the most popular showband in Ireland, no doubt about it.
“Brendan was a very professional guy. He wanted every show to be top class. It was just a pleasure to be with him for those years.”
Paddy also toured with Brendan for some years.
He told Fran earlier about the time the King himself, Elvis Presley came to one of Brendan’s shows in Las Vegas:
“It was very funny. It was a room that held about 600 or 700 people – it was always packed for the show. This guy walks up in a cloak and a hat…
“Brendan was down on his knees singing ‘One Night with You’, and he tapped him on the shoulder with the cane. Brendan looked up and it was Presley!
“Elvis just turned and walked off again and Brendan said to the crowd, ‘That was Elvis Presley!’ and they all started to laugh – they though it was part of the act.
“Nobody believed that it was Presley!”
You can listen back to Paddy’s full interview on Tipp Today here.