A tribute to Big Tom McBride, `the Johnny Cash of Irish country music'. From labourer to music star, the journey of the singer who brought so much joy to fans at home and to emigrants abroad over five decades. Featuring never-before-published interviews with Big Tom and the country stars who loved him, as well as exclusive family photographs, this book is full of the characteristic wit and warmth of Ireland's greatest country music legend, Big Tom. Big Tom McBride was the original Irish country music star, who paved the way for today's new wave of artists.
His unique voice and sincere delivery earned him the title The King of Irish Country.
He was held in huge affection by many thousands of devoted fans, and was greatly loved and respected by his fellow musicians. Throughout Big Tom's music career, spanning five decades, he packed ballrooms and marquees the length and breadth of Ireland and Britain, with his band The Mainliners and later with The Travellers.
His records sold by the tens of thousands, and he had numerous Top Ten hits. Legions of fans were transported by his beautiful singing, evoking an Ireland of a more innocent age.
Many made the pilgrimage to the McBrides' home outside Castleblayney, County Monaghan, where they were greeted with genuine, warm-hearted hospitality. Tom Gilmore has interviewed family, friends and fans, as well as unearthing previously unpublished interviews with Big Tom himself.
This book also features tributes to the music legend from luminaries of music, sport and politics.