The Blue Rhythm Dance Band

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Brian
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The Blue Rhythm Dance Band

#1 Post by Brian » Tue May 08, 2007 11:34 am

After seeing a small mention of the band in the Newry Reporter, I decided I might as well do a little research into the band that my family was involved in.


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The band played in numerous dance halls and venues across Ireland. Starting before the war and continuing long after it before ending around the start of the 60’s. Among the places played were Belfast Castle, Brookeborough, Mount Stewart and locally in Newry and Warrenpoint town halls as well as many of the local hotels such as the Great Northern and Ballyedmond hotels and across the border in the Ballymascanlon hotel.

They also played in the American bases at Ballyedmond and further afield, and would often take some home baked cakes and buns etc out to the troops, and in return would receive chocolate and nylons. (And occasionally some rather strong booze) :)

They travelled to most venues in an Austin 16 car complete with running boards and “dicky seats” inside, so upwards of 8 members could fit into one car, although occasionally two cars would be used. The Austin 16 was also used as a Taxi during the day. It is also known that occasionally the band would go out on a Friday night to play, and not come home again until Sunday morning, much to the frustration of the wives, mothers and girlfriends.

Some Members of the band were:

Joe McCabe - Drums and percussion
Billy McCabe - Accordion
Freddie McCabe - Saxophone
Jack McComisky - Saxophone
Harry Heather - Piano
Noel Dowd - Vocals
Jackie McComisky - Clarinet
Jimmy Crawford - Banjo

Along the years many others played in the band, among them were Jimmy Burns and Gregory McCabe, and if anybody reading this can fill in any blanks, please do so.


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The picture shows Noel & Jack Dowd, Billy and Joe McCabe, Jack McComisky, my grandmother Sadie McCabe and the toddler is my late uncle Raymond, (Joe and Sadie's child) who sadly died very young of Meningitis.




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8)

Now... I am not 100% sure where that was taken, I can see a lot of faces I Know and one or 2 I don't

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xpaddy
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Re: The Blue Rhythm Dance Band

#2 Post by xpaddy » Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:52 pm

Brian - that was nice reading about the
Band, and seeing some of the faces I
recognise.
Your Mom was so much like her
Mother in that photo.
Sad about the little one

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Re: The Blue Rhythm Dance Band

#3 Post by greengreengrass » Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:55 am

Great photos Brian...........isn't Gary Dowd very like his late father Noel?

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Re: The Blue Rhythm Dance Band

#4 Post by victor » Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:03 pm

The reg nos of the Austin cars you mentioned started with BYT ( Joe's) and COB (Billy's). Can anyone remember the numbers? (1857 and 357 come to mind)I think there was a third Austin which Freddie drove?

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Re: The Blue Rhythm Dance Band

#5 Post by Donaghaguy » Tue Sep 27, 2011 7:16 pm

Hi Brian i have just had a visit from Robert Hutchinson and i was showing him these photographs, he used to play with Kenny Cowan's Band from Newry. He says that in picture 3 the guy playing the banjo is Jimmy Crawford. The guy in the back row with the collarette is Herby McCullough. Just over Sadie's right shoulder is Victor Mearns and of course over her left shoulder is R Hutchinson. He said he thought the other lady was a friend of Sadie's but did not know if she was a relative. He said this was taken in the 1950's but was not sure of the year as they had run a number of dances during that decade but he said the venue was Newry Town Hall.
Donaghaguy[Wim]

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Re: The Blue Rhythm Dance Band

#6 Post by victor » Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:17 pm

Donaghaguy wrote:Hi Brian i have just had a visit from Robert Hutchinson and i was showing him these photographs, he used to play with Kenny Cowan's Band from Newry. He says that in picture 3 the guy playing the banjo is Jimmy Crawford. The guy in the back row with the collarette is Herby McCullough. Just over Sadie's right shoulder is Victor Mearns and of course over her left shoulder is R Hutchinson. He said he thought the other lady was a friend of Sadie's but did not know if she was a relative. He said this was taken in the 1950's but was not sure of the year as they had run a number of dances during that decade but he said the venue was Newry Town Hall.
Donaghaguy[Wim]
Think you mean over 'Nellie's' shoulder not Sadie. That's Billy's wife not Joe's. My mum Sadie isn't in that photo. She was probably at home looking after me!!

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Re: The Blue Rhythm Dance Band

#7 Post by George Williamson » Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:55 pm

Hi Brian, Played trumpet a few times with the band with Billy, Joe,, Freddie and Harry Heather. Great bunch to be with.

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Re: The Blue Rhythm Dance Band

#8 Post by fishylady » Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:29 pm

Brian.
Lovely photo's and the wonderful
memories.of that time.
Himself and I would dance the night
away.At the G.N.H and Ballymac.

Lovely guys lovely family. :-):-)

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Re: The Blue Rhythm Dance Band

#9 Post by Donaghaguy » Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:37 pm

Hi Victor you are correct, just me at an advanced age getting excited because i am off at the week-end to Virginia USA to spend the month of October with the grandchildren. Donaghaguy[Wim]

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Re: The Blue Rhythm Dance Band

#10 Post by victor » Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:58 pm

Donaghaguy wrote:Hi Victor you are correct, just me at an advanced age getting excited because i am off at the week-end to Virginia USA to spend the month of October with the grandchildren. Donaghaguy[Wim]
Enjoy Virginia. Great that you can spend a whole month with your grandchildren. We now have two grandchildren in Sydney, one in Canada and only one here in NI. More excuses to travel!

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Re: The Blue Rhythm Dance Band

#11 Post by jinty » Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:14 pm

Great photos Bri, hadnt seen the one of nan & Raymond.... any more photos i havent seen?? :D
Jinty

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