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Irish Stamps In Honor Of Legendary Showbands

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On 23 September, 2010, An Post issued four stamps to celebrate Legendary Showbands.

The term 'showband' generally refers to a particular type of musical act popular in Ireland in the 1950s and 1960s which played to crowds in ballrooms across the country.

The stamps depict images of the four iconic bands in this most famous era.

The showbands featured on the stamps are:

- The Miami Showband. The original Miami showband was formed in 1961 and in 1962, Dickie Rock joined the existing members and they became a smash hit across the country. They had many number one singles including 'There's Always Me' and 'I'm Yours'. In 1965, the band had three Number One hits, the following year, Dickie represented Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest adding to his popularity, he still performs to this day.

- The Drifters Showband. This famous midlands band started when two Dolan brothers, Joe and Ben, together with some friends, entered a talent contest and won. They had a string of hits including 'The Answer to Everything'. The band went through many line-up changes and Joe became an international star.

- The Freshmen. The Freshmen formed in the early 1960s in Ballymena, Co. Antrim and was fronted by Billy Brown and Derek Dean. They were not the usual Showband which played cover versions of the hits of the day. They mostly wrote their own songs and were noted for their brilliant vocal harmonies. Some of their hits include 'Go Granny Go' and 'Just to See You Smile'.

- The Royal Showband. This famous band from Waterford formed in 1957 and within two years had turned professional. Brendan Bowyer was the front man and they enjoyed many successes. They were the first Showband to release a single 'Come Down the Mountain Katy Daly', the first Irish act to win the Carl Alan Award in Britain, and they travelled to Las Vegas and became the first Irish Showband with international appeal.

The stamps and first day cover were designed by Steve Simpson based on photography by Michael O'Reilly and Sean Magee.

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