Delighted to meet Derek Ryan after his great show at the Hillgrove Hotel Monaghan in aid of Tydavnet National School. There are not many performers who can pack in a crowd of around 900 aged from 5/6 year-olds right up to 70+. I was also glad to renew a Carlow connection with Monaghan. Derek told me his mother used to work for the Nationalist & Leinster Times in Tullow Street, where my father started work in 1945 and went on to become Managing Director after his retirement from RTÉ. He met my mother (born in Castleblayney, the country music capital of Ireland) when she was working in a local bank in Carlow!
One of Ireland’s most popular country music singers, Gloria, has come out of retirement to record a fresh version of her chart-topping single “One Day at a Time”. She has teamed up with the Monaghan Gospel Choir, under the direction of David Drum. The choir was formed in 2007 and has just acquired new premises in Monaghan town (appropriately perhaps, a former gospel hall) for rehearsals.
The well-known country and Western-style Christian gospel song was written by Marijohn Wilkin and Kris Kristofferson. Under the watchful eye of Marijohn it was recorded in Nashville by Gloria who released it as a single in Ireland in August 1977. It remained in the Irish charts for 90 weeks in the top 30 until 1979 and was Number One from 30th September to 11th November in 1978. This made it the longest run by any song in Irish chart history and it still holds that record.
David Drum says that after nearly 40 years Gloria is delighted to re-release this Gospel Song along with the Monaghan Gospel Choir. He thanked the members of the choir for their work in this release and for their musical endeavours since their formation. He also thanked Gloria for the warm way she had embraced the request because, he said, songs like this never die, they just get better and more meaningful as the years go by.
The album was launched tonight at the Hillgrove Hotel in Monaghan. The Compere for the evening was Joe Finnegan from Shannonside – Northern Sound FM. The CD which was recorded at Attic Studios in Monaghan can be purchased via the Choir’s website for €4.99. It will also be available through iTunes. The accompanist for the Choir is Seamus Mc Fadden, who also performed with Gloria in her band for over ten years.
Monaghan Gospel Choir has a membership of 80 people, male and female, divided into three sections, 40 Adults, 10 Junior Leaders, 30 juniors and they represent all parts of County Monaghan. They age from the youngest member aged 7 to 70 plus. The children are not performing tonight because of school commitments.
Gloria was born in Monaghan and lives in the parish of Tydavnet. Her first experience on stage was aged 10 when she danced and played accordion with her father’s showband. After leaving school, she found work playing piano with another band, but it was as a singer that she made her name in the 1970s. Gloria toured around Ireland singing alongside Johnny McEvoy during the early 1970s before breaking out on her own. When she released “One Day at a Time” originally, she was very popular in the dancehalls, along with her backing band, The Mississippi. Gloria retired in May 2001, when she turned 50.