PRIVATE ROBERT HAMILTON

Ballinode Parochial Hall Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Ballinode Parochial Hall Photo: © Michael Fisher

Many thanks to all those who attended my talk tonight in Ballinode, County Monaghan, about a soldier who died in the Great War, Private Robert Hamilton. Thanks to Claire Noble of Northern Sound for recording an interview with me about the subject in The Wider View programme this afternoon. The interest shown by people who attended who came from Holywood (Co. Down) and Castleblayney as well as the parish of Tydavnet shows that there are many other similar stories out there waiting to be told. Thanks are also due to Jonathan Maguire in the Royal Irish Fusiliers Museum in Armagh, who helped me to find records relating to Private Hamilton of the 9th Battallion, Royal Irish Fusiliers, known as the Faugh-a-Ballaghs or Blacker’s Boys (see the excellent record by Nick Metcalfe, a great source of information).

ONE DAY AT A TIME

One Day at a Time

One Day at a Time

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

David Drum

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.

Joe Finnegan

Joe Finnegan, Northern Sound

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 & Monaghan Gospel Choir

Gloria & Monaghan Gospel Choir

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.