The acclaimed ‘Queen of Country Music’, Philomena Begley will be performing with her band - the New Rambling Men - for a fabulous night of nostalgia in the Rainbow Ballroom of Romance, Glenfarne on Friday, October 12.
Philomena Begley started singing with “The Old Cross Ceili Band” in 1962. Philomena then formed her own band joined by John O’Neill on accordion, Pat Hamilton on fiddle and Tom Quinn on piano. Kevin Casey on drums and B Mc Nally on guitar also joined her new band, which became known as “The Country Flavour”. Sue O’Hara and her young brother Dano formed a local band in the Blacklion/Glenfarne area known as “Sue and the Overlanders” at around 1966.
While playing as a relief band in The Rainbow Ballroom, Glenfarne, Philomena spotted young Dano playing lead guitar and vocals and recognised a wonderful talent with great potential. She had a meeting with Dano and persuaded him to join her new “Country Flavour Band”. Philomena went from strength to strength and Dano became one of the best lead guitar players on the Showband scene.
In 1974 she formed her new band called her “Rambling Men”. This band was made up of Dano, Tom Quinn (now her husband), Liam Gibson, Colin Kiely, Kevin Farelly and Kevin Mc Ginnity. On her new L.P. introducing her “Rambling Men” Dano plays “Wildwood Flower” on lead guitar and sings “Walking Piece of Heaven” (solo) and “Today, Tomorrow and Forever” with Philomena; her other big-selling LPs including “Blanket on the ground”, “Irish country queen”, “The two of us” with Ray Lynam. She recorded in Nashville and America’s Country King, Hank Loughlin stated that he had heard many great singers in Nashville and could honestly say that Philomena Begley is the perfect artist.
Philomena always kept in contact with her fans over the years and always remained a country girl at heart. Over the years she did several charity concerts for fundraising events. In 1978 she and Dano were guest artists at a concert in Glangevlin Hall as a fundraiser for the renovation of St Patrick’s Church in Glangevlin. This was done free of charge.
The Rainbow Ballroom was always one of her favourite venues and she recently donated a song recorded with Dan O’Hara “Today, Tomorrow and Forever” for the benefit compilation CD to raise funds for the restoration of the famous ballroom.
The “Queen of Country Music” celebrates fifty years entertaining this year. So come out and enjoy a fabulous night of nostalgia in The Rainbow Ballroom of Romance, Glenfarne on Friday, 12th October dancing to Philomena Begley and her New Rambling Men; featuring her son, Aidan Quinn. Dance starting at 10.30pm. Full bar. (See www.rainbowballroomofromance.ie ).