Queens of Country back on stage in Castlebar

The hugely successful Queens of Country show featuring five fantastic female

performers makes a return to the Royal Theatre this March. With Billie Joe Spears, Philomena Begley, Jeannie Seely, Louise Morrissey, and Dee Reilly all on the line up this promises to be a great night to remember.

Billie Jo Spears landed a few big country hits during the ‘70s, thanks to a sultry, bluesy voice that made her a perfect torch balladeer. While she never quite edged her way into stardom in the US, she earned a devoted following in Great Britain and toured there frequently. Spears was born in Beaumont, Texas, in 1937 and made her professional debut at age 13 in an all-star country concert in Houston, not long after she recorded the single “Too Old for Toys, Too Young for Boys” as Billie Joe Moore for Abbott Records.

Philomena Begley has been a country queen for 45 years. “I would have to say that life in show business is certainly a lot harder now than it was at the start of my career,” says Ireland’s undisputed ‘Queen of Country Music’ as she embarks on a special tour to celebrate 45 years in the music business ably supported by her son Aidy Quinn and his six piece band. However she added: “I still wouldn’t like to give it up. It’s in the blood and I’m enjoying my work a lot better now than when I started out.”

On the night of September 16 1967, Jeannie Seely marked an important milestone in her music career by joining the world-famous Grand Ole Opry. The distinctive-voiced woman referred to as “Miss Country Soul” became the first — and to date, the only — Pennsylvania native to become an Opry member. Today Jeannie makes clear that it’s still a thrill and an honour each time she performs on the Opry stage. “I feel very fortunate to be part of the Opry tradition,” the Grammy-winning singer says, “and I truly am indebted to all the wonderful fans who have supported me over the years.”

Louise Morrissey has long been one of Ireland’s best loved singers and entertainers. She has achieved great success in both Ireland and the UK, and has brought her easy style of country and folk to many other countries, including the USA, Canada, Europe, and the Middle East. She has toured the UK with Charlie Pride, Foster and Allen, and Dominic Kirwan.

Deirdre Reilly beautifully personifies the dramatic influence that Irish music has had on today’s American country scene. Born in Holyoke, Massachusetts, to a mother from County Cork and a father from County Mayo, Deirdre began performing at age five. As a teenager she sang with her step-father’s show band and travelled around New England and parts of New York with her own band. Deirdre’s talents were revealed on a national level at age 18 when she toured the United States with Paddy Noonan’s Irish Variety Show. In 1989 Deirdre auditioned at the Berkeley School Of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, for talent scouts from the Opryland Show Park in Nashville, Tennessee. The queens of country will hit the stage on March 8. Tickets are available on www.ticketmaster.ie as well as from The Royal Box Office on 0818 300 000. For further information check The Royal Theatre and Event Centre website on: www.theroyal.ie or www.ticketmaster.ie


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