Big Tom and The Mainliners

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Big Tom and The Mainliners
OriginCastleblayney, County Monaghan, Ireland
GenresCountry, country and Irish
Years active1966–1975, 1989–2018
MembersBig Tom
Seamus McMahon
Henry McMahon
John Beattie
Ginger Morgan
Ronie Duffy
Past membersCyril McKevitt
Robert Browne
Dermot McBride
Peter McCarthy

Big Tom and The Mainliners were a Country and Irish showband from the Castleblayney area of County Monaghan, Ireland.



Originally named as "The Mighty Mainliners Showband", the band achieved fame after appearing on RTÉ Television's Showband Show broadcast on 21 May 1966 performing Gentle Mother which subsequently reached number 7 in the pop charts of Ireland. In the early 1970s, the band changed their name to "The Mainliners", however soon afterwards they adopted the name "Big Tom and the Mainliners" in line with other Irish Showbands where a single man was used to take centre stage.

Original line up 1966[edit]

Irish Top Ten Songs[edit]

Title Position reached Entry date
Gentle Mother 7 30 January 1967
Old Log Cabin For Sale 4 21 October 1967
The Sunset Years of Life 3 23 July 1970
Broken Marriage Vows 1 19 February 1972
I Love You Still 1 4 January 1973
Old Love Letters 1 16 May 1974


In May 1975, lead vocalist Tom McBride (known as "Big Tom") left the band and formed a new band "Big Tom and the Travellers" under the management of Top Rank Entertainment (owned by country music tycoon Tony Loughman). The band subsequently used other lead vocalists, including John Glenn, Tom Allen and Jan Lynch, and occasionally performed without a front man. Big Tom would rejoin the band in 1989 and they continued to play and record regularly until 1998.


Due to their advancing years the band have only had occasional 'comeback' tours. They have toured more regularly in the last 4 years with the original band playing together.

In 2004, Big Tom’s son Dermot McBride took Ginger Morgan's place on Bass Guitar, Peter McCarthy took Ronnie Duffy's place on drums and Robert Browne, a second keyboardist in the band, appeared to take Cyril McKevitt's place on Trombone (however both were performing for the band in their Q4 2005 tour). In 2005, the band recorded a hit single The Same Way You Came In. In November 2006, McBride suffered a sudden heart attack, jeopardising plans for future tours, however doctors later gave the all clear for him to have a mini tour of Ireland in February, 2008.[1] It is believed that the band will revert to the seven original Mainliners for this tour.[2] Cyril McKevitt died of a heart attack, on Tuesday 15 September 2009, just days after the end of the band's Summer 2009 tour. Martin Campbell filled McKevitt's position one year later. Since 2014 the band continue to tour on a regular basis including 8 dates in 2015–16 [3][4]

Big Tom died on 17 April 2018.

Last line up (2009–2018)[edit]


  1. ^ Retrieved 29 December 2007. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  2. ^ [1] Archived 2013-07-17 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "K-MAC Records". 16 September 2009. Archived from the original on 8 August 2018. Retrieved 16 September 2009.
  4. ^ "Top Rank Entertainment". 16 September 2009. Retrieved 16 September 2009.[dead link]