Castlebar Song Contest
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The Castlebar Song Contest was an annual international song contest that was first staged in 1966 in Castlebar, County Mayo, Ireland. The contest was initially organized by the Castlebar Chamber of Commerce as part of a drive to increase tourism to the town. It was hoped that the competition would produce a song that would make the town famous, just as songs such as "The Rose of Tralee", "Galway Bay", or "Mary from Dungloe" had done for their respective towns. The first winning song bore the Irish version of the town's name - Caisleán A' Bharraigh.
After the first contest, the emphasis changed from finding a song named after the town to one of promoting the town through attracting composers from all over the world to the town. This strategy was successful and the town (and some of the neighbouring towns) were thronged with contest participants for the first week of October for the remainder of the contest's life. From humble beginnings with a mere £50 in prizes, the event grew in status to a point where its prize money at £20,000 was bettered only by the Yamaha Song Contest in Japan.
In 1970, the contest was recorded for television by RTÉ (the national television station) and transmitted on the following Sunday. The 1971 and 1973 contests were similarly recorded and shown later. However, the 1974 contest was broadcast live from the Old Royal Ballroom and Theatre and Travellers Friend Hotel in Castlebar nationally on RTÉ. Apart from 1987, when there was no contest, the event enjoyed live television coverage from 1974 until the event finished in 1988.
|1966||Overall||Sheila Fawsitt-Stewart||Dragoons||"Caisleán A' Bharraigh"||Ireland|
|1967||Folk/Ballad||Peter McKenzie||McLoughlin Folk Group||"Where Did They Go"||Ireland|
|1967||Pop||Vera Traynor||Butch Moore||"No One Else"||Ireland|
|1967||Straight||Andy Galligan||Joan Connolly||"One and One"||Ireland|
|1968||Folk/Ballad||Joe Burkett/Tony Hyland||City Folk||"Dividing Line"||Ireland|
|1968||Pop||Eileen Coyle||Tony Keeling||"The World is Ours Today"||Ireland|
|1968||Straight||Sean Sharkey/Eddie Masterson||Pat Lynch & Airchords||"Reflections of You"||Ireland|
|1969||Folk/Ballad||Ruth Kiernan||Tara Folk||"Soldier Boy"||Ireland|
|1969||Pop||Mai O'Higgins/John McBreen||Gary Street & Fairways||"Jodi"||Ireland|
|1969||Straight||Pat Walsh||Joe Doherty & Millionaires||"A Country & Western Song"||Ireland|
|1970||Folk/Ballad||Noel and Alan Connaughton||Melody Fayre||"Mary I'm Nay Leaving You"||Ireland|
|1970||Pop||John Lavery||Gerry & Ohio||"One Step Away"||Ireland|
|1970||Straight||Seamus McHugh/John Fahy||Red Hurley||"The World Is Such An Empty Place"||Ireland|
|1971||Folk/Ballad||Vic Dawton||Joe Cuddy||"Diana of the Roses"||England|
|1971||Pop||Michael Murphy||La Salle||"Feeling I've Got It Made"||Ireland|
|1971||Country||Donal McGrath/K. Doohan||Ian Corrigan||"Slumbering Goldmine"||Ireland|
|1971||Overall||Michael Murphy||La Salle||"Feeling I've Got It Made"||Ireland|
|1972||Folk/Ballad||Sheila Roberts||Frank Holder||"Song for Jenny"||Ireland|
|1972||Pop||Dick Farrelly||Mary Lou||"That's What Love Is Made Of"||Ireland|
|1972||Country||Teresa O'Donnell||Gerry Cronin||"He Travels Fastest"||Ireland|
|1972||Straight||Pat Coyle||Helen Jordan||"Shall I Ride"||Ireland|
|1972||Overall||Sheila Roberts||Frank Holder||"Song for Jenny"||Ireland|
|1973||Overall||Vince Hill/Ernie Dunstall||Joe Cuddy||"I'm Gonna Make It"||England|
|1974||Overall||Cathal Dunne||Cathal Dunne||"Shalom"||Ireland|
|1974||Country||Tibor Koncz/Iván Szenes||Kati Kovács||"Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue"||Hungary|
|1975||Overall||Joe Burkett/Andy Galligan||Des Smyth||"Roulette"||Ireland|
|1976||Joint Winners||Ray Davies
T. O'Donnell/Joe Bollard
"Let's Star All Over"
|1977||Overall||John Brown||John Brown/Mary Clifford||"You are My Destiny"||Ireland|
|1978||Overall||Sarah Byron/Liam Hurley||Sarah Bryan||"Onion"||England|
|1979||Overall||Zack Laurence/Paul Ferguson||Kim Goody||"Talkin' to a Stone"||England|
|1980||Overall||Ed Welch/Barry Mason||Linda Jardim||"Don't Stay for the Sake of the Children"||England|
|1981||Overall||Miki Antony/Robin Smith||Carol Kenyon||"I Wasn't Born Yesterday"||England|
|1982||Overall||Barry Mason/Don Gould||Barry Mason||"Big Enough for Me & You"||England|
|1983||Overall||Shay Healy||Linda Martin||"Edge of the Universe"||Ireland|
|1984||Overall||Brian O'Reilly||Brian O'Reilly||"Spread Your Wings"||Ireland|
|1985||Overall||Ulf Nordquist||Sten & Stanley||"Don't Play A Sad Song After Midnight"||Sweden|
|1986||Overall||Tim Norell & Ola Håkonsson||KATZ||"Oh, Johnny Dance With Me Tonight"||Sweden|
|1988||Overall||Brendan Graham||Linda Martin||"If I Should Ever Lose Your Love"||Ireland|
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