The sad news was announced this morning that Irish country music legend Big Tom McBride has died.
The 81-year-old Monaghan man was a fixture in dancehalls and airwaves in the 60s and 70s with his band Big Tom and the Mainliners.
Daniel O'Donnell told Ryan Tubridy this monring that he remembers going to dances, hearing Four Country Roads in the late 70s and early 80s and seeing Big Tom.
"There’s people who have a presence and Big Tom had it in abundance when he walked in somewhere," he said.
"Country music is richer because of him, he has left so much behind."
You can listen to the full interview here:
People have been paying tribute to the showman and sharing their memories and anecdotes of 'The King' of Irish country music.
Big Tom McBride was more than a popular country singer. For many years, he was an important link with home for Irish emigrants through his songs and music.— Michael O'Regan (@MOReganIT) April 17, 2018
Big Tom joins the majority. Good story: Garech Browne once took Mick Jagger to a Big Tom gig in Castleblayney in the early 1980s. Jagger went backstage afterwards and introduced himself. Big Tom refused to believe it was him and ignored him. Jagger flounced off in a huff.— Jonathan O'Brien (@obrien_jonathan) April 17, 2018
My dad ran a takeaway food shop next to the Galtymore in the mid 70s. When Big Tom played he was very happy because he sold a shed load of Chicken & Chips. RIP Big Tom— Joe Greene (@JoeGreene1959) April 17, 2018
In memory of one of the great legends of Irish Country Music, Big Tom who has sadly passed away. When Mum and Dad were courting, dancing to Big Tom was a regular occurrence. May Big Tom rest in peace. I am sorry I never got to meet him. https://t.co/xlk2fECCKb— Darragh McGann (@McGannDarragh) April 17, 2018
Big Tom (and the Mainliners): Four Country Roads etc on tape in Dad's car.
Early '80s roadtrips to deepest, darkest Mayo (well 2 miles from Knock) on pre-motorway, pre-bypass roads. Millennials have no idea how scarred Gen Whatever is.
RIP— Tim (@TimForde) April 17, 2018
The word legend is often over used. But Big Tom truly was a legend, he was the soundtrack for Irish people's lives not just here but around the world. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.— Ken Curtin (@kencurtin) April 17, 2018
So sad to hear about the death of #BigTom. I have many happy memories of my dad going around the house singing his songs - this one in particular. https://t.co/NEwWuu2uGM Ar dheis dé go raibh a anam dílis pic.twitter.com/SYbsFNDtk0— Sinead O'Donnell (@sodonnellnews) April 17, 2018
RIP Big Tom. Happy Childhood memories going dancing with my Mom, Dad, Aunties & Grandparents https://t.co/e8opA9QKpE— Dee (@Dlivinglife11) April 17, 2018
RIP Big Tom McBride ❤️ My Mam had his posters on her wall as a teenager and his music was always playing in our house growing up. Legend of country music!— Claire E Mulholland (@Claira_Belle) April 17, 2018
Sad news for all Monaghan folk Great ambassador for county, fan of our team and supporter of those with Special Needs. RIP Big Tom. https://t.co/78SLWzVYMT— paddy (@FloodPaddy) April 17, 2018
I broke me mother’s heart by telling her #BigTom had passed away, amidst the history lesson I got was that she’ll miss his lovely eyes the most.— Damien O'Meara (@damien_omeara) April 17, 2018
Saddened to hear of the death of Big Tom. An Irish music legend with a career that spanned decades. His voice reminds me of car journeys to Mayo with my dad as a child.— Maria Flannery (@mariaflan) April 17, 2018
Times Mattie McGrath has mentioned Big Tom in the Dáil: pic.twitter.com/lxlAzvoflf— ⭐ amy o'connor ⭐ (@amyohconnor) April 17, 2018
He belting out “Four Country Roads” not a care in the world on him and the audience lapping up every note not giving a collective damn about the seemingly impending nuclear fireball. And I knew at that moment I was home and it was the right decision.— Anthony O'Connor (@Antcon7062) April 17, 2018
- Digital Desk