Big Tom and The Mainliners

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Big Tom and The Mainliners
Origin Castleblayney, County Monaghan, Ireland
Genres Country, country and Irish
Years active 1966–1975, 1989–present
Members Big Tom
Seamus McMahon
Henry McMahon
John Beattie
Ginger Morgan
Ronie Duffy
Past members Cyril McKevitt
Robert Browne
Dermot McBride
Peter McCarthy

Big Tom and The Mainliners are 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

Irish Top Ten Songs

Title Position reached Entry date
Gentle Mother 1 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.

Since 1999

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 took 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.[3][4]

Current line up (2009-present)


  1. [1][dead link]
  2. [2]
  3. "K-MAC Records". 16 September 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Top Rank Entertainment". 16 September 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>[dead link]