The front cover of the new book on the life and times of Paddy Cole.

Paddy Cole - King of the Swingers

by Tom Gillespie

TUAM journalist, Tom Gilmore, has written another autobiography on one of the greats of the Irish entertainment scene, Paddy Cole.

From his first performance in his native Castleblaney at the age of 12, billed as ‘Ireland’s youngest saxophone player’, Paddy Cole has been playing on stage around the world for almost 70 years.

From Las Vegas to New Orleans and across the globe, Paddy has played with Irish musical legends such as Brendan Bowyer, Dickie Rock, Joe Dolan, Twink and is perennial on TV and radio.

With the Capital Showband, The Big 8 to the Paddy Cole Band, he has more recently being a regular highlight of the Cork Jazz Festival.

As well as music, he has done valuable charity work at home and abroad.

The new book charts his amazing journey from growing up in the borderlands of Co. Monaghan, to hanging out with Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and Muhammad Ali, and stars of the silver-screen such as cowboy Roy Rodgers.

As John Colgan of ‘Riverdance;’ fame writes in the book"s forword: "Paddy has had a stellar career. His exceptional musical talent across all genres has entertained generations nationally and internationally."

While playing in Las Vegas with Brendan Bowyer and the Big 8, the musical director of the band was Castlebar native, Tom Bourke, from Moneen who played trumpet with the band.

Tom Gilmore, a native of Bodane, Tuam, has worked as a journalist and broadcaster for over 40 years.

He has been a staff reporter with The Tuam Herald for most of this time, as well as a freelance contributor to most Irish national newspapers.

He has worked with Galway Bay FM as a newsreader-reporter and a presenter of country music programmes for 30 years, and has also contributed to TV programmes on RTÉ and TG4.

He wrote the best-selling 2018 book ‘Big Tom: The King of Irish Country’ for O’Brian Press.

His first book was ‘Larry Cunningham: A Showband Legend’ in 2009, and he contributed the Irish chapter to ‘The Blackwell Guide to Recorded Country Music’.

The new book is entitled 'Paddy Cole: King of the Swingers', which Paddy Cole dedicated to his late dad, Paddy Cole Snr..

Of his father, he said: "He taught me to read music and play the saxophone. He also taught me, amongst many other things, to drive a car, to fly fish for trout, and the meaning of the word Respect. He was my hero. I’m sorry I never told him!"

The book is due to go on sale at local outlets.

More from this Topic