David Curry (1899-1971)
These brief notes were supplied by Ewan O'Doherty. If anyone can add
any more we would be delighted to add them to the file.
David Curry began studying music at age of 9, at 13 he was playing viola
with Belfast Philharmonic Society, at 15 he had his own dance band, by
which time he had
mastered brass and woodwinds as well as strings. At 19 he was in charge
of a cinema orchestra, this during the 'silent' era; he made broadcasts
on the BBC and in 1931 joined same as a violinist in the Northern Ireland
Later he was invited to form a small group within the BBC NI Orchestra
to play traditional Irish dance music, and by 1949 this became known as
the Northern Ireland Light Orchestra. By this time they had made many
broadcasts both on BBC Domestic and Overseas' radio services and during
the 1950s made a number of recordings for what became the EMI Columbia
Label (78s, according to Ulster Folk & Transport Museum), later issued
on one ten-inch Medium Play record (ten tracks) / Columbia 33S1086, c.
1959. A second (12-inch, 12 track) LP was recorded at Clarence Place Hall,
Belfast, in May 1964 (David Curry's Irish Band No 2, Columbia 33SX1636),
while in the USA a 12-inch 12 track LP was issued comprising 5 tracks
from the earlier disc as well as two tracks from one of the 7" EP's
(Capitol T10028) and five others probably never issued in the UK. The
ten-inch Columbia disc was re-issued c.1973 on the EMI 'Aran' label (ISLE
3008) and comprised all ten tracks
from the 33S1086 disc as well as four various tracks from the EPs.
This discography is as complete as I can make it. The two 7" EPs
are not quite to hand at this moment but I'll forward all details of tracks
you wish to include all this information. David Curry's music seems to
been neglected for many years, and in 1994 I made a special radio programme
about him which was broadcast on one of Dublin's local radio stations,
Dublin City Anna Livia FM.
(Sources:- LP Sleeve notes and an RTE Radio programme presented by the
late Joe Linnane, after David Curry's death in 1971)
Looking forward to any feedback on the life and music of David Curry and
his Irish Band, perhaps you will consider adding it to your site in due
Note recieved from Gerard Denvir
My mother Teresa Clarke (nee Denvir) sang with David Curry's band during
the war, or shortly afterwards. She played accordion, piano and sang in
my grandfather's band - Bill Clarke's Top liners, and would get the bus
twice a week to the Ulster Hall Belfast to sing before a dancing audience
of about 1000 strong.
She was 16, and afterwards would get fish'n chips from the cafe beside
Oxford Street bus station, then get the bus back to Downpatrick. Then
she would walk 3 miles to her home. She's now 83 and she only told me
about this about 4 months ago. Like I said, probably not very relevant,
but still a great story.