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  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    


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 Orchestra.

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 etc.,if
you wish to include all this information. David Curry's music seems to have
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, now
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
course.

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.



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