Whether you’re a fan of the Irish Showbands of the 1960’s or not, the passing of Larry Cunningham is a sad day for Irish music. Larry Cunningham’s music was always in our house when I was growing up. My Mum had known Larry and had some stories to tell and if you looked in her record collection, well, Larry was a prominent figure. So much so, Larry’s surname was never used in our house, he was just Larry.
Over the course of his career, Larry played with The Mighty Avons, the Country Blueboys as well as being a solo artist in his own right and was called the ‘Irish Jim Reeves’, thanks to his deep voice. While most people may know him best for ‘Lovely Leitrim’, it was for his first single ‘A Tribute to Jim Reeves’, that Larry made history, being the first Irish music act to be played on British radio. My mum told us of how she listened to the radio, knowing that they were going to play it. As a kid, being both a music and radio nut, was a bit of a kick.