Robbie Furlong has been entertaining audiences all over the world since the early 1960’s, and is still rated as one of the most gifted musicians that ever emerged from Ireland.
The name Johnny Reck may not ring a bell with too many people outside of Wexford, Ireland, but Johnny gave many local musicians their first taste of playing professional gigs. Robbie got his break when he was just 16 years old, playing with Johnny Reck’s ROCKETS and touring throughout the Island of Ireland.
Robbie was a founder member of ‘The Supreme Showband’ which was again Wexford - based and played during the Showband Years in the Dancehalls throughout Ireland. ‘Girls on the left and Boys on the right’ with the smell of Old Spice filling the hall and a 10-foot radius of the Chipper Van - and it blended in well with the Vinegar!!
Robbie’s first departure from Ireland was to play with Leapy Lee who in 1968 recorded ‘Little Arrows’ which was a massive Chart Hit in the UK. Robbie is pictured far left in this photo. Brendan O’Brien and ‘The Dixies’ did a cover version of Little Arrows that did well in the Irish Charts.
Robbies ‘first’ return to his native Wexford came three years later, re-joining The Supreme Showband.
Robbie though was keen to travel, and he headed for Germany with Dublin-based singer Danny Fontana, and then back to the UK circuit.
The US was his next stop, teaming up with Dave Golding (who also played with Leapy Lee and The Supreme Showband) to gig with an Irish band named Poitin. Robbie spent 7 years in New York teaming up with Pat Roper And The Spotlights.
Robbie travelled throught the US, and played with Johnny McEvoy on his Americal Tour. One of America’s top Country/Rock bands - High Noon - took on Robbie for the simple reason that he could play any type of music.
Philadeplhia called and Robbie married Leanora from Philadelphia. He joined the Cruise Liners that operated between the East Coast and Bermuda, and also between Miama and Puerto Rico. Robbie and Kathleen Breen were the resident act.
In 1999, Robbie and Leanora left Philadelphia and arrived in Wexford. The music scene had changed since those Showband days, and the 7-piece bands were being replaced by Discos and 2 or 3-piece bands. There were still however a number of Showbands travelling the country and within a week of returning, Robbie’s phone was busy with offers from bands like The Dave Lawlor Band.
Have you any memorabilia from the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, 00's featuring Robbie?
I would appreciate any photos, posters, and other memorabilia to copy (and return to you).
Or if you'd like to make contact you could always send me an e-mail to: