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About the Author


Oliver Tobin was born in Drinagh, and grew up in Drinagh, West Cork, his family were a very musical family. He attended two different National Schools, and then Skibbereen technical school, from which he went on to work as an electrician in Drinagh CO-OP Creamery. 

Along with his wife Francis, they have four children and so far five grandchildren.
Oliver's career took a turn when his brother Bernie formed a ceili band, from there several more bands, they were hugely instrumental in brining the famous guitarist Rory Gallagher to the world stage, as they travelled around the world, in the process exposing a young Rory to the world of music outside Cork city.

During his years on the road, he was part of the band which, played support to some of the worlds leading lights, and he has insider knowledge on the music world.  Oliver now resides at St Patrick's community hospital in Fermoy Co Cork. from where he wrote this book.  As he says I have " good days and bad days " they are all part of the Parkinson's syndrome from which he is suffering.


Sample Excerpts



My brother Bernie formed a Ceili band, He named it, ‘The Silver Star Ceili Band’.  The band lasted about a year or so, and as the year passed by, it was evident that people were now moving away from Ceili dancing. The young people were attracted to dances where the showbands were  playing.

It was then Rory Gallagher became lead guitar player, Rory answered an advert Bernie had placed in The Evening Echo, and about the same time a new rhythm guitar player/ Lead Vocalist called Declan O’Keefe  joined us.

We were successful; Jasus says Bernie we’ll all end up in jail if we don’t get rid of them right away.   So he showed them the door, and the two Cinderella’s walked away.

We are now looking forward to seeing the Beatles, as they are coming to Madrid to play. During our gigs Rory’s Vox Ac30 was over heating, and I soon discovered that the problem was the rectifier valve, GZ34, was causing the problem. We were charged 15 English pounds for it, totally outrageous, as it only costs 2 pounds in London.

During our stay gigging at the base, we had every Sunday night off, and as the Beatles were playing in a bullring in Madrid, we decided to go and see them. While there we also saw El Cordobes fighting a bull, it was all so new to us, very exciting, and very cruel.

During the tenure of the revamped Fontana showband, an offer came to us to record an LP. of Irish rebel songs, So through Arthur Frewn an associate of Harry Royston, along with record producer Siggy Jackson, we recorded the first of five Lp,s for the Pitwick label.  The first album was recorded in a small studio in the old Kent Rd, the studio later became the headquarters of the famous Manfred Mann band.

The LP had ten tracks in all, it was a huge seller, sold over half a million copies in a few weeks. It was entitled IRISH REBEL SONGS, by The Irish Freedom Fighters.  Its still listed in ‘Record Mirror’ as one of the biggest sellers, having sold now in excess of two million copies worldwide.
The band went on to tour Canada & America, where they met and played for Senator Ted Kennedy, who became a great fan of the boys.




A Star was Born

in My Brother’s



By Oliver Tobin


ISBN: 978-1-907107-13-9


Price:  € 8.99