Celebrating thirty years of TR Dallas

Story by Adrian Cusack

Wednesday, 6th October, 2010 5:01pm

Celebrating thirty years of TR Dallas

Tom Allen a.k.a. TR Dallas

Moate's Tom Allen, a.k.a. TR Dallas, will this month host a three-night celebration of his thirty-year career in show business at the Hodson Bay Hotel in Athlone.

The popular performer's 'TR Dallas Music Festival' is to take place at the hotel from Sunday October 17 until Tuesday October 19, and will feature a busy line-up of musical entertainment on each of the three days.

While Tom Allen first took to the stage in the 1960s, and toured extensively during the 1970s, it was thirty years ago that he took on the alias TR Dallas and had a huge hit with "Who Shot JR Ewing?" which was based on the popular 'Dallas' TV series

Asked if he expected to still be performing after all these years, he said: "Even 20 years ago, in 1990, I didn't know how things would go because at that time I got sick and became a diabetic when I was on tour in England with Foster and Allen.

"I spent ten days in Walsall Hospital at the time, and I was off the road for a while, but after two years I gradually got back into it."

He stated that in recent years he was delighted with the success of the song 'The Story That I Tell You Is True', which he recorded two years ago. "That song put another leaf in the chapter of my show business career," he said.

Over the years, Tom has performed with bands such as the Fine Avons and The Mainliners, touring and performing with some of the biggest names in country music, such as Johnny Cash, Boxcar Willie, Don Williams and Foster & Allen. He played at the famous Grand Old Opry in Nashville in 1981 and received many accolades over the years, including a Lifetime Achievement Award at a Gala Concert in London a number of years ago.

He is also involved with a number of charity initiatives. Since 1972 he has been a member of the Jimmy Magee All-Stars, a group of celebrities who fundraise for good causes. His ongoing involvement in local politics began in earnest when he was elected as a Fianna Fail member of Westmeath County Council in 1999. "Getting elected to the council was something I never expected, even though I had been very interested in politics for a long number of years," he commented.

"I still do a lot of fundraising and I'm working (playing music) four or five nights a week, so I don't get too much time to be sitting around. But being on the council fits in well with the music because most of the time meetings are held during the day and you have advance notice of when they're on. "Overall, it's been a great career. I love what I do," he said. At the upcoming festival he will be performing on all three days, alongside the likes of Rosie Flanagan, Lisa Stanley, PJ Murrihy, John Hogan, The Brendan Lee Band, the Peter Burke Band, the Limelight Band, Paschal Brennan and his Band, Patrick O'Sullivan and the Sean Wilson Band.

On each of the three days the live music and dancing will be staged in the hotel's Clonmacnoise Ballroom from 3pm until 5.30pm and again from 8.30pm until late.

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