When the crowd ripped up the seats in Dublin’s Carlton Cinema in 1956 in what was the first Rock ‘n’ Roll riot in Europe, in the audience was Dickie Rock – a young lad from Cabra who would go on to become a legend in his own lifetime.
Dickie Rock’s early years followed a somewhat familiar pattern for ambitious young entrants into the magical world of show business. He became a member of the choir in Cabra West, Dublin, where he grew up, and held day jobs as a jeweller’s assistant and an apprentice welder. By night he took part in various charity shows throughout the city as a singer in an amateur variety group called ‘The Casino Players’ before eventually teaming up with ‘The Melocords’, a popular local semi-professional group.
In 1963 Dickie went professional with ‘The Miami Showband’ and continued on to become one of Ireland’s most successful recording artists ever with a run of 25 hits from 1963 to 1983. Dickie represented Ireland in the 1966 Eurovision Song Contest with ‘Come Back to Stay’. After a magnificent performance and a respectable fourth place, the song remains a firm favourite with his fans almost 50 years later. Even after all this time, the people’s favourite son cannot leave the stage without performing ‘Come Back to Stay’ and all his number one singles including ‘There’s Always Me’ (1963), ‘I’m Yours’ (1964), ‘From the Candy Store on the Corner’ (1964), ‘Every Step of the Way’ (1965), ‘Wishing it was You’ (1965), ‘Simon Says’ (1968), ‘Back Home Again (1968) and so many more.
One of Ireland’s most successful singers ever, Dickie Rock was surpassed only by the Beatles, Elvis Presley and Cliff Richard. During his time with the showbands, Dickie attracted the kind of mass hysteria usually reserved for the aforementioned artists. Dickie is still in great shape – he’s performing up to 60 shows a year and the voice is as good as ever!
Two years ago, Merlin publishing talked Dickie into writing his autobiography ‘Always Me’, which went on to be a best seller. He also released an album of contemporary Irish hits recorded by artists such as Paul Brady, Van Morrison, U2, Thin Lizzy, Gilbert O’Sullivan and Shane McGowan.
In September 2010, An Post produced a set of stamps to commemorate the Irish Showband scene and Dickie and the Miami were very honoured to have been included in this tribute.
Over his 50 years of entertaining audiences, Dickie has recorded hundred of singles and albums, made hundreds of TV appearances and has performed thousands of live shows. He has made many appearances at music festivals throughout the world and was a constant touring performer in the UK and USA. He was the Grand Marshall at the Toronto St. Patrick’s Day Festival in 2003 much to the delight of the diaspora. He is well known for his generosity with his time when he is needed to support a good cause or charity.
Dickie’s latest singles ‘Moondance’, ‘Cycles’ and ‘This is the Life’ are big favourites with the radio stations throughout the country and it’s very seldom that a Dickie Rock record won’t be heard on some radio station on any given day.