Martin Crosbie

Martin Crosbie

Martin Crosbie

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“Wikipedia” entry:

Martin Crosbie (1911 – 10 February 1982) was an Irish tenor and older brother to Paddy Crosbie of The School Around the Corner.

Martin, who was affectionately known as “The Miller’s daughter”, a song he made his own, started in show business in his early 30s

The eldest in a family of four, he was christened John Martin but was known as Mossy to his family and friends. His mother and father came from Wexford town. His father, Martin Crosbie, was a foreman-fitter and turner on the Permanent way, that is the tracks section, of the old Dublin United Tramways. Before coming to Dublin, he had earned quite a reputation in his native town, both as a singer and comedian. He won the Wexford Feis gold medal in 1904 in the tenor competition. Martin’s paternal grandmother was a Bolger. She was reputed to have had a three-octave voice, and used sing in Bride Street Church in Wexford.[1] So, quite a history of singers in his family.

Before his singing career began Martin worked as a fitter / mechanic in CIE’s Summerhill depot.[2]

“One night in the late 1930’s himself and the legendary Billy Morton went to a show in the Olympia. In the bar during the interval Billy and other friends talked him into singing a song. One song led to another and soon there were more people in the bar than in the audience. The manager came in and said if he could keep an audience away from the show he should be able to keep them in their seats the following week. That’s how he joined Lorcan Bourke Productions. Martin caused a bit of stir the next Monday night when he cycled to the Olympia, walked through the stage door, hung up his bicycle clips, and went straight out on stage to sing. I didn’t know anything then about using dressing-rooms and make-up he had laughed.” [3]

His CIE supervisor, recognised a genuine talent and gave him a couple of months leave of absence, and pretty soon Martin was a star of variety at the Royal and the Capitol where the “Miller’s Daughter” legend was born in 1942.

It was when he was playing Belfast with Harry Bailey that he met (his wife) a young girl, just left school, called Thelma Ramsey. When he came back to the Royal in Dublin, Thelma was the accompanist. Pretty soon they were “walking out”

They toured with some of showbiz’s big names, including famous comic Max Miller. They missed out on playing the London Palladium with Max as he was allowed to bring only one other act. A halfpenny was tossed and they lost. “Imagine losing the Palladium with a halfpenny… wouldn’t have minded had it been half-a-crown!” [4]

He was a regular in the Clontarf Castle Cabaret from 1964 where he continued to perform six nights a week even when his health started to fail him in the early ’80’s. In 1979, he received the Variety Artists’ Trust Society award for his contribution to Irish show-business.[5]

He made numerous Television appearances, some of which still survive on R.T.E. and Ulster Television etc. He was a member of Equity and appeared in small parts in most of the Films made in Ireland at that time.

The above entry from “Wikipedia” can also be accessed online here.

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