The Dixies

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The Dixies were an Irish showband based in Cork city and which have performed and toured for over 40 years from its inception in 1954 until the late 1990s. Formed in 1954 as "The Dixielanders" the band originally featured Joe McCarthy (drums), Sean Lucey (clarinet) and Theo Cahill (trombone). They soon changed the band's name to the Dixies and became one of the most popular Irish musical acts of the 1960s when showbands were the at their height in Ireland. The band's line-up changed over the years but McCarthy, Lucey and Brendan O'Brien were among the longest serving. In 1964, the band signed with PYE Records. The band had their biggest hit in 1968 when their version of the Leapy Lee hit "Little Arrows" made No.1 in the Irish charts. Brendan O'Brien and Joe Mac also formed a band, Stage Two, in the early 1970s. This was somewhat successful until O'Brien suffered a severe electric shock from a live microphone. The incident happened in The Stardust Ballroom, Grand Parade, Cork during a charity event in 1974. It left him with burns to his hands and caused severe thrombosis throughout his body. The band finally went their own way in the late 1990s with the death of a number of members and others undertook solo careers. For many years a sign with the legend "Welcome to Cork, Home of the Dixies" stood on the main N8 Dublin to Cork road on the outskirts of the city at Glanmire.