|The Ireland Tour - The "El Dorado Ballroom" - 1958||
Ivy Benson - Band of Music and glamour!
Tom Bates (Publication Unknown)
After Thursday night last, let no man dare tell me, that even in this modern age of crew-cuts, stupid crazes and bad manners, good music doesn't pay off. What a delightful experience it was in the El Dorado Ballroom, Oldcastle where Ivy Benson and her seventeen girl musicians were playing a one-night-stand.
For many a day El Dorado proprietor Hugh Lynch has been showering invitations, so on Thurs I set sail for County Meath, and rarely before have I found a journey so worthwhile.
The significant thing about this dance is the fact that after each number played by the Benson team, the applause was uproarious. Leave aside the El Dorado stage was decorated with eighteen glamorous girls, even though Ivy admits herself glamour is one of her chief weapons for success.
The people of Oldcastle the other night didn't join their hands in admiration for good looks. To the contrary, what they heard coming from those instruments on the bandstand applause.
Music, well mannered music came consistently good, while the presentation was arranged splendidly. Let me be frank and say that even if Ivy Bensons band was only half as good as I heard it on Thursday night, I would have been happy, particularly since it was a girls band, and girls musicians are not too plentiful. This is the finest group I have heard come out of Britain for a long while.
Ivy Benson herself is a humble individual. With never a boastful word, she is a pleasant and intelligent conversationalist. Over an interval cup of tea I snatched a brief account of her career in the business, and believe me she has earned her present-day status.
Ivy smiled (perhaps sadly) as she explained the difficulties of keeping a girls band on the road, and mind you the men are her main obstacle.
"So many of my girls get married each year, you would be amazed", she said quietly. Last year she lost nine.
But despite changes
and phases, this Benson girl succeeds on a path where others would fear
to tread . Tonight Ivy and her girls play at the Arcadia Ballroom, Cork;
on Sunday at the County Ballroom, Cashel, and the tour winds up at the
Olympic on Monday night with a function in aid of Polio victims. I'll
certainly be therefor another earful.