Valentino - King Of The Music

"Valentino is the world's greatest keyboard entertainer" London Evening News

Breakthrough

Jackie first burst on to the entertainment scene at the very beginning of Irish television (RTE). The first instrumentalist to appear on the new TV channel, he was a guest on The Patrick O’Hagan Show playing the theme from Exodus on piano with the Radio Eireann Symphony Orchestra (Jackie shown here practicing with the Irish Symphony Orchestra).

He composed a special song for Patrick called The Lagan, The Liffey and The Lee (three rivers in Ireland on which stand Dublin, Belfast and Cork) which Patrick recorded on an album. A year later he introduced the Cordovox electronic accordion to Irish audiences for the very first time. 

Jackie recalls “A dear friend of mine, and Irish nun called Mother Cecily from Loreto Convent told me about a new electric accordion that was on display in a Dublin music shop called Waltons. I went along to have a look. While I was playing it I was approached by an agent from the manufacturers who offered me a Cordovox for free if I would promote it for them. I readily accepted and as soon as my Cordovox arrived I ripped it apart and rebuilt it to my own specifications. I changed it so the sound filled any auditorium I played in. It opened up a whole new world for me musically and completely changed my life”. 

Jackie soon clocked up over 200 television and radio appearances. Sell out tours of Irish ballrooms soon followed, and also appearances with Jimmy Shand and the late American C & W singers Jim Reeves and Hank Loughlin. The Jackie Farn Fan Club was formed by a group of teenage fans which quickly swelled to twenty two thousand in it’s first year. He became a regular on Gay Byrne’s Late Late TV Show and did a TV series called Country Style and another called Curtain Up that lasted several seasons on TV. 

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