Valentino - King Of The Music

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

Career Start

The same year he did his very first professional engagement at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin on The Joseph Locke Show. This was followed by performances at Europe’s largest theatre, Dublin’s Theatre Royal, in weekly variety shows with Danny Cummins. He made his British TV debut on The Val Doonican Show for the BBC. Also on the same show making his first TV appearance was another Irish entertainer, the comedian Dave Allen. Other TV shows followed including The Black and White Minstrel Show, Crackerjack, International Cabaret from the Talk of The Town in London, with Kenneth Williams, and appearances on The Wheeltappers and Shunters Club, with Bernard Manning, Colin Crompton, Bill Haley and the Comets, Lonnie Donnegan, Buddy Greco, Max Wall, Gene Pitney and Roy Orbison.

Jackie recalls: “I was born in Mullingar, County Westmeath. When I was about ten I won the junior section of the very first All Ireland Accordion Championships. Ivor Benyon was the adjudicator. Until then I was self-taught on the accordion. The winner of the Adult section of the competition was Vincent Campbell then became my teacher. I was part of the showband era. In fact I was on the same show when the Waterford Show Band did their very first gig In Waterford. They had only just formed and of course they were the very first showband and started the whole craze. That show was organized by Peter Walsh, who later went on to manage The Tremeloes, Marmalade, Chicago, and many other bands. (It was Peter who later organized the camel stunt down Regent Street in London many years later!). I toured just about all the ballrooms in Ireland after that. When I was at school in Westland Row in Dublin I started a Ceili trio (called the Jackie Farn Trio) and we did lots of gigs playing for dances in and around Dublin and recorded an album for the Eamon Andrews Studios in Dublin”. 

The Jackie Farn Trio

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