By David Flynn

Forty years ago a fictitious incident on night-time television changed the career of Moate singer Tom Allen, leading him to becoming TR Dallas.

The American tv programme, Dallas was a hit all over the world in the late 1970s, and during its peak in 1980, the main character, J.R. Ewing was shot by a mysterious assailant. The episode was screened on CBS in America on Friday, March 21st and shown the following Monday night on RTÉ 1.

‘Who Shot J.R. Ewing?’ was a catchphrase used on both sides of the Atlantic throughout the summer of that year. There was a huge marketing campaign of t-shirts, hats and badges available for sale.

It was a situation that would change Tom Allen’s musical life.

“I was in the business for about ten years before that time, and I had left the group ‘The Mainliners’ and I went to work with Donie Cassidy, well-known manager and politician,” said Tom. “I got a call from my friend, the singer Brendan Shine, who asked me to meet some lads who were interested in starting a band.”

The band that was formed in late 1979 went on to have Tom Allen’s name at the head.

Continue reading in this week’s Ireland’s Own