VERY few Irish country bands have had to be summoned back from tour in America in order to appear on Top of the Pops.
But that’s exactly what happened to Foster and Allen back in 1982. Their song A Bunch of Thyme was a surprise Top 20 hit in the British charts, and the pair had to make their way back to the BBC Lime Grove studios in London.
Next month they'll be making their way to Armagh to take the stage at The Irish Post County Music Awards on August 30.
By the time of that memorable Tops of the Pops debut, Foster and Allen were already a well-established duo on the country and Irish circuit.
The midlands pair — Mick Foster from Kildare, Tony Allen from Westmeath — started out together in 1975, touring the pubs, clubs and dance halls of Ireland and Britain.
Their subsequent success isn’t hard to fathom. Tony Allen's classic Irish tenor voice — reminiscent of Ireland's first superstar John McCormack – is laced with enough country & western twang to give it a lightness of tone and poignant character.
Allied to Mick Foster’s traditional accordion sound, the mix is irresistible.
Watch Foster and Allen below...
Over the years Foster and Allen's early success has continued to snowball. In their 40-year career they’ve released 30 albums, all which have charted in Ireland and Britain.
They’ve also played just about every major music venue across Ireland, Britain, the US and Australia, picking up legions of fans on the way.
It's said that all any country singer needs are the chords D, C and G, and a scratching pain in their heart.
But it also helps if a lilting tenor voice is available, and a master accordion player steeped in the traditional music of Ireland is on hand as well.
The Irish Post Country Music Awards take place on Wednesday, August 30 at The Armagh City Hotel, Co. Armagh. Join music fans from all over Ireland and Britain and book your ticket today.