FOSTER & ALLEN (Biography courtesy of CMR Records site, 2006)
Tony was born on 24th February 1952, the youngest of a family of nine children. He was very keen on music from an early age, and was very much encouraged by his parents and teachers. His father Patrick was a fiddle player while his mother was a fine singer. Tony started playing the accordion after one of his brothers brought him an accordion home from England. It wasn’t too long before he joined the Mary Landers (a local band) and in turn joined the Kieran Kelly Band replacing Brendan Shine. It was another Moate man, Kevin Sheeran, an accomplished musician and songwriter in his own regard who recommended Tony for the job in this band. They used to play mostly around the Midlands and a residency in the Irish Club, Parnell Square, Dublin every Tuesday night.
Tony’s whole life revolves around music, and he enjoys every minute he is entertaining people all over the world. He opened a recording studio in Moate, named Roseland Studios and all the major acts in Ireland record their albums there. Tony is totally motivated by music and with having the studio he is now directing his interests into the technical side of the business. However we all know Tony as an entertainer, and there is no chance that he would ever give that up. He has a tremendous singing voice, with the ability to make any song his own. I am sure you will enjoy Tony singing his new songs as only he can, for many years to come.
Mick was born in 1947 in County Kildare, in sight of the Curragh, which is probably the reason why he has a great love for horses and the open air. He now lives in Mullingar and has a small farm where he spends all his time, when not touring, looking after his horses and some cattle. __Mick is very keen on his music, and states that his accordion would probably be the last thing he would be prepared to give up. He states that from an early age he was influenced in his music by the famous Jimmy Shand and another all time great accordion player Will Starr. Mick was taught to play the accordion by a Westmeath nun and a local hero Frankie Gavigan. Mick has recorded a song The Old Button Box which is a tribute to the one and only Will Starr, and he had the pleasure of meeting the sisters of this great man. Mick Foster has a unique style of playing his accordion and a singing voice which suits the type of songs he picks. With his Foster Special accordion he will have us all tapping our feet and clapping along once more.
FOSTER & ALLEN
The story of Foster & Allen began back in the seventies when MICK & TONY were playing in Country Music bands around Ireland. In 1975 they got together a small group and went over to the U.K. to work the Irish music venues on a short tour.
Mick & Tony had at this stage the idea of working together as a duo, playing ‘easy listening’ music with a touch of traditional Irish instrumentals. When their U.K. tour finished they decided to let the band return to Ireland whilst they stayed behind to try out the ‘DUO’ on the public. They played several venues in the London area and the reaction was very favourable; so much so, they decided to remain as a duo and FOSTER & ALLEN was formed.
It was difficult at the beginning and after a time working around the circuit in the U.K. and Ireland, they released their first single record The Rambles of Spring. This made a good impact on the Irish market and FOSTER & ALLEN were soon in demand for cabaret venues all over Ireland and to a lessor extent the U.K. At the end of 1978 FOSTER & ALLEN released the single A BUNCH OF THYME in Ireland, which entered the Irish charts and became their first top- selling No. 1 single.
However, at this stage, this was only in Ireland! It was not until 1982 that this single was released in the U.K. It was played by all the radio stations in Britain and was soon in the ‘pop’ charts. It climbed rapidly to the top half of the British Top 20. At the time, Mick & Tony were in the U.S.A. on a tour and it came as a great shock to them both when they were contacted and told to fly back to Britain immediately as they were required to appear on Television’s TOP OF THE POPS.
Things now started to happen very fast for the new Foster and Allen and the demand for their services at venues all over Ireland and the U.K. increased immensely. They released another single OLD FLAMES which also made it’s way into the U.K. Charts and FOSTER & ALLEN were on their way to stardom! They did their first concert tour of the U.K. in 1983 and this tour was boosted even more by the release of another mega hit single MAGGIE. This proved to be a very popular song and, along with A BUNCH OF THYME, have become the signature tunes for FOSTER & ALLEN. Since then Mick & Tony have toured the U.K. twice each year playing to sell-out concerts wherever they went.
In addition to the U.K. tours, FOSTER & ALLEN have toured the U.S.A, Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania. They had five No. 1 Hits in Australia/New Zealand. They have appeared on numerous T.V. shows in Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales as well as Australia, USA and Canada. and they have had their own T.V. series on RTE Television in Ireland.
In the early days Mick & Tony performed on stage as a duo, but in 1982 (when the concert tours started) they added a band to their show thus giving a much fuller sound to their program._On the recording front, FOSTER & ALLEN have to date released a total of Twenty Seven albums, all of which have gone into the British charts. This is a great achievement for a middle-of-the-road ‘easy listening’ act, album sales being a very accurate reflection of the true popularity of any stage performance.
As well as the albums, they have released Thirteen videos, again all of which have entered the British charts. The video SOUVENIRS AND MEMORIES reached No. 3 in the charts around Christmas 1991, the BY REQUEST video went straight into the No. 1 spot in 1993 and their latest DVD/Video release After All These Years was a Top 10 Chart Release in the U.K. To date Foster and Allen have achieved album and video sales in excess of 19 million worldwide.
Foster and Allen celebrate their 30th Anniversary together in the Music Industry with the release of their new album Foster & Allen Sing The No. 1’s which was a Top 30 Chart hit in the U.K. for Christmas ’05 bringing the sales of their last three albums in the U.K. and Ireland to over 500,000 units.
Foster & Allen are presently in the middle of a World Concert Tour – 2005/2006 which has taken them on tour to United Kingdom, Canada, South Africa, Ireland, U.S.A. and still to come in 2006_- Australia May/June ‘06_- Ireland September/October ‘06_- U.K. November ‘07.
Mick and Tony are also busy recording a new album for release Christmas ’06 and a brand new DVD/Video for release Spring ’07. These will be both T.V. marketed releases in the U.K. and Ireland.
Foster & Allen’s style and easy listening sound remains as fresh and exciting as ever. They really enjoy the business they are in, especially the live concerts.
THE UNIQUE ‘FOSTER & ALLEN’ SOUND WILL BE WITH US FOR MANY YEARS TO COME!
You can listen to short samples from some of the tracks from this artist using the player below.
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