b. 1946, Cabra, Dublin, Eire. After a spell with Dublin’s Melochords, Rock came to prominence on the Irish showband circuit, when he replaced Jimmy Harte as lead vocalist in the Miami Showband. With his thin frame and jug ears, Rock seemed the antithesis of the hunky showband pop star as personified by the Royal Showband’s Brendan Bowyer. However, Rock’s deep tenor voice and romantic balladeering rapidly established him as one of the most popular singers in Irish showband history. During 1964, he catapulted to the top of Eire’s charts three times with ‘There’s Always Me’, ‘I’m Yours’ and ‘From The Candy Store On The Corner’. A further array of hits followed in 1965, including two more number 1s: ‘Every Step Of The Way’ and ‘Wishing It Was You’. In 1966, he was chosen to represent Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest with the plaintive ‘Come Back To Stay’. In the wake of his Eurovision adventure, he was featured in an RTE documentary, Dickie - Portrait Of An Artiste. The focus of attention on Rock, coupled with his desire for better money, prompted a split in the Miami. By 1967, several of the originals went on to form the Sands. A second-generation Miami stayed with Rock until 1972, after which he continued as a soloist. In a chart career spanning 20 years, he achieved a staggering 25 Irish hit records. Despite his enormous popularity in his home country, Rock declined the opportunities to tour abroad. Instead, he continued to earn a substantial living on the lucrative Irish cabaret circuit.
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