Country singer Philomena Begley relived her early career on the Tommy Tiernan Show on Saturday night, recalling her life on the road and her first album Truck Driving Woman, which came out in the early seventies.
"I was sitting in the back of lorry, honest to God, if you see some of the sleeves I have," she joked about the photoshoots she posed for at the start of her six-decade career.
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Philomena, who is known as the Queen of Country, also toured in America in the venues "all the Irish bands would do" before heading to Nashville.
"I recorded, I think it was four albums in Dolly Parton's studio. I did two tours over in England with Don Williams. I did a tour with Glen Campbell. I’m the only one now who’s still living," the Tyrone singer said of her long-running career.
Referring to sectarian violence in Northern Ireland during the seventies and eighties, she also admitted that she was afraid during what she called "the Trouble times’ when she was touring.
"I’ll be honest with you," she said. "There were parts of it I was always afraid during The Trouble times was when we would be coming home at night it was very scary there especially the times they were blowing up the bridges and that,"
"You always had this thing in your head when you were coming along the road maybe they would mistake you for someone else and you could go up in the bomb on a bridge.’
She also told Tommy that she would never consider retiring" despite the pandemic lockdown being "the worst thing that has ever happened to me".
Philomena also sang live favourite The Way Old Friends Do, telling Tommy she would sing it every night during lockdown for her neighbours.
Fans and viewers took to Twitter to praise the singer.
She still has a strong voice. 60 years on the road. Fair play to Philomena Begley. #tommytiernanshow— Damien Carrick (@damiencarrick) February 20, 2021
Two mighty Irish women on #tommytiernanshow Philomena Begley and Helen Behan...keeping it real 👏👏👏— Jacinta Conefrey (@ConefreyJacinta) February 20, 2021
Ack Philomena Begley, the queen of the silver dollar herself! Delighted she was on! #tommytiernanshow— Órla (@orlacun19) February 20, 2021
Philomena Begley just sang a verse of "old friends do" on Tommy Tiernan show. Still a beautiful voice. The true Queen of Country Music.— Martin Mc Hugh55 (@McHugh55) February 20, 2021