Country music was getting a foothold on the Irish scene so Ollie was then invited to join Larry Cunningham and the Blue Boys. Larry Cunningham then retired (temporarily) and was replaced by Mattie Fox. Soon afterwards, Ollie formed a new band with the returning Larry and Mattie Fox called Country Pride. This band was also managed by Mick Clerkin who brought Margo into the band.
In around this time a further change was evolving in the entertainment/music business and showbands were fast losing ground with the emergence of the cabaret scene. Mattie Fox and Ollie then formed a cabaret group called Misty. Ollie laughs and tells me that the punters thought he was "Misty."
At this time Ollie started to write songs, some of which showed a lot of promise. In 1982 he joined Foster and Allen as part of their backing group and toured extensively with them. Indeed, this was a union which was beneficial to all parties as Ollie co-wrote one of their biggest hits - After All these Years. This song has been recorded by a number of other artists including Charley Pride.
Ollie now contents himself with touring with Foster and Allen, doing some local gigs in between and, with his writing. He has 12 albums under his belt, the latest which was released just recently - Captured Memories - and is doing quiet well. Listen to the lyrics of "The Squeezebox (in Mullingar Town)" and you'll appreciate the talent of this guy. This song was co-written with Tom Coleman.
Ollie looks at his watch and exclaims,
Oh well, that’s one of the difficulties of trying to interview a friend - difficult to stick to the point and lots of time wasted.
When I had finished the interview I told him to think back on the first band he played with again. He was just on his way out the door but I guess someone will tell him. Maybe the next time he is touring South Africa.
Ollie is a true gentleman and has a word for everyone. His songwriting material is excellent and attracts a lot of interest from established singers. While it's a hobby for him he is looking forward to writing more, in the same vein, and having his work recorded by the established artists.