Tom Dunphy was one of the founding members of the Royal Showband. The band was founded in Waterford in 1957. With Dunphy as leader and Brendan Bowyer as lead singer, it became the most popular band in Ireland. In 1975 Tom Dunphy was killed in a car accident in Co Leitrim. At the time he was travelling to perform at the Mary from Dungloe Festival in Co Donegal.
Following its formation the Royal Showband played at venues across Ireland and toured extensively in Great Britain and the US. It had several number one hits, the most popular of which was ‘The Hucklebuck’ in 1965. In 1970 Brendan Bowyer and Tom Dunphy left the Royal Showband to form a new band called the ‘Big 8’. The ‘Big 8’ was based primarily in Las Vegas but also toured in Ireland.
Tom Dunphy of the Royal Showband and the ‘Big 8’ died in a car crash near Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim in the year 1975 On This Day.