Senior Times have one signed copy of Rob Strong’s biography up for grabs – the book is written by Paul Holland and signed by both Paul and Rob Strong
ROB STILL GOING STRONG AFTER 60 YEARS ON THE ROAD
The legendary Blues/Soul singer Rob Strong celebrated his 75th birthday recently and has been performing for 60 years in the music business in Ireland
As the title of his biography suggests, the Derry born singer is ‘STILL GOING STRONG and continues to play all over Ireland in 2022. In the early 1970s nobody in Ireland personified the raw energy of rock blues and soul music like Rob. Known as ‘The Godfather of Soul’ but versatile in singing all genres, especially Rock, Blues, Jazz and Pop. He is regarded by Colm Wilkinson, Brush Shiels and Johnny Logan, as one of the best singers to ever come out of Ireland.
Robert Armstrong was born in 1947 in Derry City, the eldest of nine children to Bobby Armstrong and Sadie O’ Donnell. Due to a chronic housing shortage in the city at the time the Armstrong family moved to the tin huts in Springtown Camp, which was originally a base for the American Navy during The Second World War. The Camp, known as “The Yankee Bases” consisted of 302 tin huts and was situated off the Buncrana Road in the west of the city. After the war, huge numbers of people in Derry were unemployed and many emigrated to England, Scotland or America. Many families in the city lived in squalor in slum tenement buildings and seriously over-crowded terraced homes. In 1946, some of these families were so desperate, that they squatted into the tin huts at one of the camps. Eventually, some 319 families ended up in Springtown Camp, with many not re-housed for over twenty-one years! After the war, huge numbers of people in Derry were unemployed and many emigrated to England, Scotland or America. Many families in the city lived in squalor in slum tenement buildings and seriously over-crowded terraced homes
In his biography Rob recalls how tough things were in Springtown Camp “Money was tight in the family, my mother would keep me home from school for a few weeks at a time, so that I could work on a farm, picking potatoes,. Every penny counted, especially with nine children to feed, but most families were big those days. I just couldn’t wait to leave school and get myself a job and earn my own money”.
Rob remembers how he struggled to meet girls as a teenager “When I started going to dances and tried to meet girls, I was quite shy. I remember going to dances in Butt Hall, Ballybofey in nearby Donegal. It wasn’t easy going the whole way across the dance floor, to the other side of the hall, where all the girls were. I had to pick up the courage to ask a girl to dance, only to often be rejected and have to walk all the way back to my friends! I wasn’t great at dancing but I’d throw a few shapes anyway!”
Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and you will be in with a chance of winning this collector’s item