Back to the future at Shannon as Crosby entertains passengers
28 June 2013
Shannon Airport reeled in the years in song last evening as the clock was turned back over four decades by the nephew of one of the most famous names of stage and screen ever to pass through the airport.
Passengers waiting in the transit lounge to board flights were given a surprise treat as they were entertained by an impromptu set by Howard Crosby, whose uncle Bing passed through Shannon on a number of occasions in the 1960s.
The younger Crosby was in the airport to get a preview of a photographic exhibition currently being installed at the airport of many of the famous international personalities – including his uncle – from the worlds of screen, politics and sport who passed through and were photographed at Shannon from the 1950s right up to the modern day.
The photographic exhibition, which will be launched next month at the airport, will include photos every US President from John F Kennedy who transited the airport, either before, during or after their Presidency.
Other international leaders of church and state expected to feature are Pope John Paul II, the Dalai Lama and former South African President Nelson Mandela. Among the long list of stars of screen and stage who were also photographed at Shannon and who will form part of the exhibition are are Marilyn Monroe, Bob Hope, Gene Kelly, Marlon Brando, Charlie Chaplin, Richard Harris, Richard Burton, Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen.
Making the nostalgic visit to the airport yesterday, Howard Crosby said Shannon was the ‘best and biggest little airport in the world’.
“Shannon has always been and still is a great international crossroads and has a special place in the hearts of all Irish American. I am proud to count myself one of them. I was delighted to be able to sing here. It’s a special place indeed.
“Looking at these photographs, it’s almost staggering to see the famous faces who came through this airport over the years. The good people here at Shannon have an amazing story to tell, amazing history.
“The great thing is you continue to pull them in here at Shannon. Why wouldn’t you though; there are not many places as special as the West and South of Ireland,” added Crosby, whose family roots have been traced right back to Schull, Cork.
Crosby, who performs regularly across the US and in Britain, delighted the appreciative audience as he entertained them with a collection of jazz, pop, broadway and Irish ballads as he sang for over one hour.
Among the delighted audience were Josh Ryan from New Jersey who gave the performance the thumbs up. “Singing definitely runs in the family. This was a special moment from our trip. The photographs are also amazing and I can’t wait to come back and see the finished article.”
Said Airport Chairman Rose Hynes; “We are honoured to have had Bing Crosby at Shannon and honoured now also to have had his nephew Howard come here and entertain passengers. This was a real treat and is a lovely way to announce our photographic exhibition.
“Shannon Airport has an amazing story and the exhibition will help illustrate that. It’s amazing to think so many famous people, Bing Crosby among them, came through this airport and we are delighted in the year of The Gathering to launch this exhibition for our passengers.”
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