A survivor of the Miami Showband massacre, Stephen Travers, has joined BBC presenter Gerry Kelly in leading tributes to Waterford-born singer Brendan Bowyer who has died at his home in America, where Elvis Presley once recorded one of his songs after seeing him on stage.
Mr Travers, who was badly injured in the 1975 UVF attack, said 81-year-old Brendan, who gained international fame for massive hit The Hucklebuck, was and always would be the "king of the showband era in Ireland".
"He could draw crowds of two to three thousand a night," said Stephen, adding sadly: "The King is dead."
Stephen posted a picture of Brendan, who was synonymous with the Royal Showband, playing with the regrouped Miami in 2008 in Belfast.
The singer had been a regular performer at showband gigs that ex-Clubsound musician George Jones organised under the title "Do You Come Here Often?"
Gerry Kelly posted: "Brendan was a true showband legend who led the way for thousands of budding musicians throughout Ireland in the 60s and 70s."
X Factor judge Louis Walsh said that Brendan, who was often dubbed "the Irish Elvis", was "one of the greats" and added that The Hucklebuck was one of the first records he ever bought.
David McLaughlin, chief executive of the Millennium Forum in Londonderry, said the showband revivals were always sell-outs, but he added: "There was an extra special buzz when Brendan was on the bill at the Forum and before that at the Rialto. He was a great showman."
Brendan's death was announced on Facebook by his family, who said: "It is with deep sadness and regret that we announce the passing of Brendan Bowyer, Ireland's most beloved international entertainer for 62 years."
They said he passed peacefully in Las Vegas late on Thursday night "surrounded by the unending love of his wife of 53 years Stella, his three children Brendan Jnr, Aisling and Clodagh" and two grandchildren.
The message added that he had been hoping to get back to his homeland of Ireland "one last time".
But it wasn't to be.
Crossgar-based priest, entertainment writer and broadcaster Father Brian D'Arcy, who invited Brendan to his ordination half a century ago, said he was one of the "nicest gentlemen you could ever meet".
He added that Brendan had been a musical pioneer with the Royal who were the first group to call themselves a showband.
He revealed that the Royal recorded The Hucklebuck in 1965 after hearing Tyrone showband the Clipper Carlton playing the song, which had already appeared on albums by Frank Sinatra and Chubby Checker.
The Hucklebuck, which was a chart-topper in Ireland for 12 weeks and became a dance craze, was completed in just half an hour at the Abbey Road studios in London, where The Beatles famously recorded some of their best-known work.
By coincidence, the Fab Four once opened a show for the Royal in Liverpool in 1962, five years after Brendan joined the showband as an 18-year-old.
In a 2014 interview he said: "The Beatles were brilliant. But it wasn't until the following August in 1963 that they had their first hit with Love Me Do."
Brendan said the Royal was the first showband to make a single and the first to star in a film, called The One Nighters. In it, he was encouraged to "grunt and grind", which didn't go down well with the Catholic Church.
Brendan's associations with Elvis came after he came to see the Royal in Las Vegas.
"I would describe myself as an acquaintance," said Brendan, who added that in February 1971 Elvis returned to see the showband in the Stardust in Las Vegas.
Brendan said after he sang Lord You Gave Me A Mountain, Elvis invited the Royal back to his penthouse suite at the top of what is now the Hilton.
"He asked me about the song and it later became a number one for him," said Brendan, who also recorded The Wonder Of You before it became an Elvis hit.
Brendan said that he had huge success with Elvis song Kiss Me Quick, but he added that when he mentioned it to Presley he couldn't remember it.
Brendan, who repeatedly hailed Ballymena's Freshmen as the cream of the showbands, permanently relocated to a house he'd bought in a gated community in Las Vegas and sold his home in Waterford, which he later said he regretted.
But he said the Las Vegas lifestyle suited him, though he enjoyed coming back to Ireland to entertain his fans.
In 2001 he had a surprise hit album called Follow On, which featured cover versions of songs by Irish writers including Bono, Bob Geldof, Van Morrison, Paul Brady, Phil Coulter and Gary Moore.
Brendan later joined Morrison and Brady on stage in a concert in Vicar Street in Dublin.
He also said that he became good friends with former Boomtown Rat Geldof, who had "maligned" showbands, but later admitted he'd never heard one.