Musical duo Paddy Molloy and Ray Lasserre have banded together and brought music to Forbes for almost 40 years, but now Paddy is ready to retire.
The pair first began performing together – along with Brian Collits and Gary Hemming – in a band called Country Varieties in 1979.
A few years later Ian Cameron replaced Gary Hemming, and the group continued to perform for about 20 years.
Country Varieties performed around the region, and had weekly performances at the Forbes Services Memorial Club for a couple of decades.
Performing in the band pushed Paddy to expand his musical skills, he decided to pick up a new instrument at 68.
“They used to play and I used to sing, then I thought, bugger it, I bought a guitar – I was 68,” Paddy said.
Paddy and Ray began volunteering their musical talents at the Jemalong Retirement Village and the Mater before the band formed.
Ray said they played the first Monday of every month at the Mater and at the Jemalong Retirement Village the first Thursday of every month.
Through their monthly performances at the two retirement villages, the duo got to know the residents quite well.
“If we didn’t come on those dates, they wanted to know where we were,” Ray said.
The duo’s performances at the retirement villages usually went for two hours with Paddy providing vocals for two songs and Ray singing the next two.
Throughout their singing careers, both Paddy and Ray credit their wives for making sure they got to all of their performances on time.
The long time singing partnership has come to an end however, with Paddy hanging up the guitar in February of this year.
During his final performance and farewell at the Mater, there were over 30 people dancing to the duo’s well known songs.
Although Paddy has retired from his singing career, Ray will continue to perform at the Mater and Jemalong.
“I’m going to play for as long as I can,” Ray said.