#OTD in 2015 – Death of entertainer and folk musician, Jim McCann.

Jim McCann was an entertainer and folk musician. Although a solo artist for most of his career, McCann was a member of the folk group the Dubliners from 1974 until 1979. He rejoined the group in 2002 for their 40th anniversary album and last performed with them in 2012.

It was on ‘The McCann Man’ that he met fellow folk artist, Luke Kelly of The Dubliners. During this appearance Kelly did his only televised performance of the Phil Coulter song ‘Scorn Not His Simplicity’, a song that he chose to perform sparingly out of respect to the subject matter (Coulter’s intellectually disabled son).

McCann subsequently performed alongside Kelly in the original cast of Jesus Christ Superstar in 1973, in the role of Peter. In April 1974, Kelly asked McCann to join The Dubliners temporarily, to replace Ciaran Bourke during a period of illness. However, he became a permanent member soon after when Ronnie Drew left the group to pursue a solo career. McCann remained with The Dubliners until the end of 1979, during which he toured incessantly, also recording several albums with the group.

McCann had been diagnosed with throat cancer and the treatment he received left him unable to sing. But he had continued to collaborate with the band; taking photographs for them and occasionally playing the guitar. He will be best remembered for his version of the song ‘Grace’ which was written by Sean And Frank O’Meara which tells the story of Joseph Plunket’s wedding to Grace Gifford on the eve of Joeseph’s execution.


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