The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem shot to fame after appearing with his brothers on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1961. Scheduled to perform two songs, they were forced to extend their appearance when the show’s headliner cancelled. The following year they sold out audiences.
After the Clancy brothers stopped touring / broke up, Liam and Tommy Makem commenced touring as Makem and Clancy, became a hugely successful duo winning world-wide acclaim for their mixture of Irish and international folk songs.
Bob Dylan was a huge fan of the soft-spoken Clancy, In a 1990’s interview he said, “I never heard a singer as good. He was just the best ballad singer I ever heard in my life. Still is, probably. I can’t think of anyone who is a better ballad singer.”
Maybe Liam Clancy’s finest song and one that highlights what Dylan speaks about is And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda, a beautiful poignant song by Scotsman, Eric Bogle. Although the song is about the slaughter of Australians at Suvla Bay, the actual landing was done by the 10th (Irish) Division who suffered enormous casualties on 7 August 1915.
Liam Clancy died from pulmonary fibrosis on 4 December 2009, in Bon Secours Hospital in Co Cork. His brother Bobby died of the same disease seven years previously. Liam was buried in the new cemetery in Ring, Co Waterford, where he spent the last number of years of his life, owning a successful recording studio. He was survived by his wife, Kim, and their four children, Eben, Siobhán, Fiona and Donal, as well three previous children Sean, Andrew and Anya.