#OTD in 1957 – Birth of musician and singer, Shane MacGowan.

Shane MacGowan was born in Pembury, Kent, to Irish parents. MacGowan spent his early childhood in Tipperary before his family moved back to England when he was six and a half. He lived in many parts of the south-east, including Brighton and London. Drawn to the punk music scene, he formed the folk-punk band the […]

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‘Winter’ by Tommy Makem

WINTER, a sharp bitter day the robin turns plump against the cold the sun is weak silver faded from gold he is late in his coming and short in his stay Man, beast, bird and air all purging, all cleansing, earth already purified awaits the rite of spring Her bridal gown a virgin snow and […]

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#OTD in 1939 – Bernard Noël ‘Banjo Barney’ McKenna of the Dubliners is born.

Barney McKenna was the last surviving founding member of the Irish folk group the Dubliners. While Ronnie Drew’s gravelly voice gave the band its memorable vocal sound, it was McKenna’s playing of the tenor banjo, coupled with John Sheahan’s fiddle, that gave the Dubliners their original instrumental quality. In the process, McKenna redefined the role […]

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#OTD in 1944 – Birth of Ralph McTell in England. Best known for his song ‘Streets of London’, which has been covered by over two hundred artists around the world, and for his tale of Irish emigration, ‘From Clare to Here’.

One of the great storytellers, Ralph McTell, known for his virtuoso guitar style, is primarily a prolific and gifted songwriter. With a style that invites you into a unique world, he weaves a narrative that is both significant and poignant. Ralph made his debut in 1968 with the album ‘Eight Frames a Second’ and in […]

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#OTD in 1998 – Paddy Clancy, Irish folk musician dies.

Paddy Clancy, was an Irish folk singer best known as a member of the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem. In addition to singing and storytelling, Clancy played the harmonica with the group, which is widely credited with popularising Irish traditional music in the United States and revitalising it in Ireland. He also started and ran […]

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