#OTD in 1944 – Birth of entertainer and folk musician, Jim McCann.

As a young man, McCann attended University College Dublin as a student of medicine, but became interested in folk music during a summer holiday in Birmingham in 1964. He began to perform in folk clubs in the area, and, upon his return to Dublin, he joined a group called the Ludlow Trio in 1965. In […]

Read More
Advertisements

#OTD in 1958 – The Springhill Mine bump: An underground earthquake traps 174 miners in the No. 2 colliery at Springhill, Nova Scotia, the deepest coal mine in North America at the time.

By November 1, rescuers from around the world had dug out 100 of the victims, marking the death toll at 74. “The Ballad of Springhill” was composed by American folksinger Peggy Seeger and English folksinger Ewan MacColl about the 1958 disaster. The song has been performed by many, including, Irish folk singer Luke Kelly. ‘The […]

Read More

#OTD in 2008 – Death of singer and folk musician, Ronnie Drew.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam. Ronnie Drew was born in Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin. He was best known for his long beard and his voice, which was once described by Nathan Joseph as “like the sound of coke being crushed under a door”. For more than 30 years, the distinctive voice of the […]

Read More

#OTD in 1939 – Birth of musician and composer, John Sheahan, who was a member of the The Dubliners.

John Sheahan was the quiet one in The Dubliners. In that cast of beardy and hairy rogues and rascals, Sheahan stood out by not standing out. Brought in to stand shoulder to shoulder with founder members Luke Kelly, Ronnie Drew, Barney McKenna and Ciarán Bourke, Sheahan’s playing brought a touch of elegant class to that […]

Read More

#OTD in 1966 – In 19th Century Dublin, Montgomery St was the largest red-light district in Europe.

At least 1,600 ladies conducted their business and the future King Edward VII lost his virginity there. This specialisation was immortalised in the song ‘Monto’ (Take Me Up To Monto) by the Dubliners, recorded on this date. Image | Elliot Place, Dublin, c 1930s

Read More

#OTD in 2012 – Death of Bernard Noël “Banjo Barney” McKenna.

Barney McKenna was the last surviving founding member of the Irish folk group the Dubliners. With Luke Kelly’s powerful voice and force of nature on stage, Ronnie Drew’s gravelly 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 […]

Read More

#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’ […]

Read More

#OTD in 1942 – Birth of artist and musician, Phil Coulter, in Co Derry.

Coulter’s father, also called Phil, encouraged music in the house. He played the fiddle whilst his wife played the upright piano. The younger Coulter recalls this piano, made by Challen, as ‘the most important piece of furniture in the house’. ‘I always stayed away from the fiddle, having inflicted enough pain on my family with […]

Read More