#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 […]

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#OTD in 1955 – Birth of singer/songwriter, Liam Reilly, in Dundalk, Co Louth.

Liam Reilly is an Irish singer/songwriter and a member of the popular Irish rock band Bagatelle. After receiving an offer from Gus Dudgeon (Elton John’s producer, now deceased) Reilly began a solo career. It didn’t gain much popularity but he wrote some of Bagatelle’s most popular songs during this time such as ‘Somewhere In Europe’. Reilly […]

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Róisín Dubh (Black Rose) by Phil Lynott

The song was inspired by Phil Lynott’s fascination with Irish history and Celtic mythology, and ironically was to become his epitaph. Go dtuga Dia suaimhneas da anam. ‘Róisín Dubh (Black Rose)’ Phil Lynott Tell me the legends of long ago When the kings and queens would dance In the realm of the Black Rose Play […]

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#OTD in 2013 – Death of uilleann piper, accordion player, singer, composer, researcher, writer and lecturer, Tomás Ó Canainn.

The uileann piper was probably best known as a member of Na Filí, along with fiddler Matt Cranitch and whistle player Tom Barry, who brought Irish traditional music to an international audience in the 1970s. The Derry native was an engineering lecturer and in the early 1970s moved to work at University College Cork, where he […]

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#OTD in 1935 – Birth of Liam Clancy, of the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem fame.

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 […]

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#OTD in 1945 – Birth of Van Morrison “Van the Man” in Belfast.

The Belfast Cowboy first achieved fame with a tight R&B band Them with whom he recorded Gloria, a song that still as fresh today as in 1964. A strong claim could be made that Van Morrison is the finest composer ever produced by the Emerald Isle. His body of work ranges from glorious pop like […]

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#OTD in 1949 – Birth of Thin Lizzy lead singer, Phil Lynott.

Image | When asked by a journalist what it felt like to be black and Irish, Phil quipped, “Kinda like a pint of Guinness”. Irish rock star, bassist, singer and founder of Thin Lizzy, Phil Lynott is born in England to single mom Philomena Lynott. At about age four, Lynott moved to Dublin to live with […]

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