#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 1942 – Death of Peadar Kearney, writer of the Irish National Anthem, ‘A Soldier’s Song’.

Peadar Kearney was born at 68 Lower Dorset Street, Dublin in 1883, he often walked along Gardiner Street to the Custom House and along the Quays. His father was from Louth and his mother was originally from Meath. He was educated at the Model School, Schoolhouse Lane and St Joseph’s Christian Brothers School in Fairview, […]

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#OTD in 1959 – Birth of musician, Gavin Friday, in Dublin.

Birth of Gavin Friday (born Fionán Martin Hanvey) in Dublin. He is a singer and songwriter, composer, actor and painter and founder of post-punk band The Virgin Prunes. Friday was born in Dublin and grew up in Ballygall a neighbourhood located on Dublin’s Northside located between Finglas and Glasnevin where he went to school. When […]

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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 1961 – Enya (Eithne Ní Bhraonáin) is born in Gweedore, Co Donegal.

Enya began her musical career in 1980, when she briefly joined her family band Clannad before leaving to perform solo. Enya is a four-time Grammy Award-winning singer, an Academy Award-nominated songwriter, and Ireland’s best-selling solo artist (her record sales stand at 80 million as of 2009). As a musical group, Enya is a collaboration between […]

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#OTD in 1945 – Birth of folk singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Christy Moore in Newbridge, Co Kildare.

Christy Moore is one of the founding members of Planxty and Moving Hearts. In 2007, he was named as Ireland’s greatest living musician in RTÉ’s People of the Year Awards. The former lead-vocalist and chief songwriter of Planxty and Moving Hearts, Moore helped to bring the musical traditions of Ireland up to modern standards and […]

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#OTD in 1861 – Birth of poet and songwriter, Patrick McCall, in Dublin.

Known mostly as the author of lyrics for popular ballads: ‘Follow me up to Carlow’, “The Boys of Wexford”, ‘Boolavogue’ and ‘Kelly the Boy from Killanne’. He was assisted in putting the Wexford ballads, dealing with the 1798 Rising, to music by Arthur Warren Darley using traditional Irish airs. His surname is one of the […]

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#OTD in 1852 – Death of popular poet and editor of Irish Melodies, Thomas Moore, who was born in Dublin.

Poet, singer, entertainer and songwriter, Thomas Moore, dies at the age of 72. Best remembered for the lyrics of ‘The Minstrel Boy’ and ‘The Last Rose of Summer’. He was responsible, with John Murray, for burning Lord Byron’s memoirs after his death. In his lifetime he was often referred to as ‘Anacreon Moore’. Moore was […]

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#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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