Born Aughill, Magilligan, Co Derry. Had a rich repertoire of songs,
including some from his father and wife's family.
Became widely known through broadcasts in the 1960s. Was an influence
on Paul Brady, Andy Irvine, Frank Harte and Len Graham.
Adam in Paradise, Eddie Butcher.
Dick Cameron was an American-born singer prominent in the Dublin ballad
scene of the early 1960s. Born in Concord, Mass., He travelled around
Europe before arriving in Ireland in the late Fifties.
He sang solo and as a duo with Elizabeth Colclough, and was sometimes
to be seen singing on Irish television. His guitar accompaniment
encouraged many other singers to take up the instrument. He sang
American songs in the manner of Burl Ives.
He dropped out of the scene until in his later years when he discovered
the Dublin Goilin Singers' Club. Shortly before he died he sent Frank
Harte a collection of American children's songs simply titled Songs
"Dick Cameron was a big man physically but I never found him to be
anything but gentle, kind and generous and encouraging to those who
were timidly making their initial attempt at singing the songs," said
Frank Harte. Dick Cameron passed away at the beginning of 1997.
Irish Folk Songs and Ballads, Dick Cameron,
Born in Dublin, Danny Danny achieved fame in Ireland with such hits as Whiskey
on a Sunday and The Rare Ould Times which
went to No 1. Actually recorded The Fields of Athenry
before Paddy Reilly, but it was the latter who had a hit with the Pete
St John song.
Worked in a store in Dublin before going to England. In 1968 he told Folk
Magazine his influences were The Dubliners and Clancys. His
favourite singers - Liam Clancy, Luke Kelly, Al O'Donnell, Harry
Belefonte and Delia Murphy. Danny now lives in Manassas, VA
Pecker Dunne was born into a travelling family in Wexford c1933. Like
other travellers, he used to played on a fiddle he made himself. He
performed outside hurling and football matches. He also busked widely
in Ireland, England and France.
Resembling a Mexican bandit with his trademark beard and stocky build,
he is a colourful character, as widely known around Ireland as Margaret Barry was to a
previous generation. He is best known for The Miximatosis
Rabbit and a version of The Black Velvet Band
called The Old Morris Van. It was from him that
Sweeney's Men got Sullivan's John.
For the past 20 years or so he could be heard singing and playing the
banjo in Killarney and at Munster Final day in Thurles. He featured in
the film Trojan Eddie with Richard Harris and
Stephen Rea. Nowadays he lives in County Limerick.
Aged 74, he was treated in a local hospital in 2007 for a throat
illness. His spirit was as high as ever. Sr Carmel O'Sullivan said:
"Part of his healing process is playing music and we've found that he
has brought a lot of pleasure to other patients in the
hospital as well. He has been playing the banjo behind his back,
playing it with a biro and also with a part of a bicycle
Travellin' People from Ireland, Pecker Dunne,
Margaret Barry and others, Mulligan (Re-released as The Very
Best of Pecker Dunne in 2001).
Born in Liscahane, a mile outside Miltown Malbay, Mick Flynn has lived
in west Clare almost all his life, even though 60% of his schoolmates
emigrated in the 1950s and 60s.
His mother, Helena, sang and his father, James, played fiddle. Mick
himself has played accordion and mouth organ at different stages.
Willie Clancy and Martin Talty were big influences growing up and their
music is said to have influenced his sean-nos singing. Local singers
who he appreciated included Paddy Joe McMahon and Paddy Malone.
A Singer's Dozen, Mick Flynn
The Lambs on the Green Hills, with Siney
Crotty, Nora Cleary and Ollie Conway
Discovered folk music at UCD when, during summer work in Birmingham in
1964, he came across the city's folk clubs. He joined The Ludlow Trio
which had a number one hit in Ireland with Dominic Behan's The
Sea Around Us. The group broke up after three years and
McCann found himself back in Britain doing the folk circuit.
Returning to Ireland he fronted a series of TV shows, the most notable
being one from The Embankment in Tallaght in which Luke Kelly performed
his only filmed version of Scorn Not His Simplicity.
There followed a spell in the stage musical Jesus Christ
Superstar and with The Dubliners. Continues to tour and
on Jim McCann
Johnny McEvoy is one of the gentle journeymen of Irish folk music. At
21 he achieved instant fame with his hit record Muirsheen
Durkin. The Banagher-born singer had already served his
apprenticeship in the Dublin ballad houses for several years. He also
had a hit with Boston Burglar and successes with An
Bonnáin Buí and Banna Strand.
Has suffered from depression and his candidness about his illness in
interviews won him wide respect. Continues to tour and record, more
recently on double bills with comedian Brendan Grace.
Come to the Bower, Johnny McEvoy, 1967
Dolly McMahon was born in East Galway. At age 18 she married
broadcaster Ciarán MacMathúna. They met in 1955
when (working with the Irish Folklore Commission) he visited her father
Martin Fursey who had a great store of folklore.
She told a journalist in the 1960s that she was interested in ballads
and singing "from a very early age, when I was about four or five or
six, I think, because our house was always a very open house. There was
always a lot of music and dancing, and my mother used to play the
melodeon. We had a gramophone and a collection of 78s - all the old
jigs and reels. Fellows used to come and play the bouran (sic). The
bouran is a bit like a drum, but more like a tambourine."
She spent four months in New York in 1958, performing in halls and folk
clubs. She also sang regularly on Teilifis Eireann.
Dolly, Dolly McMahon.
Born in Castleconnell, Co. Limerick, in 1945. She learned her earliest
songs from her grandmother. In 1959, when Seamus Ennis was one of the
judges, and again in '60 and '61, she won the All-Ireland ballad
At the age of 15, Ann sang with the Gallowglass
Céilí Band. She also sang occasionally with The
Dubliners and performed at concerts with Willie Clancy and Connemara
sean-nós singer Seán Mac Dhonncha, among others.
She lived for a time in London in the 1960s. She also performed on
Comhaltas tours to Britain and the USA. She now lives in Ring, Co.
Waterford. Her daughters Odí and Sorcha also sing and the
trio launched their CD in spring 2001.
Briseann an Dúchas,
Ann, Odí and Sorcha Mulqueen (CIC) 2001
Mo Ghrása Thall na Déise,
Ann Mulqueen, (CIC) 1992.
Popular and well-regarded folk singer in Dublin sessions and on radio
and TV in the 1960s. Emigrated to USA around 1970. There she married
singer Butch Moore (1938-2001), who had been lead singer with the
Capitol Showband. They performed in America as a duet, often at
They worked in the pub business and for a time owned The Parting Glass
nightclub in Millbury, Mass.
Stylish ballad singer who accompanies himself on guitar and
occasionally on banjo. Born in Dublin and brought up in England. His
Scottish mother played piano and sang traditional Scottish songs. His
father, who came from Buncrana, also sang and had a good store of
songs. He went to art school and was involved in the Nottingham Folk
Workshop where he listened to many fine singers, including Martin
Carthy. A singer of quality narrative ballads, his diction is on a par
with Luke Kelly's.
On return to Dublin he became prominent in the ballad scene, singing in
folk clubs and on Teilifis Eireann, where he now works as an artist.
Continues to sing, most notably at the 2000 Ennis Traditional Festival.
Jesse Owens was born in Dublin around 1938. With singer Anne Byrne he
was involved in some of the early Abbey Tavern sessions which launched
the Irish ballad boom. Became widely known for his singing on Teilifis
Eireann ballad show Country Airs. Christy Moore
acknowledges him as an early influence.
Emigrated to the USA and when last heard of he was involved in the
running of a Wall Street pub called Diamond Jim Brady's. His latest CD From
Doolin to Dublin was released in summer 2001. More details
from Jesse: firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional note by John Reynolds email@example.com
Jesse Owens - or as he is known in NY - Michael "Jesse" Owens. Jesse is
still performing - until recently every summer at the Warren Hotel in
Spring Lake NJ, and during the remainder of the year at various venues
in the NYC area. He has done a few recordings in NY - Across
the Sea to Ireland in the late 70s, After All These
Years in the late 80s and he is almost finished another.
His musical performances have always included top class traditional
players - James Keane on the button accordion, then later John Nolan
(first American-born to win senior all-Ireland) and with myself, though
I don't quite have the credentials that James and John have. Jesse does
a musical tour in Ireland every February.
He is a great character and he still has his love of singing ballads
and also of finding new ones to sing. Although he only performs there
for St. Patrick's Day, Jess is usually to be found at "Diamond" Jim
Brady's every day at lunchtime. Brady's is on Maiden Lane in the Wall
St. area of NYC (212-425-1300)
A settled traveller and traditional singer, John (Jack) Reilly lived in
Boyle, Co Roscommon, and may have hailed from Carrick-on-Shannon in Co
Leitrim. He learned much of his repertoire from his parents. He proved
to be a remarkable source of rare ballads, which were collected from
him by Tom Munnelly.
It was from John Reilly that Christy Moore learned The Well
Below the Valley, The Raggle Taggle Gipsy, Lord Baker and
Tippin' It Up to Nancy. "He was a generous and gentle man,"
wrote Moore in his book One Voice,
and very tickled when his singing gained the attention of the
folklorists." He sang once in Dublin when Tom Munnelly brought him to
sing at the Tradition Club. He die of pneumonia in 1969, aged 44
The Bonny Green Tree, John Reilly, Topic.
Paddy Reilly comes from Rathcoole, Co Dublin. Used to sing in the
public lounge of The Embankment for the customers, until one night Mick
McCarthy encouraged him to sing in the Ballad Lounge.
"Both my Ma and Da were good singers in their young days," he told Folk
Magazine in 1968. "I got quite a few songs from them, I also
got a lot of my material from Ewan McColl's writing. His industrial
songs really steal my heart."
He said he was not conscious of any style influencing his singing. He
added, with a grin: "I also hope to make plenty of money before the
'chancers' ruin the scene."
Was considering entering the pub business when he had a huge success
with The Fields of Athenry. Enjoyed a long
successful career on the folk and cabaret circuit. He stood in with The
Dubliners when Ronnie Drew fell ill in 1967 and then for Luke Kelly. He
eventually replaced Ronnie Drew full-time in The Dubliners when the
latter left the group for a solo career in 1995.
Born in Glasgow shortly before his parents returned to their home in
the Border area around Beleek, Co Fermanagh. His mother came from a
musical family and both his mother Bridget and her father, Michael
Gallagher, were good singers and the source for many of his songs.
A former forester, he studied Irish and history while jailed in Belfast
for 'subversive activities.' After his release he trained as a health
inspector, while at the same time becoming known as a poet, journalist,
broadcaster and champion lilter. Made several recordings. He died on
December 6, 2002
Autobiography: The Stone Fiddle, 1979. ISN: 0 86281
The Irish Edge, Paddy Tunney, c/o Claddagh
Singer and songwriter from Ballyfermot in Dublin. Had a lifelong
interest in the music of the travelling people. Organised the Pavees
Club in Slatterys on Capel Street and sessions in the Tailor's Hall and
Brazen Head. Like a lot of inner city folk, he was moved out to
Ballyfermot. A member of the group 1691 - often said to be the
precursor of the Bothy Band - along with Tony MacMahon, Peter Browne,
Triona Ní Dhomhnaill and Donal Lunny. Best -known for his
songs Dark Horse on the Wind and The Blue
Dark Horse, Liam Weldon, Mulligan, 1976