Emmet Spiceland, with Donal Lunny on left
Emmet Spiceland
In the mid-1960s, Donal Lunny and Brian Bolger had been singing together in a group called The Emmet Folk Group with banjo player Mick Moloney.
The name Emmet Spiceland came about when they teamed up with Michael and Brian Byrne from Sheffield's Spiceland Folk shortly before winning the Wexford Ballad contest in 1967. (In the previous year the Emmet Folk had come second to The Johnstons). The Byrnes' father, Tommy, was a Feis Ceoil winner three years running in the Thirties.
The Wexford success led to a recording deal and in February of 1968 their Mary from Dungloe topped the Irish singles chart.
Bolger left and the group, noted for their tight harmony arrangements, went on to success with their recordings of Baidin Feidhlimuid (1967) and Tá na Báid.
After the group disbanded, Lunny played on Christy Moore's album Prosperous, Brian Byrne went on to achieve fame in the London production of Jesus Christ Superstar and Michael took up farming.
The First, Emmet Spiceland, 1968




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