Tommy talks about his roll in the musical Paddy.
Popular Sligo Singer Tommy Fleming tours the U.K. from the 9th to the twenty-second of November in his acclaimed musical drama ''Paddy the musical'' now venues in box office numbers on our website Irish radio. Now for decades Irish emigrants played a vital role in Britain and construction roads bridges railways and in nursing now Paddy The Musical portrays their contribution and the toll on individuals Patrick Murphy is the lead character role played by Tommy Fleming he leaves home for London in 1964.Successes trials and tribulations are followed an Paddy the shovel Kennedy who has been in London for generations reflects on his own life and advises young Patrick to avoid the pitfalls.
Now to tell us more unpleased as they are very good afternoon Tommy Fleming. How you doing / how are you Jerry, not bad at all. Tommy nice to speak with you again, now Tommy actually Paddy The Musical is a social history of though there have been a books and documentaries but Irish exiles there the story brought to the stage makes it very accessible and coming to U.K. cities you're reaching those who were experienced immigration or heard accounts from fathers and uncles as in your own case. Do you feel this gives a ring of truth to it all absolutely doesn't mean we put with the stage initially two years ago and you know looking at the script and looking at the whole storyline it's it completely rang true for me and hence the reason I took the role and taking the lead in this was not some was not an easy decision.
Because it was, it's a huge power to do, but it tells a great story and like there isn't you know, there isn't a railway there's an immortal way there isn't a high-rise an office block that hasn't got the sweat of an Irishman honours in England and another, the song Paddy of course was originally written by Jerry Carney. indeed it was yeah Jerry, great songwriter and from there we kind of put the week jealous the rest official together to bring music in to us and then we wrote the meet with us 12 more sound forest right now I understand when this project could start your visuals was actually not to appear but you're invited to do so when the critics an audience reaction in Ireland has that certainly justified the decision you sellouts including at the board. Gosh energy theatre and Dublin are you joined at the the combination of acting yonder together with the singing. I mean, in fact years ago and I just kind of I couldn't keep both so too I'm always been a singer, actor not an actress singer. So when I took the role I tossed look as I do it for a while and that'll be it had to be good.
I didn't think it would get the reaction at first be perfectly honest with ya. and the reaction has been massive and the reviews have been masters and I've been very proud to get the reviews i got. Indeed Daniel O'Donnell writing in the Sunday world as actually said it's everything you could ask for in an evening of theatre. Who else is involved in the directing in the production the wider calendar in the show why the cast there's nine because nine members of the cast are they ared Gacy School of Acting an actual fantastic actor Michelle Ali who is the former lead singer of the down and another great actor is Jerry Carney who plays Paddy, the shovels Honeyman to this telecast it's a great Miss Brennan with another great young lad who plays a deep character Frank and it's working with them, is kind of it's funny, because I've been so used to kind of it just work in the Tommy Fleming and working on stage and then the lead man.
I'm in the role and all of that I know I've got nine cast around me, which are fantastic that's excellent admitting moving to the storyline your character Paddy leaves to settle in London which was the experience of many. Now challenges were hard work, for little pay, and poor housing. Now the motivational to send money home, it was important to you that you're giving that a platform to acknowledge the important contribution of the Irish diaspora during these hard times. Absolutely, I mean I used to remember, I always said that there's the household at home in Ireland that hasn't cashed I've that doesn't know Paddy that it is related to a Paddy and what I mean by Paddy by the Mendez went over and built Britain went over and tried to make a big big life because the BET didn't work out and they ended up on tough times, and they became are we not with what we now know at the Forgotten Irish. And it's a serious tribute to those men and women that's worked their fingers to the bone to make a life for themselves.
And it's just some some of them it didn't work out for the bottom and each know we've had a great feedback from those who saw the play in Ireland. In fact Catherine Hallinan from that Mayo we were so taken with it she's actually bringing family members to the Watford performance for example and also the critic on the Irish Independent capture sentiments well by saying Paddy is passionately performed for those who suffer the loss of her family in Britain, before a facebook and skype will resonate deeply and each few people even back then, I had telephones to keep in touch they're leading to immense loneliness needless to say.
Absolutely, I make you to think it's a very smokes much smaller world today then it was back then because you know and maybe a phone call might have been a bit look it's very look if you got the phone call one week and that's what does very Catholic deeds under now well now you've got skype viber facebook twitter you've got everything, so you know, even if you do like for example it takes exactly the same time today to get to Sydney from Dublin as it does to get from Mayo to London in 1964 wow that is but a circle putting it in perspective non-display know and it's amazing actually. Sorry I forgot now that but it's amazing because I just part of that the other day 'cause there, about six weeks ago I flew over to Sydney to do a PR trip which I arrived on left on the fight eat and arrived on the Sunday did my PR on the Monday and was then I left on the Wednesday and I was home on Friday.
Right, amazing, amazing changes in the world, not despite the serious subject matter people go to the theatre to be entertained and that Paddy the musical here. I believe doesn't disappoint as well as the narrative. you've that song some of which were will play over the coming weeks know where your so there's also where some humour in there you're not sweeping the harsh reality of social issues of the day under the carpet. But it's fair to say that there are a few like moments, along the way there's a lot of light moments and there's a lot of great funny lines in it that are you know, even to this day and how many performances I've done at the show and I still find them funny and i still find certain parts of it's very funny. And there's a lot of emotion there's a lot of laughter, there's a lot of Tears there's a lot of angst, there's a lot of anger and it covers the gauntlet of every emotion we have. Right that sounds superb know you were busy November Tommy. I'll have to say with it say you're opening in Warrington on the month of November further appearances a Reddish, Telford, Lincoln stock board Colin Bedworth and culminating at the walk from Coliseum 22nd of November tickets are selling fast. Tommy do you enjoy being on stage and connecting with audiences ? I do, as a singer I do, as an actor is very different, because I'm not fair as Tommy's living in there as Patrick Murphy, it's a very different thing and I still get the balls I'm literally after last Monday I finished my US tour and I was home and Tuesdays though that was four weeks of traveling all around the US.
Which we finished in San Francisco and I was on my own as a Tommy Fleming trip and now I kind of jump back into the role of Patrick Murphy as the actor to do the U.K. tour. And it's jumping from one to the other can be difficult for this supposed as I was there I mean him and 25 years this year I do and I still haven't last the flare heard you know that's absolutely excellent now would feature some of the tracks from it Paddy the fool that I lost goodbye my old friend and also where edge work you've got a new album you've got a Duet us with that Vince Gill Leah seemed country singer Vince Gill and a version of ''what a wonderful world'' from my new album year from the I brother Bret 25th anniversary almost it was released yesterday. actually um called stories and it's kind of 25 years of songs that I recorded, five new songs and one of those was I got a call from , I met Ben many years ago we got to know each other. And I did back a vocalist often different albums from and he rhyming Eastwood went towards us and I designer could use on the album absolutely and it's been it's been a huge air player in Ireland at the moment, thanks.
Irish Singer Jimmy Buckley interview with Jerry Byrne. it's Irish radio now since uh the onset of the lockdowns with covid and lack of live music and performances have been speaking to many of the great and the good of entertainment now my next guest is certainly no exception a gentleman who has an an astounding career as a one of Ireland's top country entertainers one of the top bands and top singers in Ireland and has been and sustained that for many many years also touring is one part of the the Three Amigos once a year and astounding performer a gentleman an incredible voice who he hails from County Limerick and I'm delighted to say hello to the one and only Jimmy Buckley.
Jimmy how are you, hello Jerry and great to talk to you how are you not too bad at all not too bad it's strange times we're in Jimmy awesome very strange times were in indeed Jerry. I mean this time last year I was preparing to go on my tour to Spain where we had a huge hugely successful week out there and it was due to to happen this time between the 12th and the 19th of October and you know just as well reminiscent about last year and then we had the Amigos tour and then I toured with Claudia my daughter and we had a great we had a wonderful year and then just in in since March in with with the with the pandemic and all everything stopped you know and what a year it's been you know.
I mean so many you know it's the first thing you have to do is to think of all the poor people who who've you know lost loved ones and and you know people who who are in danger with this terrible virus and that which is it seems to be sort of you know taking over the world and such but hopefully they're getting a vaccine you know up and running pretty soon for it and and you know it'll make the vulnerable safe and that so when you look at it from that point of view you know at least at some stage we'll get back to doing what we're best at and you know but hopefully just in in a safe environment and that all our friends and their families can be safe and well. That's the most important thing of all you know indeed it is yes indeed. It is because uh you know at the end of the day this is no joke and we've got to take it seriously and I think possibly in the bigger picture Jimmy of it all in a you know in a lifetime of entertainment this I think overall will be will only a short blip out.
Well I suppose you know, it will I suppose initially you present yourself when it when it happened in March. Well you know we've been touring so many years extensively and very busy and you know I thought, well you know maybe I'll just take the time out you know I have some Greyhounds and I love, you know breeding and wearing my own grounds and and and now I'm doing it all now in the way of training them as well and things and I'm glad to have them because it they're welcome sort of uh diversion if you like and it you know it's good mentally as well and that type of thing but you know it's, we thought initially you know got it just think we won't be back on the road until the end of April and then we thought maybe the end of May and now it's all for the summer and it's October and not looking like any time in the foreseeable future
Anyway you know so it's it's a big shock to the system and and very much a change to the way of life that we were you know used to you know run and racing and schedules and interviews and actually pulling off terry this interview with yourself is I think maybe only the second or they've possibly thought interview I've done since March it's just that. I just kind of if you like dropped out from the whole lot of it for a while to just see how things go and you know give people breathing space to to take in what's happening if you like you know so it's nice to get talking to to yourself on the radio and and talk about old times and look forward to to hopefully new times in whatever will be the new norm. You know indeed indeed so Jimmy but you know you've had an astounding career.
I mean you've remained up there you know at the top with the you know in the in the with a band and an incredibly successful band you've been you've been on the top for literally years. Yeah we you know I've been very fortunate to you know to be having a very very good career in the last couple years have been wonderful you know I mean, I suppose as a solo performer with my own band touring you know in Ireland and England and we take our our we take our our um Scotland as well of course. And which has become very good for us as well and we we take our tour to Spain or cracking the cost of the last couple of years that's something that has been building up you know massively and really successfully.
And then the amigos of course. The Three Amigos was a huge success, and you know touring with my daughter Claudia's also an added bonus as well. And you know I suppose you know I've been very fortunate Jerry and I have a lot of very loyal fans that have stuck with me over the years and um you know very fortunate very lucky but I certainly in front of my miss meeting the people and meeting all our friends and our friends and you know for instance just this week we'll say Donegal going on on lockdown there and that and my thoughts you know go to all those people because of fantastic people I love the county going on and I love that you know the enthusiasm they have for for their music is unbelievable and they're great great people so I just hope that they that everything can get back to normal for them soon you know indeed indeed and of course you you jimmy right throughout each year you were playing in all of the top dancing destinations including the likes of the allium arms in Bundoran in Donegal.
And all the other you know the top dancing venues throughout the country as well as all the the concerts and all the other all the other touring you did as well. Yeah I mean like all the great vineyards like I mean the ellingham and even the avid hotel there all another fantastic venue and you know the up in Tyrone and you know you know the newly and you know all over the north and that Bellymina and you know like some brilliant dance venues all over the country you know and it's so destroying to see you know the like adventures like that and for instance you know people like it like the you know for instance dearlingham and you know Peter Mack they're a fantastic man and his wife Elizabeth you know built that hotel you know to be one of the most you know popular country music venues in Ireland.
As it will be again when it returns. But you know, it's very hard under all those hotels and on and on you know their staff and people who've been very loyal to country music so it's not just I suppose the singers and the bands and the musicians it's all those people in the venues as well that and you know it makes yourself Jerry and and all your colleagues in that but look there's no I look I suppose I don't want to be sounding like doom and gloom eater and you know does he's got the future is bright and and um you know I suppose you just have to say to yourself how long more will it be before you know to develop a vaccine that people will be comfortable with and that people will have the the if you like the confidence to venture out again you know and I hope you know it's come soon.
Like the the Irish people are great resolving that and the people who follow country music you know but in England and Scotland and that's it you know they're all people who just love a good night out, love a good dance a little concert and you know we missed the entertaining. I was talking to Claudia about the other day with two guitars out and we were just singing and playing away to ourselves and you just missed the buzz of entertaining people you know that's the real buzz of it you know. Indeed so, yes and you know Claudia in speaking to Claudia you know she will she spoke of the influence that you had been on her and uh uh you know all of the things and you know I sort of thought she definitely kind of had a little bit of a head start by being you know by me being around with you seeing your performance traveling with you, You know, and all of all of that is a fantastic start for somebody in a music career.
Well you know I'll tell you it was great that I could give her the opportunities and and I suppose maybe show her some of the pitfalls and that that that you know as I call them the potholes that maybe I fell into and maybe I could have Covoid if you would for Claudia but you know she's a great girl she just loves country music she loves meeting people and you know. She loves the old traditional country and she mixes it with some of the modern stuff as well. And you know she was just really getting into performing when when when this happened you know this you know and but like myself you know she's there and she's just waiting and learning to go when whenever we get to the green light again Jerry and you know if we it could come back as good as ever and probably better.
Because people would be fed up of not being able to get out to see shows that it could give a probably a very much needed shot in the air myself you know. Indeed, so no doubt about that one thing Jimmy that you're renowned for is you you have an absolutely always have a top class band you know big sound you know and under some fantastic musicians in your band you know. I am very fortunate all right to have some great musicians over the years and I've always tried to make a point of keeping the standard of the musicians and the standard of the band and the show as high as you can because it's like it's like a game of hauling a football or anything like that it's supposed you're really only as good as your last show and you know the way I would look at this you know people people deserve that and they expect it nowadays you know. To for you to have a good show and a good band and a good band just you know when you when it gels together and the singer out front it all looks like a it's all like a wheel and there's so many cogs in the way.
But they all have to be turning at the same time and you know I have, I've had great musicians and still have them because when we come back there I mean they're all ready to go and I feel for the lads. I feel for all the musicians all the hard work and musicians and my colleagues and singers and that you know who you know applied their trade you know willingly up and down the roads of Ireland you know and and further afield over the years and so much talented people bringing so much entertainment to many people and now you know if you like their their someone you know some of them are you know are struggling very much and my heart goes out to them because they're great people and such talented people so you know this was the pandemic has really hit our industry in a bad way.
But you know, I suppose it is probably in every industry you know in one way or another and you know but look there's those brighter days. Indeed that's the thing Jimmy, interesting thing actually, you're saying about the band is many of your band members actually uh are uh you know as you know are session musicians and they're you know they're taking my studios to do backing and all that thing I think which is a testament to the you know the sheer talent of those guys. That you've got in the band and you've always the banter oh your band has always been absolutely top class, and top class sound and and show well thank you thank you they have indeed and you know recently actually my old fiddle player friend and colleague of mine for over 19 years Charlie wonderful Charlie Arkins, all the way from from at boy and of course we've with the Cotton Mill Boys for years and with one opportunity next to the couple boys and with John Hogan for a long time as well and he spent a long spell with me and what a tour gentleman and a brilliant brilliant musician and Charlie recently retired from from the band you know it's just he's I suppose he got the taste of being at home for a while and Mary probably persuaded him up the boot for hang up the ball.
If you like but we'll miss Charlie Arkins, he was a wonderful fiddle player wonderful character and so well loved and liked by everybody but you know he retired recently and I wish him all the very best what a brilliant guy you know and I we had some brilliant laughs together by God we had some great times you know yes indeed I've seen that all right and Charlie really was you know I'll have to say he he was one of those guys who was larger than life uh on stage and a fantastic musician very you know really wonderful charisma about him Jerry he just you know he just had that that God-given talent and and the charisma to carry it off and always a smile for everyone and just a brilliant player and a good real authentic country traditionally country fiddle player and and brilliant harmonica player as well.
You know what I mean, so just really terrific guy you know. Indeed, so you know it's amazing but to this day it's a just it's a regular occurrence for me to get requests for Your Wedding Day Song continually after all these years also what a song what a song that was written by Henry McMahon for me and you know it's one of those songs that you know I will have to sing at any show I do until, until I hang up my boots, anywhere and I'm forever grateful to Henry McMahon for writing me that brilliant song you know and you know funny enough it just reminds me of you know being at the dance is over in England as well and that you know and against more and I want to say a big hello to my great friend Stephen keller Jerry I know you know Stephen well he's a great friend and a huge follower of the bands for years and we know Steve, Steven's a little bit poorly at the minute and I wish him all the very best because he's come to Ireland you could meet Stephen anywhere and he'd be in at all the venues in England that's such a lovely chap and all's wishing all the bands all the very best and I saw, I want to give a huge big shout out to Stephen and thank him indeed for all his brilliant support for the years. Indeed,
So wishing Stephen all the best Jimmy you haven't done you've kind of taken that you're saying there's sort of a back seat and you've concentrated on on your dogs and all that since the start you haven't really sort of done any live streaming or anything like that since the lockdown. No not really I suppose you know the live streaming thing I'm kind of maybe I'm more of a more of a live person in front of people you know what I mean and that and you know I mean we put up the ad posts and that but you know sometimes it can be maybe overdone I think you know um too much of it and there may be better off to dip in and out of times and give people a chance to you know see other things in that but um no I mean I just love performing to people I love you know for performing in front of people and getting their reactions and that's what really buzzes me and that's the thing i miss most is to you know perform you know have have um a lot of songs ready to go and singles ready to go and that type of thing Jerry but you know I suppose I'm waiting for the time to you know to release a song or two you know.
If you have a big hit at the moment I suppose it could be in one since it's great and then another since you wouldn't really have the chance to tour it if it was very successful for you you know so it's a kind of a it's a kind of a do our order type of scenario you know yes yes you know what i totally understand that it's one of those situations that for an artist is very hard to call and you know that is the truth of it. And the one ironic thing as we were saying about is that everybody involved in the in the arts and the performing arts right across the world has been affected this includes you know the theaters the shows on Broadway or the west end every single thing right across the world every single thing from you know from the biggest touring actor you know to the the people who do their one-man shows or you know are you know the musicians you know even the bus goes down to down to everyone who can sing or entertain or act or you know the actors that you know wonderfully talented people in the acts that you know just we just can't do anything unfortunately you know at the moment.
But look, I suppose when we do get back we appreciate it all the more that's the way you know and you know it's I suppose you don't you don't miss it until you're not doing it for a while maybe but you know all those entertainers are so willing to get back at us anytime soon hopefully. You know but hopefully people can get through the winter okay and I know that you have an awful lot of Irish people over there that we listen to as well and people from back home and I can only wish them all the very best in their families and and we're thinking of them and that they'll all they're safe and healthy and well.
vesI'm Jerry Byrne I'm speaking to the great and the good of music now my next guest is the gentleman I spoke to him back a few months ago in uh the first lockdown that happened one of the big names in uh music in excess of 30 years at the top of his game and still performing well up until lockdown still recording I'm delighted to say hello to him in balance in county long for the winners only Mick flavin and mick how are you. Hello Jerry how are you, nice nice to talk to you again. Indeed it is Mick it is the last time we spoke was in the the first part of of lockdown and all the rest and you've been you've been a busy lad during the period of lockdown recording a complete new album.
Yeah I've got a new 18 track album out uh cherry and just picked some songs there when there wasn't a whole lot going on really on the on the live scene and so with some operating songs and I've got a few originals in there as well a couple of nice songs written by uh P.J. Morrihy and have a nice original there by shoenik ramsey as well so I went up to a guy that's I started doing a bit of walk with there last year and him and I did a couple of different gigs together we did quite a bit at the social dancing here in Ireland and he's a man called Brian Kerrigan so Brian has his own studio in Letterkenny and I went up to Brian and spent a few years up there with him and went back again, just do the finish so that's where I recorded it and studio right I must say it's a top-class quality I must say and uh the the song I know the single which was released it was released back just a short time before the album home in long food written by P.J. Murrahy going in absolute dorm it is.
yeah it's a great song, and it basically tells the story about when I was starting off on the business an old guitar and you know suppose really like a lot of people that started off in the business. You know it's nice to go back where you started from and and it's always nice to remember where you started from really you know and it tells the story really about me starting out and I was very lucky really to be honest Jerry in the business you know 43 great years and you know been really lucky and not just here in Ireland but across in the U.K. indeed England and London especially in Birmingham, Manchester, right across Scotland and have had great old times in London especially.
Indeed you were there many many times and one of the top the top draws there you've got a little another song on there from Peterborough that album was well the wounded pilgrim and yeah another penguin is a great song as well let's uh it tells the story of well it would relate to my the problem that I had back the years when i was trying to kick the habit or trying to get off the drink and it tells the story of a person in similar circumstances so it's a really you know, it's close to home song for me as well you know so a very good writer and he's written some great songs especially for Daniel O'Donnell and people like that you know and just recorded some great original material to themselves like indeed he certainly has now what interesting thing make about this album.
I remember the the very first album, well I remember playing it on radio back in the day which was introducing that was an album released in you know in 1986 and you've actually correct yeah you've recorded actually you've re-recorded three of the classic tracks there was on that album dream of me precious jewel and gone gone gone they're featured on the new album yeah that's correct. Yeah well I suppose when I took it out to be honest Jerry. It was only on cassette and and then I had it out about a year and a company in England took it over called prison leisure and they put it on vinyl and and they changed the name of it because the name I had on the cassette was a great name really because I wouldn't have been known at all like really I would have been known a bit here in Ireland all right Midlands would have played in the pub scene and that but nobody in England would have known me around like that so there's a great title really introducing Mick Flavin, you know and it did a lot of good for me in England honestly you know indeed it did and uh it was a it was an album that uh you know that certainly did a lot but those particular songs where your classic tracks from back in time and it's lovely to have them on this album I must say.
It is yeah, it's nice because down through the years there are fans of mine you know that come along and they say well look we've got all we've got everything that you recorded except your very first songs your first tip on and I said well look at maybe someday I'll maybe when I get back in the studio I'll you know re-record them and put them on cd and and that's what I did really.
Yeah that's excellent stuff and I must say, top class, the top quality recording and top quality production on it and it is yeah that's what I'm saying about Brian Kerrigan. He's a terrific guy, he's got a great ear for music and he's got a really good studio there as well it's called harmony studios in that and you know I could honestly it's my first time ever to record with him, but I think he's he's excellent now and he's you know, if it was normal times he would be getting a hell of a lot of work even from from that album but he's doing okay at the minute now.
But you know everybody is suffering from badly with this corona virus or covert 19 and I mean it's just it has been a horrendous year really for people in the music business and I mean it was last January I think was the last time I did the gig with the band on the twenty it was about the 24th of January. Now I was supposed to be over in the U.K. there in around London on that in Birmingham for some Saint Patrick's weekend but so like the whole thing was up and hit then and you know it was really breaking bad at that that's time you know indeed so Mandy so and you know what it has been as you said it's been an absolutely horrendous year and I think for anybody in the in the performing arts be it singing or acting on stage or involved in music it doesn't matter what it is everything has just been washed out everything oh yeah.
It's terrible yeah. and it's not just our country or England or the U.K. it's right across the whole world you know indeed, so it's incredible to think you know of all the people involved in you know in the you should say the performing arts and hospitality sector which have been impacted it says huge upside oh yeah absolutely the whole the whole this music business in Ireland I mean it was it was the to the economy it would have been what about two or three billion in a year and that's a that's a phenomenal amount of money for a small little country really you know.
It is indeed, it's absolutely huge, another track by the way we make on that album is you've got a you've got a duet with the calvin singer brenton German of a murderer in German yea mm-hmm murderer musical music role yeah it's a really good song I think it was George Street and Alan Jackson had the original of that you know and it's a good song and it came out really well too you know, indeed. So it sounds I have to say it sounds great and i'll have to say the two voices your two voices fit very very well in ours yeah because we never ever sang before or we just you know it's just it seemed to just the jail just like you know indeed excellent so mickey how can how can people get the album.
Yeah well, we're selling the album on from my U.K. website I've got a new website it's www. mixlab. co. U.K. that's one way you can you can purchase it and then for people who claim to maybe don't you know are not familiar with computers and that like myself I'm hopeless on a computer. You can actually just send on a check or a postal order here to me from which it's just mixed lab and schoolyard records from this County Longford and if you send a check report to the order for uh 20 euro that'll and that will cover uh post and packaging and all that stuff you know great stuff great stuff and i believe it is it's going a storm for you at the moment yeah it's selling ex extremely well and you know i was just saying just imagine if we had if we were out doing gigs and stuff like that it would have been you know it's really it's been fantastic now I'm really over the moon about how well it's selling.
For me, you know that is that's absolutely excellent and you know well done, in you know in the in the difficult circumstances you know to you know that you've actually been been able to to do the album and you know and get it out yeah well done on that yeah because I suppose it will it will cheer people up and you know and it will be a nice little uh stop and filler for the Christmas as well like you know indeed so Mick listen it's been lovely to lovely to catch up with you lovely to get the to get the album on this and wishing you loads of success with us thanks a million Jerry and i just want to say a million thanks to you because uh it's a long long time since you and i met below in Monahan it could be 35 34 or 5 years ago nearly uh but you've been you know you've been so good to me and all the Irish artists over there in London and all through the years like and i just want to say thanks a million jerry and i want to wish you and your family a very happy Christmas and indeed hopefully with the help of God a better year in 2021 and the very same to all your listeners here as well Gerry I want to thank them all very much for all the support that have given me down through the years and you know for buying cds and I want to wish them all a very happy and of course a very healthy new year as well.
From an interview on Irish Radio.
I'm Jerry Byrne, now since the advent of covid and all the rest, been speaking to many of the great and the good of irish entertainment and music. I got a lady online now who recorded a total of five albums, done numerous appearances and a lady who is involved in cultists actually does uh teaching for cultures cult or iron and has started music at a very young age and I'm delighted to say hello from near middle street in County Cork the one and only Annmarie Reardon Annmarie, how are you ? Hello Jerry thank you very much for having me on your show um I'm glad to be with you and when you gave the introduction of the great and the good I was saying oh you must have someone else from the other line but no I'm delighted when you introduce me then so thank you very much. So I hope all your your listeners are doing well in these very strange times in very strange times it did they are armory no question or doubt about that listen, tell me this how did you become involved in music in the first place.
Well actually I'm from a very musical family to be fair now. If you ask my parents do I get the music from my mother's side or my father's side they both say their own size because my grandfather's people were all inspiring about the cardinal and singing and my mother's people they were all into singing and dancing just dancing so I thought I got it for everyone. My youngest childhood memories were of singing songs here at the station mass so I think there was great excitement also station Matthews paint the entire house and be clearly up for it and all the neighbors would be around for a bit of a sing song and of course the last so I started singing then in.
I joined courses at the tender age of six. My mother had joint qualities with me just because I had such a love of van singing my first competition I was five and I won gold medals singing teddy blogging and I haven't stopped singing since so i went on to record an album then when i was 12 so to then it's all gross since then I recorded five albums and I'm currently finishing up recording my sixth album. Wow that is, that is some going that really is ongoing oh it's uh yeah sort of busy this is life definitely is that way in the intervening time.
I mean, as well as recording all these albums that you were you were studying and you've actually a qualified primary school teacher. I am indeed, I'm a primary school teacher. I studied in mary macula college and I there's actually a specialism in theology and religious education and I'm currently teaching full-time in a local school in County Cork and I am doing a master's as well in theology and Christian leadership as well in Mary I thought I like to keep myself busy, so doing the masters and teaching full-time and for sure, just go to busy jury well that's I mean it's busy and busy but that seems to be phenomenal stuff it really does and in the intervening time you've also got engaged, congratulations to you.
Oh it is indeed yes so, guitarist and singer but he's an engineer as well. So that's a good thing as well he's he knows a few bits as well so he's, yeah so we got engaged in September so you know call this wasn't that bad to me I suppose. In ways like that because I said we started building our house back in June, so and we're I'm building a house here on the the farm at home so it's exciting that way and yeah something like this gave me a bit of opportunity to record the album and that which i'm recording behind the scenes studios in Killarney.
So it's going well as well as could be expected, in the very strange year that we've had so far indeed so I mean it's a phenomenal achievement to you know have done all those things at the you know the same time. Recorded all those albums and you also do I mean teaching of singing for cultures also the you know, your own singing in various places you know you know plus all the education everything else I mean that is that has been really proactive I thought I'm used to being a busy household like my parents would have been you know they'd be working in farming and stuff at home and they're kind of, we like we like to keep busy and you know i like farming myself. I love being a primary school teacher but it's nice to have the do the math as well just to be learning more and I suppose every day we're learning and we can share more than with our pupils in school and with people we meet so it's um it's like it's nice to keep studying keep learning and keep sharing the knowledge.
Indeed, well done on it all. Now you see with the teaching of the singing for cultures I mean needless to say you're not able to do that uh face-to-face with the the whole covid situation. So well how are you getting around that ? Yes so it was very strange there coming on to September again when we normally start into our singing lessons and bush wouldn't I know the courses when they called adventures and fighting consumers other coldest branches have just decided not to wait until after Christmas they're hoping for the best and but the zoom yeah lessons they're they're very different but um i thought you still get to share your your love of singing and has young aspiring singers to learn new songs and to learn different techniques and breathing techniques and ornamentation, so it's just by a zoom, which is nothing is like being one to one in a classroom or a hall setting for Sam the zuma's next best thing so we'll just keep going and keep sharing sharing the love of Irish and music and um just sort of pass it on to where everyone has it so it's it's a it's a great great thing.
I know we in Ireland, we're very lucky with a beautiful language and great music and great culture so it's nice to be teaching young children things for their appreciation as well in time to come indeed I would imagine that you know from the first album that you actually released, you've had you know a huge recognition by a huge amount of people far and wide off your music and you've also sold a huge amount of albums as well. Yeah I suppose I've been very lucky really in ways, and that's my I thought every song I think I'll have to learn about the history of it because singing is just telling a story through song. And I love learning all about the songs that I sing before I ever sing them
And I think people appreciate when you when you put your heart and soul into songs and tell the story best you can and I have travelled across this all around Europe to America and Canada and it's a great opportunity to meet people and to hear how they, I suppose hear the song and interpret the song.
And what the songs mean to them, so for example I remember I was over and touring America one time and this gentleman came up to me and he says that I sing a great Kerry song figures from Clifford's song Boys of Barr na Stráide and I said I can indeed and he just walked away he didn't say no more and after half an hour of the concerts I started swinging by the ball and shot her and I saw this big strong man and the tears rolling down his face wow and after the concert he came up to me and I said to myself the boys about a show that means something to you. And he said henry he said it certainly does. He says I left Ireland over 40 years ago and he says my mother used to be outside me feeding the hymns and doing the few jobs and she would be singing The Boys of Barr na Stráide and shortly after I came over here to New York he said my mother passed away and I hadn't any means to go home and I haven't been back in Ireland since.
So he says, it's a song that is truly motive for me and he thanked me for singing. So it's really chariot songs and experiences that like that that make us all the worthwhile and that's what was really special so that's why i love meeting people and just sharing my love of song and it's it's great to have the opportunity that people support me so I can keep sharing my singing and the stories that go along with songs.
Indeed, well done, and you know that that is absolutely fantastic and you know it's great stories like that that you know I hear so many times from so many artists you know about the the sheer power of music and the sheer power of songs and it's a real shame I think that you know one of the things which all singers and performers and entertainers say to me is that the one thing that they miss with the current situation with covid is actually meeting people.
Yeah it is, it's very it's very very strange like I just concert settings I'll be doing it I'd be singing a concert and actually talking to people and during the the break the concert and after and hearing their stories and it's just it's the social aspect because you get to to meet people and you know everyone. It's kind of things are gone so cool no and it's not the same over the phone you never you know it's just not the same feel or even on video just having conversation there's nothing like it like meeting someone face to face and just sharing the stories and the songs so it is something that we really miss and hopefully we'll be back again soon hopefully all this will pass some time. It has to journey, so and hopefully we'll be back to the concerts and the dance.
Indeed, so well the thing about it is Annmarie, if you look back and if you go into history every single pandemic has come and gone so and this one's looking good to be gone because we're getting vaccines and all the rest of it so I think we'll have a brighter year in 2021 indeed please God we will let you and we'll sing a few songs to celebrate us you bet you bet and you know you are the in in some ways you're in the coldface of the situation with covid because from teaching in school that must be a pretty stressful situation well to be honest, it was very like we we all wanted to get better. All teachers wanted to get back but we were kind of worried how would this work and both we all been together and all in our school now we had to go through meetings over the summer and we went into this all by a zoom and we went into our own classrooms and lots of ways that we could make the room safer so i know we all moved furniture we got rid of rid as much as much as we could inside in the classroom that there'd be more room for the children to be separating the tables and there was car strike screens put up and on tables as well to divide the children and their pods and it's um just trying our best with sanitizing and making sure that the children they can work in their pod but not to mix them with other tables and which is particularly hard and yards when children are so young and they're playing and it's it's it is hard for children.
It's hard for everyone but at the same time it's great to be back in its routine and there's children learning and the teaching learning going on and assume this normality for children and so that's that's kind of makes it worthwhile that they're they are learning and as I know at different times but we're keeping trying our best anyway and keeping the best side out and it seems to be okay, so far anyway, for the most part I know there's some schools that are are badly affected but you know these things happen so we just have to have to move on and hopefully it'll all pass and we'll be all back to normal again.
Indeed, that's all that's all we can hope for listen Annmarie it's been fascinating speaking to you well done on all your achievements so far good luck and doing the masters and once again to yourself and your family and your fiancé, let's all have a great Christmas or as good as it can be in the times we've got and also listen here's your brighter new year and I'm looking forward to receiving your new album. I would like to add my cards and I'll be sending it onto you straight away and thank you very much for the opportunity of the interviews and um I'm delighted to be on your show and I'd like to wish all your listeners a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy new year.
I'm Jerry Burne.[ Interview with Trudi Lawlor on Irish music radio ]Now I've got a lady online with a fascinating tale of reaching out and it really is truly truly reaching out it's a huge what's become a huge project within this only this past couple of weeks and the times we've got in it i'm delighted to say hello once again to the one and only singer extraordinaire Trudi Lawlor. Trudi how are you ? hello Jerry, I'm delighted to talk to you and thank you very much for having me on your show, a real pleasure Trudi real pleasure, listen you're involved with uh a fascinating project at the minute which is just so full of positivity and it's it's all about reaching out can you tell us how did how did this all come about we can of course no problem Jerry. Yes my husband Billy Morrissey and I we were out walking and Billy's involved obviously the Irish country music business as a promoter and as a manager and as a songwriter for the last 40 years and I myself you know with singing and have a radio show another road 25 years this year in Irish country music so we were speaking about the pandemic, and the effect it has been having on the fans of the Irish country music scene.
And why we as singers and performers are remaining positive and optimistic that things will come back next year a lot of the fans are struggling because most of them based their lives and their social lives around seeing their favorite country singer so would be a lovely idea you know if we could get our fans of the music connecting to their favorite country singer. So the idea behind it is to connect as many fans as possible of Irish country music with their favorite Irish country star but it's done in a different way it's asking people the public to nominate somebody that they believe is deserving of a personal phone call from their favorite Irish country star and we're going to try to make it happen and thankfully already it's only up and running about I think eight days at this stage and we've already been able to organize over thirteen hundred phone calls from all different stars from Daniel O'Donnell and Margo, Nathan Carter, Derek Ryan Paddy O'Brien, all the artists from the stadium artists to the artists on the road 20 30 years to a lot of the newcomers like Alex Rowe and Sabrina father Olivia Douglas all those artists.
So everybody is involved there's over 74 of Irish country artists involved in this project. so Billy and I are the founders of it, and we're doing you know I suppose I'm the middle woman connecting the fan with the singer. We have a great team around us lots of volunteers and we have a facebook page that's actually set up especially to take all the requests and dedications and it's called reach out and it's run by Debbie Dowler who's a great girl here in Ireland and she's organized it and then a lot of people are contacting me on my own public facebook private messaging me as well and nominating somebody they believe is deserving of a personal phone call from their favorite Irish country star and words delighted we never thought it would be this big we never thought it would snowball so quickly and it has Jerry and we're delighted. It's full of positivity, the joy the happiness that these people fans of artists that are receiving these calls it's been incredible fantastic that is fantastic now to get it on facebook. It's reach out it's two words reach out yeah and you can get it there now I believe you've had a you know an astounding you were saying you've done standard response from all of the artists but also the uh the response that you've had from from people.
I mean you this has gone truly international you've got people like you know from Australia and and all over the world. Yes very quickly it went international I mean obviously we have so many people from London Irish living in London, Manchester and Scotland .But what we're now getting we're now seeing in the last few days is people reaching out to us from New Zealand, from Australia from Hong Kong, today epic Daniel O'Donnell fan contacted us and nominating somebody and they're over in Hong Kong Canada Alabama, heavily requested Philomena Begley's part of the project Susan McCann just you know it's it's unbelievable the response.
We cannot believe it and we are connecting as many as we can that are deserving of the phone call it's not enough jerry to nominate somebody who is just a fan of a singer and who you know will eventually get back to seeing them you know these are people that are isolating recovering from covert living alone as special children also a lot of moms and dads that are homeschooling finding it very very difficult and an awful lot of frontline workers have been nominated as well who obviously are just so overworked at the moment and on their day off they're receiving a call from their favorite Irish country star. And as a result of that they're being connected and it's re-energizing them for their next shift and one woman, one woman is a nurse she's actually a north in London and she's over 10 covid patients at the moment and she she was just a good friend and her favorite singer was Declan Nerney.
So we were able to make those that call happen for her and the woman that nominated her was a family member who knew the stress that she was under in the hospital in London and the sister rang is back to say I cannot explain how much that has meant to my sister she's now gone back into work and she's a new pep in her step just from that simple phone call. It meant so much to her because she adored Declan Nerney and from down through the years. So all these positive stories Jerry is it's putting some sparkle back into life again some optimism, some happiness, some joy, because the news is very depressing day in and day out and it's it's not good for people or their mental well-being to face another year of that so this is something that we believe it's time for a bit of positivity and optimism and we will all be back performing and singing again for all the fans but in the meantime this is something that Billy and I are delighted to be doing and and more importantly to have 70 artists write down as I said from Daniel, Doster And Allen heavily involved friend and shine hugely involved the three amigos are there you know Sandy Kelly of Jerry cottery as John mcnicho so many stars are part of this full project reach out project and we're delighted to be reaching out.
Indeed it's absolutely fantastic just see a you know a list of our trust you know some of the people I mean it's you know I'd be here for about an hour and listing them all out at the stage I mean it's it's everybody involved in but it is absolutely fantastic and it's actually interesting you should say the story about the the lady who's a nurse here in London. I have spoken actually to to nurses on the front line here in London and it is pretty horrific honestly and I'm delighted that that you know that something that this can be done and the thing about it is truly it's it's uh it really is such a simple idea it's a simple idea very simple idea and of course lots of the country music singers down through the years would have been keeping in touch with their fans but this has gone global this is a movement this, these are people that our country singers may never have been able to speak to before but the people would be fans but maybe they would go home at the end of the show not everyone goes up to meet the artist or you know they might buy the cd's in a record shop or online might never get to meet the artist but could be a big fan of theirs or else it could be a fan.
But is missing that loss of connection, because so many people come to country music shows and dances and concerts that are on their own and they meet the singer and they meet the band and they meet the other fellow dancers or fellow concert corps so as you know Jerry only too well you know in Irish country music it's very unique to other genres of music. We're like one big family there, is no division or barrier between the fan and the performer at the end of every country in Irish show right before I was ever in it when Big Tom and Larry Cunningham and Margo who is still alive and well and and flying it as we say she's doing so well and they would always have come down from the stage at the end of the show and shake hands and get photographs and sign cd's with their fans.
So that's unique to Irish country music and therefore when the fans don't get to see their favorite singer it affects them. It affects them emotionally and mentally so this is a pick me up saying come on we'll be back next year 2022 will be huge for the music industry but for the next year we have to stay going and we thought we have to stay going with positivity and that's very important and this is what's happening. So as I said I encourage so many people out there that are listening into history to please do contact us but contact us to nominate somebody deserving and we have an awful lot of people living in the U.K. and that weren't able to get home at Christmas to see their loved ones either mums or dads or grandparents and they're struggling with that they feel that, that they're not able to be here in Ireland and be able to you know contact their families as much as they'd like to be able to.
So it's a gift that they can give as well to their loved ones back in Ireland by getting their favorite star to ring their mom dad granddad whoever friend neighbour that's what this project is all about and we're delighted so all they have to do is connect it with the reach out facebook page private message Debbie Dowler is regardless running it for us or come on to my own public facebook page Trudi Lawler t-r-u-d-i l-a-l-o-r and private message me and I am seeing those messes I'm going through them. There's obviously hundreds and hundreds coming in every day but we're getting through them and we're and we're we're able to see the ones that are really deserving of the phone call and we have a team working at that as well and again it's, it's just something we're delighted Ray Lynom and rank people today ray is such a legend and Derek Ryan, hugely popular as well everybody is involved in this project and we're just delighted to be able to give back to the fans that have supported all of us down through the years.
It's just a very simple phone call but we're doing it and Daniel has been incredible, Margo O'Donnell Nathan Carter, all the big names but also all the newcomers have been incredible people that are only on the road a year they're reaching out to their new audience of Irish country music as well so everybody has a place in this project and we're delighted delighted to have founded it and delighted that it's going global it's brilliant absolutely superb so basically if you contact you on your facebook Trudy Lawler or go to the facebook page reach uh and then separately out and if you want to contact uh Deborah Dowler is that on facebook as well Judy she's also on facebook as well absolutely you know the retail page is better because it's all about our projects and but also Jerry a lot of people might be on social media so even if you do I don't know if you'll be willing to do that but if they do contact your show maybe just send over those messages or even contact my own um website and you'll be able to email us if you want and there's also phone numbers now we're not in a position to take all loads of calls but we will do our best we want to do our best for as many fans as is possible we're not going to get to everybody the singers are already working overtime some of them they're making so many calls but they are buzzing.
They want this to continue for as long as it's necessary for the next number of months this will be going on probably for the next year but it's so exciting it's positive and and we're doing our best to connect as many as we can absolutely fantastic stuff it really is and listen uh what a what a great idea well done to you to billy and yourself and indeed Deborah and and everybody else involved with it i mean it's a you know we say it's it's it's a huge project on its you know it's just full of positivity in a time where as you say a positivity can be a in scarce supply so listen well done on a great stuff well thank you so much to d jerry and we're also very excited because on the strength of this all the singers we just all spoke about uh how well it's all going and how much it's meaning to so many people and they all said well next is you you need to come up with a song we all need to sing a song so i was very fortunate again billy looked out we all looked out for songs and there was nothing suitable and Nathan actually said to believe why don't you write one so Billy has written one with Max t Barnes Nashville singer, songwriter and legend Max t Barnes and Billy have written a beautiful song called reach out and all 74 performers in this project are going to be singing on us every one of us are going to be singing on it and it's amazing.
It's going to be the biggest ever coming together of Irish country music singers on one single and we're so thankful to Jonathan Owens who is producing the whole single for us all the recording studios are involved in helping to facilitate the singers because obviously with we're we're in lockdown here in i know you're saying as well jerry so none of us can go past the 5k here. So therefore there's so many people working behind the scenes to make this single and and it will be released in the next week to 10 days uh with all the policies going to child line and the i.s.p.c.c. their very deserving charity so there's a lot happening and it's the Irish country music family again and we are thrilled and proud of all the artists in it they're all stepping up every single one of them are stepping up to the place and phoning fans and we're delighted so just to nominate somebody go on to the reach out facebook page or my own published facebook page and please do message me and don't feel we won't see it we will see it and we'll do our very best to connect as many people as possible that deserve the phone call from their favorite Irish country star now that's absolutely excellent Trudi list I'm looking forward to getting the the single I dare say there are people in studios uh Jonathan Owens and others included who will have some headache mixing in 74 different voices exactly but they're brilliant and even you know jerry you would know Jonathan's late dad chocolate chuck and June and the gamblers they were huge and and choked only passed away a couple of weeks ago so even in a time of Jonathan grieving he wanted to reach out to the movement and say you know I want to give my time over to this project i want this single to to be able to produce it and give back and so we're getting that love and support and Wayne throws and peter mar all the studios uh in a Letterkennyy and there's so many of them getting involved but we as singers and performers are getting such a buzz out of this as well and we're delighted delighted that everybody is reaching out in this project absolutely brilliant Trudi listen, has been lovely to talk to you listen regards to yourself and Billy and everybody else involved in it listen lovely to speak to you again Trudi. Thank you so much Jerry and thank you for reaching out to us and continued success with your radio show we love we love looking energy and listening into it thank you very much.
Trudi Lawlor recorded Gentle Mother song which was a big hot for Big Tom.
Interview with Tony Allen by D.J. Jerry Byrne
I'm Jerry Byrne and assistant pandemic and all the rest of them speaking to many of the great and the good talents of music in Ireland and my next guest is a gentleman who needs no introduction to the world of music in fact not alone in Ireland this man has quite literally toured the world as one half of the most successful duo ever to come out of Ireland I'm delighted to say hello to the one and only Tony Allen of Foster And Allen. Tony how are you ? I'm very good how are you not bad, Tony listen you've you've spent an absolute lifetime of incredible achievements in music but you you come originally from the the back in the in the short band days I do yeah well I started actually the first one of the first groups I ever worked in Mick Foster was in it was a very local band where I come from in Mount Temple which is outside, near Athlone in the Midlands.
And there was a parish our club was G.A.A. club was called colorie and the parish next to us was called Maryland and they were running a series of fundraisers in the in the local school and the boys down there formed a three-piece band and then Mick Foster joined the band and then I joined the band and we played together for a couple years doing all the the local halls around home you know every school and all around the villages and that and then we went our separate ways and I went working with Kieran Kelly's band for a while replaced Brendan Shine as Kieran singer and after that then I joined the great doctor and the night runners for a few years and I was in it was with the night runners that when doc left again then formed another band we we toured Mick joined the band again then make and we can auntie or Tom was two saxophones.
Believe it or not in the band and we were in in London on tour with the night runners and we met a man called Paddy Callahan who had the lock for a hotel in Brixton and Paddy was taking over a pub in up near Kilburn called the Prince of Wales, which was down at Kilburn station down there and he asked us would we when we step in liquid we do a weak him open the pub. I was just keyboards and accordion and that basically was very fast from now and started in cape kilburn at kilburn tube station we did a weekend we had a great weekend we said when we went home let's, let's have a go at the pubs and clubs around Ireland with this two-piece and that's where it started back in 1980 74 early 75. truly incredible it was a it was all kind of a you know an accidental situation but it for some reason it really really clicked well mic A Bunch Of Thyme lyrics and chords had the idea they could see Mick Foster had seen the Alexander brothers and he thought he was amazed with them.
Because they're just a keyboard and an accordion you know and that's how we started out and we walked all over Ireland from up to 70 up to 80 81 or 82 to read the top of the pops and it was after that then we decided to add to the group and we were doing the clubs and around all the every village in Ireland had a good pub like a good cabaret lounge you know and we were very lucky because we worked all over Ireland and you know we worked during the summertime we'd worked seven nights a week and then of course we signed up with cmr records Donnie Cassidy and we'd we'd recorded an album, let's see any ammo was an album at the time an LP and then we signed up with cma records and then only had his own radio show and already radio and that kind of lifted the whole thing you know to another level and then when the Bunch Of Thyme was released in the U.K.
Of course that changed everything, because then we were on top of the pops and that gives us a whole new lease of life in the U.K. and we started doing the from doing the Irish centers in England to doing the concerts and we've been doing them ever since and the fred stuckwood was over there from then of course Maggie was released in Australia and went to number one in in Australia and New Zealand and that again then listed the whole thing out out there for us and I love you all my life the charlie runsville song that was released in South Africa and Canada and that became a hit in those two places so we finished up tour the world on on those songs you know and then in in 82 after top of the pops we we we dropped the green suits the leprechaun shoots we dropped them and started wearing dress suits and we were joined on stage then by Ali Kennedy and Desi Hines also to the four pieces till the end of the eighties.
And then we added Basil Hendricks to the group that I meant to lay it Frank Summersley charges on drums and then of course later on then Myra came on the keyboards and then Brian who is our president guitar Ryan joined us sometime later so it you know we've been very very lucky to have to have toured the world and we're still touring the world which is good that is absolutely superb I mean it's been an astounding it's been an absolute roller coaster because you've mentioned some of the songs there but I mean some of these songs I mean have been absolutely phenomenal. Is it like you mentioned there I would love you all my life a bunch of time another one after all these years you mentioned they're Maggie, Old Flames huge success, yeah I mean you also had a you know a lot of success with the the Old Rustic Bridge By The Mill the sweet forget me not also a Mick on lead vocal with The Blacksmith which was absolutely huge was a great sound back we still got requests on stage for the blacksmith and the blacksmith there were two songs that that big recorded and they were hugely successful they didn't well the blacksmith was the b side of the bunch of time in Ireland and and it was a hugely popular song.
We just got requests for both The Blacksmith and the black sheep and we we go on stage and then later on like later on we've recorded about I'd say over 900 songs over the years and later on then pg Murray we were 40 years of the road which is six six years ago now I think yeah and please emerge wrote we all view which was called the you know sort of a reply to the people saying that you know that that's what was all about was because of them we lasted so long and then he wrote Mrs Brown's voice first as well and those two songs have been huge you know really really huge and then of course we did the the song with with with method which which really works very very well as well you know so and always a lot of different things you know we did the carver girl with Shane Ward which of course was a huge hit for us not a huge hit record sales wise but radio players and all that like in the U.K.
It got a massive amount of airplay indeed the interesting thing I spoke to make back a few months ago and he, he was telling me the story of the black sheep and how he didn't really want to record it and did not think it would work well. I actually was driving home, than and local it was still pirate radio in Ireland at the time and I must have been well mulling I think radio 3 was coming from Mullingar that time in midlands radio and Johnny luckily was on the radio singing it and Johnny did a lovely version of it was a very slow version the late great Johnny luckily who was and and I helped this song I said she's that'd be a great song for me you know and she was very slow and I tend to forget he didn't really like it that much but we were doing a a week in the brain rooms in Dublin and we went back that long Chad Nicholson had a studio and at home it was long before we opened the wrong studio and we went back late one night after the brim rooms and spent the whole night in the studio and we changed it to an all-time boss and recorded and it was at that time it was all cassettes.
Because I remember well we brought out a four-track cassette with the black sheep and it sold like mad in Ireland. It was really good you know and that was a huge success we have some but he's a great sound you know hank snow stuff you know it's a really good song indeed indeed fantastic you know I just found it you know I found a quite a you know unbelievable like you know that you know that he didn't actually sort of think that you know this will work and he really was not into it at all he told me the story of that you know how you got the song was incredible it really was I mean but of all those I mean like that's a you know you would other songs I mean which yeah which are also what you haven't mentioned they are I mean there's just so many as you said it's probably but you know but we're talking 900 or so but there were other songs which were very successful for you .
I've got a lot of radio airplay I mean you recorded with Gloria honey for the old classic true love true love yeah yeah true love yeah you know that oh that was one of the first tourettes I ever did was it was and we didn't do one after that for a long time that was back in the days when we were with with mcclurkin's record company in London and he there with Gloria had an album with them at the time as well and they suggested we do the songs really in lovely sound smooth very very well and did it you know other songs I mean 1988 you had a lot of success with some called the golden years that's right yeah that was recorded as a it was a company in Dublin where we're doing an ad for the bank of Ireland or something like that but they had introduced this this thing in the bank where they were were doing something for senior citizens in the bank you know and there's somebody who wrote this song called the golden years for them and yeah that came out it was it never wasn't would say hit record but it was a got a huge radio play.
it was a very very very popular song at the time indeed indeed it's one it's but astounding so it all came the same as everybody else Tony it all came to a to a crushing stop back in in in in March your your last concert I believe was in January of 2020. oh well last concert I think was in kenya where every Christmas we do a tour of Ireland we start the night after boxing night and we we sort of run right through to the end of January book and not every night but you know we do about maybe 18 or 20 years and the last night was in I think it was in Kenny last year and then we came home and Derek Ryan had asked me to do a few shows with him as a guest and I did, I did a few with him I think just to show us what I know Olivia Douglas was on the show as well and we did Wexford , Killarney and Limerick written and had finished those shows and the next thing then virus broke out and we were all off the road and we've been out abroad ever since which is it's supposed to it's a year and a couple of months now and it doesn't look like we're going to be back well we won't be,
Foster and Allen won't be back definitely about Christmas time this year you know indeed yes I know magic was I mean all of you are oh you know all of your workers you're saying there is it's all concerts I mean it's all sort of theaters and others. Yeah it is all here yeah in hotels which is very very easy to work in and they're great but then when it comes to getting people into pavers from here on it could be a bit of a a problem you know we have to convince them all that it's safe to come back up but we're already working on a well we have an album finished we haven't finished now for for all over uni finished for last Christmas and it didn't come out it's ready to rock and roll as the villa says okay and this year hope to have I made 46 years with Foster now and I've never recorded Mick has recorded a few albums and he's all of traditional music and stuff like that and I've never done an album of my own so I'm hoping to get into the studio in the next couple of months to to do an album just a Tony Allen random and see how that goes just for for something different you know.
indeed, why not why not it's the appointment yeah is the new album tony is it, it's kind of typical Foster and Allen are there any new tracks on it is actually it no it's actually more of the all-time fast now there's a lot of sort of older Irish type songs lively songs you know and there's a few new sounds there's a great new song that that's written by Derek Ryan and Ray Mclaughlin his keyboard player it's a song called the good old days when times are bad and they've just finished it when I was on to that to Derek you've been writing a song and I went up to to cook sound to see them one day and we're on stage walking on something and I said what do you use that boy she said Derek says we're right we're finishing that song for you here he says I said that's great he says it'll be great when you go we were just going to Australia he said be great when you go to Australia.
I said yeah go to Australia for good old days I said you know and he says that's the name of the sun that's the song we were writing that's gone so I was talking to him then one night when when I was touring I said he said how's the sound coming out I said it's really really cheap and I'm good but I said you know what, I really put the finishing touches with and he says well I said if you came in and did did you advertise honestly he says no problem so he came down to the studio and we did we did the duet and we have a video done for so it's ready to go whenever whenever things left a bit you know but yes the album will be quite good I think we're doing a few standards like we'll meet again and songs like that you know to to and in fact that could end up that what could be the name of the album because when we come back on the road you know come out and see us or wheeling again that type of thing you know so we could even end up calling the tour down at Christmas.
Yeah a lot of old standards and stuff like that but it'll be a very fast and elegant type album right that's excellent you know it's a Derek Ryan I'll have to say is a phenomenal songwriter ah he's unbelievable, he's his credit you know and he's as good as songwriters as we've ever had in this country you know you know we've had some great ones like Liam Riley and Phillip Coulter or Kevin Sheeran but he's he's up there with him you know he can write anything once he's a he's a born songwriter you know it's a natural indeed very very much a natural yeah indeed I mean he's written so many songs you know which other which he has never recorded himself oh yeah so so so many of them you know it's nice to it's it's great to know that just you know that you've still got your you know material coming out and you recordings I mean in in all of that in all of that over the years you actually recorded and released two Christmas albums as well well we we did this over an hour and a half and and it came out originally we're back in the what kind of chat was actually the first album we ever did in our own studio and was in the late 80s was a Christmas album and it came out and released it years later.
And we added some more songs too you know but we haven't done trouble with Christmas albums is there so many Christmas standards and that's it you know now in fairness to Derek he has he did a very good Christmas album himself last Christmas and I think you wrote a few new songs for it but yeah well we we might do something like that again you know later on maybe when we get back on the road again indeed indeed so is it still as enjoyable as there always was doing the touring. Well I absolutely love it and I'm not too sure that Mick is that mad about being on the road motion at this stage he keeps saying he'd like to slow down a bit you know and that's well that's another reason why I wanted to do an album .I started to do something a little bit different from Foster And Allen.
So maybe at some stage I could go out on the road and do a different type of concert you know but at the moment in Christmas and on the new year pretty much Foster and Allen might say you know let's see what happens I don't know I really love what I do I love I know I love being on the road I love to travel and I love to the life concerts there's nothing like you like concert indeed indeed and it's also another thing which is it's also magic and so many singers say they miss it is meeting the people oh absolutely yeah that means that'll be the big thing now when we come back because you probably won't get to go out and meet people after the show to be probably too dangerous for a while anyway you know but because we'll we'll see how it goes you know but it would be it's a terrible yeah it'd be terrible not to be able to go and sell other people you know, because you know they're the ones that make it all worthwhile.
Whether we like it or not that's the way it goes you know we make the music fellas like yourself play it and then the people come in and listen to it and that's that's how it works indeed indeed so did you've done I know a little in the past but do you do you do much work with your your wife Trina Allen who's also a fantastic vocalist and I will train the works with Daniel O'Donnell of course and I'd love a lot no she did another one I did a few I did a few tracks down in fact when I do the admin I'll definitely bring her along to sing a few songs but people saying no we don't we don't do any work together she she works with Daniel all the time and I think because I can wear on the road Daniel is down the other road as well so it's it's it works fine for us you know we don't we don't want to be to well if she came with me then she'd have to turn down the answers for Daniel that wouldn't be what he's right here well indeed yes she said you know Trina has been with Daniel for many many years she's also done a lot of oh I think she's she's the longest servant member you know collaborations and recordings with others as she's done a couple of fantastic recordings of billy Mcfarland she did they were great songs actually yeah absolutely brilliant trooper you know he's great he's a lovely man billiard and man the wife are absolutely lovely people indeed and I don't know if you know Billy thirsty but he's the funniest man you could meet on the road really yes yes indeed great character yeah indeed great character no doubt about it and it's it's you know I must say it's it's strange times.
Tony you're you're no doubt you you're sort of itching to get going whenever it's safe to do so again but you're still keeping you're still keeping the interest in in music oh absolutely still yeah yeah we did I did a few things here now on the 15th of may I've got to record the James with guaranty and through the voice of the I think it's called on the couch or something like that music from the couch and that goes out on on online should they stream that show and I think Gary gamble does it with him one day that's I've until a few songs in that and I don't know when it's going out it's been recorded on the 15th of May but Joe dawning and a few things like that you know and then before the lockdown I did a lot of bits and pieces up here with people like Sean Wllace and people like that you know over on the course I did a few tracks with them Owen Mac as well they did a song with on Farside Banks of Jordan which worked very very well for us.
Indeed so it did yes I've you know played it many many times it's taken from the Owen's Gospel album and I'll have to say it is a song which has proved it very very popular yeah we we got around with that book I did a couple of stream shows with him as well he did one of the gospel album and he did he was doing a Christmas stream show as well so yeah he's going to be very very big in the music business indeed so indeed so huge huge huge reaction I think he's going to be he's going to be the biggest thing in the next five or six years he's just being that yes yes very very very talented very talented gentleman indeed and you know he's only your genius which is a huge help indeed definitely is it Tony this has been fascinating catching up with you I'm you know I'm delighted to, you know to see that you're still as enthusiastic as you were all those years ago well absolutely yeah yeah yeah I'm looking forward to our own album and I'm looking forward to starting to work on on my own album as well you know I'd love to take that on the road for for on on tour as well you know sometimes just put a slightly different head shoulder or just for a once-off clip or something like that you know indeed that's you know that definitely sounds good tony listen fantastic to to chat to you fantastic job with you listen to to yourself and your lady wife Trina stay safe and stay well. I'm looking forward to catching you on stage as soon as it's safe to do so yes absolutely you look after yourself and take it easy and and send all your listeners you know thank you all for for being there you're all you're a listener which is a good thing you know.
Interview done in 2015
I'm delighted that at one half of the famous duo Foster And Allen we now know for those of you who like some facts and figures make and as performing and recording partner Tony Allen are celebrating in incredible 40 years in the music business together. Now in the U.K. the popularity is enduring, they've had 30 chart bursting albums and sales of about 20 million. They're about to embark on a tour called celebration with the album of the same name make a very good afternoon.how are you doing, not too bad at all, a real pleasure to have you on the program. You got off to a cracking start with new album celebration riding high in the U.K. charts. Yeah came straight in at number 30 which was created said that several and top 30 cd's or LP'S or whatever you want to call them that that we've had over the years and sure look at was were delayed and I suppose semi surprise for want of a better way.
You're not really supposed to last 40 years in this game you know. Indeed a very very few acts out there I'm particularly, yeah it may be you know two people will say or a group of people who ever actually remain together what he put down today the longevity, you are you very close friends yourself under it's only know we're not close friends, we have this unique records that in you know we started playing together in 1967 and that was the first time we ever played together and we didn't start fast, we actually started in London in 1975 but in that time we never even had an argument rose and I suppose a lot of it is down to the fact that both of us think the same way about music and the business and whatever and pop of all that then would be never any friction or competition with us because I mean, what I do Tony can't doing what he does they can't do so the be never any danger of the truth was wanting to record or whatever you know.
Yes you certainly both of your voices from the point of view singing or a big credibly different you did to Elena a word do able do all you know I of all the instrumentals, obviously and they would stick to the Irish ballads and comedy songs and stuff like that, where he would do the as we decided that the classy stuff you know indeed, yes he true he really is an incredible voice a lot to say 25 days on integrating of service my lady singer yes and you the mount of course with the for anybody who does know you're the man with the accordion that big old accordion which you merge to master all over the years in true style.
I mean there's many people actually found of yourself for purchase your accordion playing. Oh yeah, over the years you know you did you get an awful lot of traditional Irish music fans that would be only just interested in jigs and horn beeps and then you get other people that would be just love accordion music whether the walls or the poor care or whatever and just love accordion music. So you know, we do five or six instrumentals and in the course of the show and the rest of the damages and we would always do five or six off whatever was on CD at the time and then we would pick a variety of stuff you know over the last 40 years that we would have gone a lot of requests for.
Now you're actually embarking on a 22 date U.K. tour and your it's sort of what you start off al fast really and then you move over to to England on the twenty-fourth of October and you go right through the 22nd of November in Dunstable that's right and so far this year we've we've started in South Africa then we did Scotland then we'd in New Zealand then we did Canada and no word only you care and we do three weeks in Ireland after Christmas and then will hibernate for a while. That's a pretty that's a fairly hectic work schedule even after 40 years, it's a fairly heavy work shell is set up for 20 women like the normal church will we give head down and keep going. I think your two guys that sort of really never aged, I mean like that the easily you see the circle recognizable from you first appeared 40 years ago.
I don't know, when you look at some of that and he covers, then and now. This is a lot of like a hair anyway and on his beard has stored and white and stuff like that but I suppose in general, we haven't you worn you've worn well the hard work has work now I'll be playing some tracks from the the album celebration between now and Christmas was 20 tracks and not I would make a great present for the Christmas or at any stage now your ability to actually keep material fresh sort of never wanes in addition to standard favorites you some interesting collaborations with other artists, you've a tract with the Chieftains on that album and also with the late Jimmy him and I was a hero of yours yeah well Jimmy was you know he grew up listen from it was four or five was this until they all 70 years and my grandmother had a Jimi shined and over the years we got to meet him and become great friends with him and he passed away in two thousand, and both his son Jimmy jr. gave us one of the master tapes of his died on the band and we brought into the Stewart and we went in and cleared along with him so that's how that's psyche emotion or how we manage to do that even though the manager says nearly 15 years dead and then we had him alone.
Ian and myself and sat down and we decided was that we do this Courtin' in the kitchen song with the chieftain son and Kevin Connor fat thingiverse and and we'd finish up with it with a real at the end of it and that's how I came about and rest of it was dented yes from the so great sauce I noticed that the sort of the leading track of the song was released as a single is that we overhaul to you some with my P.J. Mora he yeah well P.J. has written several songs that we recorded over the years as his music partner shimmer Shannon boat and this one he said butyrate a song for the 40th anniversary and it's it was it's a song now really a Buddhist more so than that is given thanks to you know people like you and our audience and all that the people that have made a career possible to the last 40 years
Cause, there's no point in making records if you have no one to play them or if you have no one to buy them or if you have no one home to the concert so it's really saying thanks to to all the people from promo audience to as a theatre at your presenters and TV presenters that has eros dolphin helped us out over the 40 year that's by the dateless ''we owe it all to you'' right cleverly cleverly a puzzle have to say now you you can see foster a load on tour from the 24th of October and to tea at the back tears or haze 31st the leisure an art center Stevenage second under them but the Grove theatre Datsun on twenty-second of the Weber and we've the full list of values at our website Irish radio org at the album celebration is out at the moment.
Mick listen here's to the next 40 years as a real pleasure to speak with you all together thanks very much torrents or local we go down fighting to retire and they that we we're trying yet to 50 years old if we can anywhere maybe we won't make another 40 but with Ranger 10 big big list is a real pleasure continued success know about the thanks Jerry, thank you very much. straddle over in 1975 the journey ended digging which sums about the blacksmith under animals of spring later came in the bunch of You made our dreams come true when we topped the Pops in England back in nineteen eighty two forty years upon the sea all the time is for but all the friends around us you've always been I'm Foster and I'm Allen I love you all my life song with your two hours. New Zealand on Australia call when Maggie topped the charts they loved our songs in Canada and in the USA South Africa owes memories which are each to this day 40 years upon the stage with all the friends around you always be okay we do I'm Foster and a mother I'm we owe it all to you we often wonder to ourselves to swear the time has gone but the old flame is still burning and the show goes on and on so we keep on playing the older box the songs you love to hear our glad you oldest in your hearts after all these years for with all the friends around us we never walk alone you always we do I'm Foster and I'm Allen Oh to you faster and I'm alone absolutely cry he does a little sigil of Detroit take it from the album celebration as they celebrate 40 years together that's Foster and Allen.
Radio interview with Irish country singer Daniel O'Donnell during Covid lockdown in Ireland.
Hi Jerry great to be with you dangerous lovely too lovely to chat to you once again now you you've previously discussed with me your business studies in Galway before you switch them to the music industry now you've created a remarkable record-breaking statistics of your own in 220 2020 last year so you chart at least one album for 33 consecutive years now in the U.K. alone 46 albums have reached the top 75 18 of which were top 10 successes what inspires you to continue with this fantastic outpost.
Well I suppose because I do a lot of covers of older songs the the the bucket of songs is endless you know there's always something there that I have wanted to record or I'm lucky that people suggest songs to me all the time and occasionally then I get you know good original songs to record this album that's coming out now as a collection of songs a lot of them will be familiar to people but it's just favorites of mine that I enjoy to sing right now we spoke during lockdown uh you stayed connected with people through visits to it to care homes you did facebook lives and your livestream fundraiser and dairy in 8 of those in the music industry but carefully observing covid 19 safety precautions.
No doubt you're delighted to be back on the road again with your band you know we are we're delighted to get the opportunity to go out on the road I mean it's obviously very different for us you know we're all sort of feeling our way now to see what's the best way to to go about things but I'm hoping or we're hoping that people will be confident to come out to the shows I mean the theatres have taken every precaution to keep people safe and I mean we're just looking forward to singing and playing music again indeed now I get a sense that people are pleased indeed that the theatres have reopened and reassured by the measures taken to keep them safe as you mentioned there for overall well-being.
I think it's a very positive move what can you tell us about the the content of the Daniel O'Donnell 62 for those who are eager to go along well I suppose there'd be a lot of the old favourites there there'll be a few of the songs from the new album and a couple maybe from the one last year but it'll be a whole from beginning to end so to speak or beginning to now should I say maybe not end and a lot of the older songs I always feel when we when I go to shows to see somebody I want to hear what brought me there the songs that I love and I suppose that's what I try to do.
Indeed now your new studio album released by the demon music group is it's available actually on green vinyl as well as a cd under digital now you're a collaboration with the legendary producer Nigel Wright is exciting he enjoys a great reputation for producing recordings of west end musical and box office smash films yes I recorded the last album with Nigel tune it was very very enjoyable to do it and this one was recorded last about October time last year when the restrictions lifted and we were able to travel a bit more freely I went to his studio in Aylesbury or down here Aylesbury and recorded most of this album. There was a couple in that was done um in a studio at home you know he sent the music and I went into a local studio but for the most part we did them all last October and I hope people will enjoy it too.
I mean there's just as I said favourites of mine that I wanted to record and and I you know it's just nice to that I'm in that position that I can always record you know just whatever I choose to record indeed now the album shows I'll have to say your versatility it would you say that that the key to enduring success is being open-minded when ideas are flagged up about what to record but being aware that it will suit your style and range yeah I think it's very important you know there's lots of songs that I love but I wouldn't attempt singing them because just wouldn't be able to sing them or maybe I wouldn't be able to just fail to do them justice you know so I think it's important that you sing something that you're comfortable with and even if you love a song that somebody else sings and you feel you're not able for it.
Leave it alone and just listen to listen to somebody else singing it. Right now your singing career gives you a profile which you generously used to highlight good causes now indeed you received an honorary M.B.E. for services to the music industry and to charity now you don't shout about your efforts I know that but it must give you great satisfaction to give something back in an effective way to worthy causes well you know supposed people like me were in a very privileged position and that we can do things um for all kinds of different charities and we can do the smallest thing and it makes a huge difference but there's people who work on a daily basis that do much greater work than the lake of me but I suppose because I have a profile and people like me have a profile you know we can we can raise the awareness of something and it makes a difference so I think it's very as I said a very privileged position to be in and if you can do something then you should try to do it you know now you've acknowledged that the support that you had within the music industry and building your career and gratitude to a huge loyal fan base.
Now it's refreshing that you've you've managed to retain those sentiments and values. Well I've been very lucky you know, during through the years some of the people that are coming to see me today are coming since the year one do you know what I mean they're there since the very beginning and certainly since the mid-80s about 86 87 when I started doing concert tours in the U.K. I mean many of them have started coming in and are still coming and there's always people who come for the first time too and I suppose there's younger people yeah you know that come that hear the music through whatever way they hear it maybe mother or a father or even grandparents might introduce them to the music and they find that there's something in it for them too.
It's amazing how I suppose how the music stretches across generations you know although a lot of the people now are like myself or the the weird so we get home say that with that we wouldn't tear in the plucking you know mature than I suppose the young ones but it's great to see younger people enjoying the music too indeed no the love of seeing you is singing and bringing pleasure to listeners I don't know if they'll understand now the tear on the plucking or not but maybe you do yes indeed off that vintage now you're you're not your love of singing and bringing pleasure to listeners that obviously spurs you on. Now your professional life is busy as well as that your milestone birthday in December.
It's also your wedding anniversary in November. Now you you cut a sort of a youthful granddad figure that's for sure do you enjoy the personal aspect of your life as a contrast to that career I'm so lucky really you know I've just spent about four days with the grandchildren you know and they are just the best we have another one about to arrive now in early October and it's just such a joy to have them and you know I was doing an interview with somebody on the phone and I was finished the interview and I immediately started playing monsters with the two wee ones you know because I'm the monster and I have to I have to find them and you know catch them and pretend to be the monster so it's amazing what they bring to your life.
It's just unbelievable and I suppose in recent times even before covid I started to you know have a balance between the work and the the down time and that's I suppose I hope what I'll do in the future although at the minute it's busy because we have a lot of rescheduled shows to fulfil but um you know when we get ourselves settled there'll be a balance between the the touring and the under the home life right now speaking of family indeed there's also you've got a special duet on the new album. yeah Magella loves to harmonize you know and she loves to sing too but she's not interested and going on stage night after night the way that I do so it was suggested first to say oh to me to record you know something stupid by Frank Sinatra and Nancy Sinatra.
But Magella was the idea that she's she loves that kind of thing so she recorded with me and she turned out ground we think indeed, indeed I heard it on a day it does it's turned out absolutely excellent now the way in which communities rallied around one another during the pandemic. I'll have to say was heart warning warming indeed it was tough when people passed away from any calls indeed never mind covered no inevitable restrictions on funerals meant the grieving process was also affected. Now you've you've praised your great friend Charlie Pride for performing in Ireland at the time when others stayed away and a cat let the moment pass by without inviting you to to sort of pay tribute to the great Charlie yeah Charlie you know we lost Charlie last um late last year and he too I suppose he he was a victim of of the virus too.
I think anyway that he died from covid, but he was a great entertainer and you know, we became friendly over the years I started out as a great fan of his and was to the very day he passed away and still am of his music but you know I got to record with him I got to do tv shows with him and he was just a gentleman and only just yesterday I had a message from his manager in America that they're doing the last recordings that Charlie was working on um and they're asking people to join and sing with him and they very kindly approached me to see Rosin, Charlie's wife was anxious that I'd be involved so I was absolutely thrilled and I got back to them and said I would be honoured so that's something in the pipeline now that we'll you know I'll get to do something with Charlie you know even though he has passed on that this next album that will be released from him of songs he was working on.
I'll be on the album so I'm absolutely delighted about that. Now closer to home of course more recently you lost a valued and treasured member of your own band who passed away also yes Ronnie we are very very sad that Ronnie Kennedy has passed away yeah Ronnie I mean Ronnie joined my band in 1984. and he was with me until 2016 when I took the break after Magella had her cancer treatment and I took a bit of time off Ronnie decided then that he wouldn't return to the road as he had been before he decided to retire you know the long journeys I suppose and although his health wasn't, you know too bad, he was having issues you know so he just decided then that you know he wouldn't travel anymore um but sadly you know he had been battling prostate cancer and eventually it went to the bone and he just couldn't overcome it anymore so he passed away a couple of weeks ago and we were just I cannot believe that he's gone honest to God.
We were you know, I was lucky that things had relaxed enough that I was able to get to see him before he died the week before he died I was able to spend half an hour with him and we had a you know I suppose a lovely farewell because we knew and he knew that he was you know not going to get better and the purpose was that we would have this last bit of time together and then we were able to you know because the churches were able to have people and then we were able all the band that had worked with Ronnie through my time and his time with me we were all gathered and we sang him out so you know we'll never ever forget him he was just such a great character larger than life character and he brought so much to the to the stage but you know he was a great friend too because mean for to be with somebody for so long and I although there was 15 years between me and Ronnie.
Ronnie was 74 he'd be 75 in February so it was just almost 15 years between us there was it didn't seem like there was any gap in age and we got on tremendously well we traveled together in the early days we drove you know he drove my car and drove his own car in the beginning when I didn't have a car so we we had a great connection during through the years so we we we were muslim but we'll never forget him and we're glad that his suffering is over you know that's even though we were sad he's gone we're we're very glad for him that his suffering is done indeed indeed one of the the giants of music indeed it just sends it on that that life is precious now you're an optimistic glass full rather than half empty man that you you love to travel now things have opened up again to an extent does it does it make it all the sweeter to reconnect with audience is it occasionally to sort of a re-energize the letter breaks ah we're looking forward to you know to get back and and doing you know doing the shows.
Unfortunately you know a big part of what I've done during through the years is meeting people after the shows but a decision was made that you know that we wouldn't do that for this these couple tours both in the U.K. and America just because you know the virus is still there so I mean meeting and greeting and you know doing that on a close contact thing it's one thing coming in and sitting down in the theatre and you know then leaving again but it's just not practical to to do it that way I mean I and the rehearsals you know we came in and we all met and you know nobody shook hands or nobody hugged one another so even within our own group we're respectful that we need to even though we're together we need to be distant distanced and you know to wear the masks and all that just to try and and keep ourselves safe and and you know that's just the way we have to go for the next while you know.
So please God it will get better indeed well you I'll have to say you're you're sensational coming up to 60 so obviously you've got the balance right we're delighted to bring you details of the album on the tour to find your nearest venue follow the link at our website irishradio. org you'll find all the ways to purchase the album also now Daniel thanks for taking the time out of rehearsals to recap on life and times and tell us about Daniel O'Donnell 60 the October 2021 U.K. nationwide touring album dang listen wish you a very happy birthday in December listen have a great start to the touring in the U.K. and also the us thank you very much Jerry it's always a pleasure and greetings to everybody who are listening we look forward if you're in the U.K. to see in you somewhere at a venue that maybe you would be able to get to and if you're listening in America of course we have an extensive tour there too and looking forward to be back in Ireland and Killarney next august the dates are rescheduled so please god you know everything will eventually get back to normal Australia as and New Zealand they were a casualty too so don't know when we're going to get to do shows in that part of the world.
Alex Belfield interview with Daniel O'Donnell 2020
welcome back to celebrity radio it's Alex Bell field talking to one of the world's biggest stars and one of my favorite people a person that we first spoke to over 20 years ago we must be very old Daniel O'Donnell how are you well you speak for yourself I'm still as bad as I always was it's lovely to talk to you and we do these chats every single year and you're still at it and still selling out these huge venues you're back on tour from October 2020 starting on the first at South End through Basingstoke and Plymouth and Skegness gateshead Aberdeen Glasgow Carlisle Blackpool Birmingham Eastbourne Bath and Croydon it must be great to be you because the audience still want to see you and that's the dream of every artist isn't it the audience have been so supportive for so many years and as the time passes I suppose the audience is a bit like we were saying but along we've been doing interviews when the policemen start getting younger you know you're getting old underway my audience is beginning to get a bit younger too and that means I must be getting older but I'm very fortunate every great support through the years you know time and time again we go out and the audience still come some of them have been coming for over 30 years to the shows it's amazing there's only two artists I know where people will queue outside theatres and that's you and Sir Cliff and they don't have to do it now of course because of the internet that's changed everything hasn't yeah and you know some people and I have said to some of the people come to the shows you know yeah we know one another we it's like part of the whole thing some theatres know don't allow it and people actually disappointed that you know they can't go and make that part of the whole lead-up to the show but a lot of them do it to get the front-row seats and it's amazing the commitment I think you give more access than any star I've ever met they're so important to you it is a family fan club isn't it well you know they have given so much to me through the
years and meeting them after the shows has allowed me to have a connection with them you know when I go at the stage I look hurt and I see a lot of people that I know you know lots and lots of faces some I know the name is but lots of faces that I would know from other shows that I've known for many many years so it's a lovely feeling you'll be able to do that what is it like for you now standing on a stage I mean it's gonna be 450 years since you first did it is he as thrilling now or do you sort of become like an old pair of slippers where it's just like going in your front room and singing to a few friends are there any nerves at this point a small prehension really I don't know that is there I think God you know you just wonder would you be able to do it but just you want to be your best I suppose that's that's what I I feel when I go one cigarette you'll find you get into it and just relax but just that initial starting to work you're always away but do you get neurotic about your voice how worried do you get especially this time of year regardless of what's going on at the moment but I mean coughs and colds and splutters and touching and gripping and grinning and all that are you obsessed with with sort of staying well I think all singers are always some Saints i I'm talking with class and you know before not we meet one another and we're not doing shows and if one of us is a cold don't need to worry important you didn't worry about my voice you're always thinking you always the voices as the main thing so for us I suppose for her on tour what you try and stay away from us the cold and you know coughs and all it's not easy that was it especially this time of year and then we look at you in your life and your happiness I mean there you are over in Ireland living and what is an extraordinary life have you come to realize that at this point that it's not normal to be Daniel O'Donnell with your life your popularity your fame or enduring ability to fill theatres you know I suppose I feel very away from the stage I feel very
blessed as well because I have you know we have two grandchildren now is it just lay topper lives you know even though we don't see them every day physically we go on the on the phone for we can see them and under three boys to Archie and Olivia is four and a half and they're just fantastic and they they bring so much joy so I suppose I have I have the the life on the stage and then I have another life at home that is just enriched greatly but by their presence hmm family's always been so important he hasn't it and and again that private life it's tricky isn't it having a private life when you are so public and you give more the most well I suppose the people that come to see me they know that I'm I meet them after every show so there's a great separation I'm never bothered I mean people will talk to you when you're out and about but it's not like you know they're running up because they'll never see you again you know so I think the balance of meeting people are the opportunity to meet people has worked very well in my favor I remember one of our most compelling chats was when Majella got ill and we didn't know whether she was going to get better and she did and my goodness what a relief that was I suppose it's times like that when you realize how lucky you are to have loved and friends well you know people really live but these times that's the way life should be and you know we all have things that will come to us that we would choose or would rather not choose but you know thank God we were lucky and Magellan's recovery was you know a full recovery and that's you always hope that's going to be the future will be that you know things won't reoccur but you really do I suppose from our point of view I'm maybe not traveling as much as I used to and we're taking more time doing other things too so you get a different perspective what life - hmm I suppose the grandkids give you that lease of life again don't they because
you have to find a new youth oh absolutely they are just and they are their love is unconditional they're not really concerned about what they do it's just the call me cago you know that's all well people have been calling you going out for years I mean they don't you're less what do you like to do when you're not in show business when you're not being a family man are the things that you love to do by yourself or with your friends I love playing cards I took up bridge a few years ago and I absolutely love the bridge that's just that's it's really my favorite thing to do away from all the other things I have in life yeah fantastic and then of course one of the biggest parts of your year is that uh and then bringing out the CDs and you've always given value for money both live and on these CDs as well haven't you isn't that important to you because there's a lot of people ripping off their fans at this point you've never done that you've always given them as much as they've given you you know I suppose it's worth both ways you know the people have been very supportive of me the album's we put out the least I think we'd ever have an album is 14 songs you know we've had as many as 60 songs of some compilation album but the album later in the year I think is I think is 14 that's on this album I recorded it last year so I think it's 14 that's going to be on it don't know what to take little B I think that's been discussed with a minute but it'll be a little bit of torpor 10 I would imagine and we choose the tour you know I I love the the shows and and you know I supposed to show last was a break and another maybe about three hours usually but it's not doesn't seem like a long time for me hmm and of course one of your favorite places to go is Tenerife is that where you meet up with Sir Cliff because obviously he's over there a lot as well as we go to Barbados or we make meet depends where we all are at at the time you know but we keep in touch you know
before you know I think the synergy between you and him and we spoke of course when all that stuff was going on with the BBC it was such an appalling time and thank God he was able to resolve it but of course one of the ways he was able to resolve it was via money and having enough to clear his name I think one of the sadness for me is thinking if I were accused of the same I wouldn't have 2. 2 million to clear my name it was such an awful thing for him wasn't it has to have an effect you know even though you're you know originally said but it's still a difficult thing for himself had to consume and you are you know somebody that spent his life trying to make people happy and you know doing what he thought was right but sometimes these things come yeah it's just the pure invasion of it I think for success wasn't it and all he's ever done is given to people and as of you love anytime we get to spend with them and we enjoy you know the times we and look forward to the next times I presume there aren't that many people you meet who know how you feel and have lived the life you have but he's one of the few isn't he you've only ever really known being a star and standing on a stage entertaining people well I suppose I would have known you know as a fan first of all and then we got to know him on a one-to-one basis so it's kind of unique I'm still a fan of his music but you know when we we sat down and chat I suppose there is a common place in the middle of where we can discuss things and I think that's nice for both of us you know and then of course your years spent over in Ireland and then in Tenerife and America to breaking America was sort of one of the most important things I suppose just because the sheer volume of people and they do love you over there don't they I've been very fortunate you know I got chosen on public television about well as was 2002 2003 which was later on really and I was I was 40 by the time that happened but it just gained a whole
new I had been going to America prior to that but planter or you know audiences of a certain level but this give us a huge demographic you know huge area to cover and because of that you know we've got a I could never cover all of America you know I just stopped possible you could probably go to America and live in America mmm you know obviously this is so big but I just want to be able to step on a note of every word that I have always gone and what America has become a big part of of the of the year you know we always go to Missouri and a later part of the year we may do another time this year or not cut down a little of the Turing but that's a personal choice you know we just wanted more don't tape you know and that's not nothing to do with not enjoying it it's just to get a balance and you're both well are you thank God yeah wonderful fabulous and then of course 2015 was another boost for you when you did Strictly it's that still having an effect for anybody thinking well I don't want to do it but it might help with ticket sales is it a momentary sort of interest or has it sort of changed your fan base I'm not sure that nod person I suppose would come because they saw me and strictly but a lot of people would have been aware of who I was before so may bring people out but it certainly was from my own point of view it was a great a great show to be involved and I mean it was terrifying well yeah and it's tenure have you comfort zone and making you do something that you're not famous for doing I mean you're a singer who sings not a dancer the dancers you can see Daniel O'Donnell on tour through 2020 let's give those dates again so from October the first at South End you can see him there at Tecla civilian through Basingstoke Plymouth Skegness Gateshead Aberdeen Glasgow Carlisle Blackpool Birmingham Eastbourne Bath and Croydon Daniel it's always lovely to talk to you we love you very much and thank you for your time I'm sure we'll talk to you sometime please god
Margo O'Donnell interview on Irishradio.org
I spoke to many entertainers singers and performers since the lockdown and all of that actually spoke to my next guest's a brother on the program, Daniel O'Donnell back a couple of months ago in lockdown now my next guest is a lady who has sold in excess of a million records her career goes back to 1964 has performed and recorded in the 60s 70s 80s 90s and this last two decades as well I'm delighted to say a big hello to the one and only Margo Margo O'Donnell. How are you ? I'm very good Jerry and it's great to talk to you so thank you for having me on your program. it's a real pleasure a real real pleasure and you you you started off 1964 was your first recording 19 yeah in 1964 i started with a a show band from home underneath all the keynotes and I was still going to school at that time I was just almost 13 and there they were at length that time and there was no dances in ireland so the bands were always off you know so the keynotes uh they used to take part in little drama things in the parochial halls and one was taking place in my local hall of Mary's in Concassla and of course the priest was involved and I sang in the choir.
So I was singing at these little concerts that they had during lent and that's where I got to know the keynotes and they were all local fellas from around where I came from so I knew their families and everything and then their their lead singer he was as my mother said he was leaving to get a proper job. He was joining the guards and I had come back, I was over a picking potatoes in Scotland in Airshire with my brother John and a lot of people from west Mayo and and north Kerry and Donegal especially went in the summer months to, they called it the tatihokan we picked potatoes all along the Airshare coast and down onto the borders of England and kelso so I came back. I always say I came back from Scotland on the Saturday and on the Sunday the keynotes came to the house asking my mother, my father was working in Scotland at the time and asking her if I, if she would let me sing with them at weekends and school holidays and that so then she talked it over with dad and and I joined them in October and the rest is just the supposes to say it's history but I was earning 10 Shillings tonight, every night I went out with them and and I never ever looked at it as a career.
It wasn't it was something I was doing that was fun and I enjoyed it immensely, and I was getting to dances when all my school friends were at home and and weren't allowed to go to dances so I had a lot to tell all the school friends you know on a Monday morning or whatever I'd have been out maybe on the Friday and the Saturday so it was a thing that I did with a group of guys from home and and then we recorded our very first single the bonnie Irish boy which was a song that was given to me by my dad. My dad was a lovely singer and he he knew an awful lot of the old ballads and the old folky ballads and he he taught me that song and that was our first record and it and it was released actually the morning that my father died. He never heard it and I suppose that that day that was he was dead 52 years yesterday as I speak to you.
And he was 48 years of age, and that day changed my life forever. I was the second a second eldest of a family of five, five kids and when he was gone there was no there was no money coming in and it was just John, my eldest brother and myself that were able to take home some money. So I started threw myself full belt into the the band then at the time and after the bonny Irish boy, I followed it up with a song called the road by the river and that I could see the world through the age of a child and I got offered then from a Dublin promoter a new band on the road and a hundred pound a week with a car and a driver and I promised my father on the morning that he died never ever thinking that this man was going to pass away that I would look after mom and and my siblings.
And when I talked it over mom this was the door that opened that I was able to do that and I carried the promise. Maybe Jerry, at times I carried it too seriously and too far till it weighed down on me. What a great heavy weight and you know it led me into a wrong footing for a couple of years. But I was able to rear my siblings and look after mom and I was there in the music business full time. But it wasn't, it wasn't what I dreamed of. I always wanted to be a nurse and get married and settle down and have a few kids but you know that wasn't the way life was supposed to go so that's the gist of the stories the mantis and the rest the rest has been wrecked many times indeed indeed uh it was uh you know at that time I mean a hundred pounds a week was plus a car in the driver.
I mean that was absolutely huge money back then, it was colossal money. It really was big big money and that was the answer to our problems to my mom and and my family's problems. And I wasn't really aware of the the impact that Margo. Had you know with the people in the music business so when i talk about i always uh separate uh Margaret O'Donnell from marvel i'm very grateful to Margo for all the things that she gave me and give my mother and my family and that but it was a it was a life that was totally alien to me. I was, I was born and done it all in the heart and soul of of the country where everything was safe and everything was simple and everything was easy and and and I was, I was trust into this big time in Dublin. I remember saying to the the promoter could I take the keynotes with me and he said no that's not in the deal and I remember on a, on a very very dark cold November evening and leaving Donegal with a little suitcase and heading for Dublin, where I started rehearsals with my new band the country folk and I was, I was extremely lonely.
I wasn't a city girl at all, and I didn't like city life. I didn't like anything about it. But in order to to fulfill what I wanted to do I had to put up a move into Dublin and I moved there and I was there while I rehearsed with the band and we got on the road and then I moved to Galway because when I was with the keynotes we used to base ourselves. Sometimes they would plan, you know, dances maybe one and Galway one in Limerick and maybe sometimes in north Kerry or whatever they would base ourselves in Galway. So I got to know people in Galway and I actually boarded with a man and his wife. he was from Donegal and I knew his sisters so I stayed with them and they didn't have a family and they treated me like their child you know.
So I was safe then again, and, but you know the big the big bad war comes in now and again and I was lonely I was away from home and and I was never ever aware of the impact that Margo had I totally went over my head and sometimes when I look back now on the career that I've had I'm kind of glad that it did. I never changed, I still have the same friends that I had back then. I still have those friends today I have never Jerry never ever been at a showbiz party and all of my life and I lived a very very simple life.
I love the music that I sing and I have great friends all around me now so life is good, and and it's been a wonderful journey. indeed absolutely excellent, but I think the fact that you haven't gone to these showbiz parties or got into any of this type of work in many ways is a false situation entirely anyhow but yeah absolutely kept feet on the ground because you know it's there's very little to be gained for the individual i think by these type of uh sort of showbiz parties i mean it happens in the media as well i must say I've always kept away from them also you know yeah yeah yeah yeah it's so big these kind of things are not they're not really you know and I always kept my feet very firmly on the ground.
I met some wonderful people, the fans that I have, Jerry the the salt of the earth, they really and truly are and you know I always stayed around home I always I did tour America and I toured Australia and that sort of thing in Scotland and England but mostly here in Ireland. And today to the places that I did in England were always nearing off the Irish you know, the Irish ballrooms and we would do the big concerts and maybe the likes of the royal Albert hall or whatever with a host of artists on so I was always very very close you know I always kept kept close to the to the roots that I came from and then I suppose in the 90s,I sort of, I went to Nashville for the first time and i made great friends there on the grand ole opry and and if somebody had said to me you know when i was starting out and I was buying my first country records I was buying records of the people that I became friends with you know in Nashville.
I never thought that that would have happened to me, and I never ever thought that I would have you know met the likes of Kitty Wells and Loretta Lynn and Gene Shepard and and Dolly you know. And I recorded an album of dolly back in 96 and I spent six weeks in Nashville what the the part and family and the Owns family from East Tennessee and we recorded a beautiful album and and I made great friends with all these people and I have wonderful, wonderful memories.
But i wouldn't have any of this, if it weren't for the fans. I wouldn't, I would have nothing, and that brings us right to the situation that we're in today with this terrible terrible virus and and it has it has been able to do something that nothing was able to do on me before. And that is it has separated the likes of me and and other artists from the people you know we're not able to get in touch with them and and it's sad and we have we have no arrow pointing to where we're gonna go from here we pray every day that you know we will get back and and that this will pass and I hope you know, I hope it's just a pause button at the minute but there is no light at the end of this. all we have is the likes of you Jerry and thank you for you know taking on and doing the show and and and keeping our music alive you know we all need each other at the end of the day.
I wouldn't be on radio if you hadn't made contact, if you didn't start to do your program you know, so we all need each other and in some way you are connecting the likes of me and Daniel and everybody else that you've interviewed. You're connecting us again with the people out there and that's that's the one thing that we have to be grateful for now that you will connect us with them for just that short while that we're talking to you and and I thank you for that Margaret it's a real a real pleasure it's a, it's a pleasure indeed to to be able to catch up with you i think with this uh with this whole uh lockdown with this uh dreadful situation we find ourselves in one of the biggest things has been technology and communication which has advanced things whereby we're unable to literally meet up together.
But at least we can keep in contact through technology which has uh you know greatly advanced over the years oh absolutely I mean, I did i even did a sort of television program there on on tg 4 or Irish station with Daniel and I never thought almighty never ever thought that I would be sitting in a room you know with earphones and looking into a laptop computer and we'd be able to do a program and and I watched Daniel last night. he's in Tenerife and he did a facebook thing, a concert you know and and it's amazing what we can do I Daniel and i have a cousin um we have a lot of cousins in Scotland my father's people were all sort of they all went from Donegal to Scotland and started their lives there and their families and Daniel and I my family have a cousin there that that was very ill and and uh i was able to call Daniel uh yesterday and say Daniel you know kathleen is not well you know just mention or you know on your on your facebook concert and he did last night and he sang a little song for her and i was so happy because at 7 30 this morning she passed away.
So without technology being what it is that little you know that little moment wouldn't have happened last night so we have to be grateful I'm not grateful technology but we have to be grateful that we can do these things uh and and the technology is there to help us along because sometimes it's out of our power indeed indeed so that is a that's a lovely story in my sympathies on that uh the sub passing yeah yeah she wasn't she wasn't going to get better but I felt great for Daniel you know because Daniel and I were very very close to her you know and it was amazing I said I watched i watched him and i talked to him after it and i must say we both we both cried a little bit about the whole situation and when I called him this morning early and Tenerife and and told him you know that she did she she was aware that he that he he spoke over and he sang a song that she used to always sing when we would all get together at family gatherings storn away and he sang the song so you know thank God for technology and thank God we have that had that moment last night uh to say goodbye to her and and she passed away in her sleep and it was a lovely ending you know.
Indeed Margo you've been you've been involved for quite a while uh since uh 1977 indeed with the search for a distant relative a little girl who went missing uh Mary Boyle. In fact you even recorded the song the missing Marry Boyle, yeah absolutely one several times the the searches for mary sort of um uprooted themselves again and we've had many many searches for mary's body and uh back at one of the times um P.J. Murrahy rang me and he said you know that he was listening to an interview that I did and i was talking about Mary and he wrote that song that I recorded about Mary Boyle and as we speak i mean there was a documentary done a number of years ago about Mary, and all that and and as we speak actually um two guys from the north of ireland have done a documentary another documentary on the disappearance of Mary Boyle and as i speak to you now it's been edited and it's almost ready to go and they're hoping that they will get about on netflix to a wider you know a wider audience uh than than parochially here in Ireland uh just to make people aware of the situation it's a terrible situation.
Irish Singer Owen Mac
Interview with Owen Mac on Irish Radio.
I've spoken over the years to many many singers many entertainers musicians and people involved in uh in the arts and publishing it's very very rare practically never that you actually speak to somebody who's aged just 17 and is already a firmly established favorite in music having had numerous numerous hit singles recorded numerous songs and he appeared on practically every music program on tv on radio and also a huge huge hit online a phenomenon in entertainment I'm delighted to say hello to the one and only Owen Mac. Owen how are you? I'm great Jerry, thank you very much for having me on your program I really appreciate it that's a real pleasure.
Oh and how did you become interested in music how did it start off I know your dad and your uncles were involved in music yeah well really my whole family was in music even my granny was into music and I think she sort of passed the voice thing to uh dad and his brothers? and and then I sort of picked it up and uh yeah music's always been in my family and I think well I started back about uh well it must be it must have been five years ago um and uh ever since then I've just been loving and singing at the concerts and things and yeah but music's really been playing in the house all my life so I've sort of uh never really been used to anything else so yeah I just love singing that is excellent I mean you've you've released just so many many songs and they've uh you know you've managed to capture the the imagination and capture the the admiration of so many many people involved in in entertainment.
Oh thank you so much, yeah I really appreciate that yeah I'm glad that I've met so many great artists and they've really been so kind to me and just and really took me on as a one of their own and yeah I'm just enjoying it and and and getting to meet all the people at the concerts, and of course and all the artists as well and I was on through there with a a good friend of mine called Michael English and he's a fantastic entertainer and he took me on and we did concerts all around Ireland and I really enjoyed that and that sort of gave me a and a good idea of what the music scene and it's going to be like and yeah i was really glad to do that that is absolutely superb and the the reaction I mean the reaction to you uh when you appear any place doesn't matter where it is the reaction is absolutely phenomenal I mean you get you know everybody is, you know of you they really are.
Oh well thank you very much guys yeah I appreciate everyone and I just love getting up in the space and I'm seeing the audience's reaction and I love also just communicating with the audience as well because and I think that's very important and I love to meet everyone at the end of shows and things and get to talk to them and see where they're coming from and yeah it's just it's really great I'm really enjoying it right i saw your performance actually on the on the when you appeared with Stephen Nolan on B.B.C. Northern Ireland now his reaction to you was just astounding oh yeah well that was a great night and I got to sing a phone call my mother my teacher my friend on it and uh yeah Ireally enjoyed that night and I got to meet Steven and and yeah it was great.
The response that i got on that and tv show and yeah I really appreciate getting on it and I'm singing on it it was great it was a lovely song that my mother my teacher my friend where did you get that song Owen uh well that song was actually sent to me um by a friend of mine and a promoter called uh James McGarry and I then recorded it on I think it was my third album and then I brought it as a single one video and yeah thank God everyone enjoys it and it goes down well at the concert so yeah it's a great song indeed, indeed absolutely yeah, superb stuff.
Now I also I believe I actually received a single of even your little sister oh that's right and yeah it's actually my older sister and Shawna and Jonas just recently started singing and yeah and she has a fantastic voice as well and and i suppose and she never really showed an interest in music until and later on uh quite recently to be honest and we were just sitting down one night and playing guitar and singing songs and she just decided to sing a song in front of us and that's where we thought I heard her voice d yeah she's been doing well ever since and yeah I'm very proud of her as well excellent excellent uh really good to hear now but last song that you took out was cracking one was written by Derek Ryan ''God's Plan'' and Owen black and called be kind oh yes another fantastic song that was sent to me and Derek Ryan sent that song to me and or it was mainly for mental health and which I thought was really nice and and thought the lyrics were so appropriate for well especially a time like this and,
I think the message in it was just amazing uh to be kind and uh yeah Derek Ryan has been more than good to me as well he's sent me songs and different things and yeah, it's great to have a good upbeat original song indeed so excellent song that way we're done in absolute storm it is number one on our charts here and all the rest of it so it was it was absolutely huge so uh you know what well done on all of that your dad of course Desi, he was playing he played for many many years performed around in the in the local area oh he did yeah dad has always been singing and he's been singing around Ireland and uh different venues around Ireland and I suppose I just grew up listening to Daniel O'Donnell and that's really where I took it after um dad has a great voice as well and I think he always spoke to me about how i say because I'm always listening and at the concerts and even when we're sitting down in the living room I'm always listening to singing different songs and that's really where i pick it up and how I choose this song excellent excellent it's good to have a uh somebody like that who's a role model who's been around for you know, for so many years singing Irish Country Songs and so well known in the in you know in music circles around the the area where you live exactly it is.
Yeah I'm very fortunate to have a guy that sings and and he knows uh different types of thrones and things and yeah he keeps me on the right path as well as mummy as well mommy's a great, a great role model as well excellent excellent stuff now I believe at the moment you're actually in the process of uh recording your country gospel album I am yeah it's been something that I've always wanted to do and and lately in the house that's really all that's been played is country gospel music because I'm trying to choose different songs for it and I personally love country music.
I'd say that it's probably one of my favorite types of music and yeah so I just recently, I released a new Gospel single called praying and a video for it as well and it's been going down great as well and and i think my fan base and my fans seem to enjoy social music so I'm glad that I can bring out as an album and and hopefully and people will enjoy it. excellent, you're praying actually I have that particular single and uh very very good on i must say very impressive song thank you very much yeah it's a lovely song and I think that was originally recorded by Jean Watson and I love all Gean's old stuff especially and yeah it's a lovely song indeed so you're still going yeah you're still attending school and no, I actually just left school very recently I did my gcse's and then I left and you could go on for a levels but um I just decided to leave and I'm focused on music for a while but um if at any stage i needed to go back to school I always i always have the gcse's.
Indeed well done well done on that, so that day yeah you finished, finished just recently I knew you were at school until until very recently and how are you how are you getting on as regards you know what the I assume you're quite busy doing the album but so obviously you've got plenty to occupy your mind in the in these strange lockdown days ? yeah well, it's strange times and there's some days I don't really know what to do because I'm so used to going to concerts and on different things but I think I'm just trying to use my time wisely and and trying to learn new songs and of course focusing on the album as well and and thank God I'm still able to go into this video and record so i can still get the album and running along and yeah it's been strange times but uh I suppose it's been times where you can sort of just relax and and throw things down and enjoy some more time with my family.
And yeah, I'm enjoying it, excellent stuff , well well done, when do you think you'll have the the actual album finished it'll be a few months yet will it um oh well it will be a few months yet i think i think we're aiming for it to come out around September or October so not too long and you're lucky you're still able to work in you know work in the studio despite the the strange times that we have in it at the moment. Oh yeah I'm very lucky uh my recording studio is only half an hour up the road too and yeah I'm able to still get the album uh going and yeah I love this video as well and getting them to record different songs i really enjoy that that's excellent excellent oh well this has been lovely to catch up with you uh I've admired your music and songs and singing ability from uh you began practically uh listen has been lovely too lovely to talk to you and uh listen stay safe stay well to yourself and all the family and uh good luck with all your uh endeavors and music thank you very much Jerry I really appreciate you letting me on the show and thank you to all the listeners i really appreciate everyone thank you very much.
Irish Country Singer John Glenn Interview
Interview by Jerry Byrne Irish radio it is and uh I've got a guest online now gentleman I spoke to him during the the peaks of uh lockdown and all the rest of the gentleman I know for many many years. He's been around for uh well a few years anyhow in music and still making music still being successful and does an incredibly successful uh live show on facebook every Friday night at eight o'clock great show it really is I'm delighted to say hello to uh the wonder John Glenn, John how are you I'm good Jerry how are you ? not bad at all john listen since I spoke to you before you've uh you've had loads of success with the with the album which has gone a storm of the Mainliners and you've also picked up another yet another award to add to your collection and you've released a single as well it's been a busy time for you yeah we I got the award for lifetime achievement award and over in the Sleive Russell at the hot country music awards it was nice together 47 years it says to be appreciated that's a big crowd there underneath loads of loads and loads of young acts that I've never met before that's excellent.
They're all they're trying to get together a wee award and yeah we've released a single from my I'll settle for old Ireland album hard over mind an song and it's it's getting loads of airplay and all the internet radios and all local radios and so it's just something new and something to keep the name in the name late indeed indeed I said you know what it's a it's certainly it's certainly gone a storm and you you're at this stage you're you're two years doing the the facebook lives you started them off sort of at the in the early part of lockdown in 2020 yeah well it's it's two years since the mainland myself and the main are over two years when February passed so in on may 20 2020 it would have been 45 years when I joined the mainlanders so my daughter and eve said yeah you better you do facebook there's a few other singers doing it so we went ahead and done it and um we're two may come and now it'll be two years during it nearly nearly every Friday it's absolutely fantastic you know well I'm well done you're getting a huge reaction a huge amount of people viewing it live and then viewing it later on.
It really has been a success story yeah absolutely fantastic a lot of our fans my my age group of fans that hadn't been out for a long time and you know so bad still I think without maybe still afraid to go out to see bands or go dancing so we kept kept in touch with them that way and so um well on Sunday coming now I'm over in Galway over in the kilt holla it's a vintage show and I know it's an outside event so myself and two of the boys are playing at that so hopefully we'll it'll be a it's a two-day event that jerry saw a vintage show so hopefully meet up with a few old pointers that we haven't seen for a while indeed that would be they'll be lovely now you did it you actually did a show on Easter Sunday night in in your hometown of Crossmaglenn I thought about you know Easter Sunday it's a great night to be out playing and doing something so I didn't I was speaking to the the guys in the club and we said we'd do it and the fact that it was doing facebook we could announce it on it and give it a wee bit of a plug and it turned out great there was a great 130 or so on the night so great great turnout absolutely fantastic yeah that really was it. It must be great to, I know you've done another couple of shows yourself what I believe doing guest spots etc it must be great to you know for the likes of yourself to be you know to be able to go out and perform again after you know such a period of time where there was absolutely nothing that's that's right um like there was there was no nothing everything was shut down but things are opening up but we would on on Monday on Monday night come, I'm in the old coach in Castleblaney.
There with Raymond Waters I do I'm sorry topping the bill there on the night and I'm in the rambling in anthem next Saturday night right do we bit some pieces here and there you know keeping and keeping the name out there excellent absolutely excellent stuff and you're glad to glad to hear it I'm glad you're not glad to see now there's no news yet you haven't got anything planned with the with the main liners as yet no no word yet Jerry ginger had a hip replacement there a couple of months ago so if he was wasn't able to stay on stage for two hours you know it probably wouldn't be happening but I'm sure if we do if we do anything it'll probably be a finale it'll be the the end of John Glenn on the mainland but we'll maybe maybe do a few weekends here and there and rather than going out and doing the Friday night here and the Saturday night there or something like that maybe going up and down for a weekend and maybe like William park or Killarney maybe indeed indeed yes can that oh yes I can, I can understand that it's very interesting actually when you do the facebook shows on a Friday night you mentioned the dates that you did back in 19 I think it was 1977. and one thing that is astounding is the sheer number of venues and the the nights I mean you you list out where you're out maybe on a Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday and Sunday night in a row well yeah that that's a fact we're playing six and seven nights a week five and five and six and yard seven um winter and summer Jerry you know it was it was amazing when you think now you know there's not there's not a afraid and eight gig for a country band in Ireland at the minute unless it's a weekend Bundoran or something like that but there's no there's no regular Friday night dance anywhere the last one closed down the Hazel three in mallow was the last decent Friday night.
Yes in Ireland so yeah yeah, a lot of people spoke to me about reading out the dates from 77 where year 77 at the minute we're still saying you know this time of the year we'll be getting getting busier now really five and six nights a week now you know marquee is coming starting then indeed different festivals indeed it was it was a truly incredible time you know one and this year the thing about the marquis you know back in those days that the sheer numbers of people was astounding. oh yeah it was it was once a year but so some um okay over Mayo would have had two two deliver a marquee at Easter and then to do another one later on coming here the end of the summer and it was a it was a big thing for a small village or a small town or whatever the marquee was up and all the the bands were a little bit we going every weekend and maybe something like that yes absolutely absolutely incredible stuff it really was no question no question of that yeah you know that you but listen on all your success you know so far and that the thing is you're still going you're still doing live performances and live shows and you're also you know still releasing the material and the single what you must say is going very well for you oh yeah well it's that's good good to have the means that we have at the minute you know like we're speaking to you now years ago you couldn't get an interview you had to be up at the very top to maybe get interviews but it's great now to get the publicity if you're you know if you're if you're on the road walking and looking mad looking working for dates and all that type of thing but it's great to have social media and all the rest to advertise and it's it's it it's a big help to people that fans that would be looking to be working three or four nights a week indeed so indeed so does that is the thing john listen thanks a million for speaking to me it's it's lovely lovely to catch up with you again no bother at all jerry I'm not out look I look forward to watching you next year look forward to watching you next friday night no bother give you a big mention john thank you very much indeed thanks jerry all the best thanks a lot bye. Irish Country Music Songs .
Irish folk song lyrics, chords and a whole lot more