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
Irish folk song lyrics, chords and a whole lot more