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.
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