Ballad Boom Hero Has Gone

Ballad Boom Hero Has Gone, Editor’s Corner, by John O’Brien, Jr.

After a while, people started drifting in and soon I was singing Irish ballads for Ms. Sinatra, Robert Stack, Robert Mitchum, Henry Mancini, James Coburn and God know who else.  They loved Finnegan’s Wake, and as I sat there teaching them the chorus, I suddenly thought, ‘what the hell am I doing here, I’m Danny Doyle, a coal-man’s son from the back lanes of Dublin.’  All I could do was laugh.” –  Danny Doyle

One of the last of the Ballad Boom heroes has gone. The extraordinary singer, poet, writer and performer Danny Doyle passed away August 7th.  Danny was 79 years old.  A contemporary of Irish legends like the Dublin City Ramblers, The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, Bob Dillon, Frank Sinatra … and the list goes on, Danny was instrumental in my falling in love with the ballad singers, with Irish music, and with the stories of our history. 

He and his family were first hand witnesses to the Dublin Lockout of 1913, The Easter Rising and more.  Those stories that he heard from his grandmother, a message runner during the Rising, influenced Danny, formed him.

Many of these stories he shared with me. Some of them made it into my first book, Festival Legends, Songs & Stories. An excerpt from Danny’s story is within, on page 20-23.

Danny was one of the people I made sure to clear out time for to hear him sing at Cleveland Irish Fest each year.  I shall miss him dearly.

We lost Young & Irish columnist Mary Kate Campbell to Suffolk University Law School; we wish her great success.  We welcome Dublin Diaries columnist Margaret Mary Hicks, enrolled at Trinity, where she will write about going to school in Ireland, Irish life on the street and other things she does.  Be sure to follow our Instagram OhioIANews, as well, for even more Irish life glimpses from Ireland. 

This is the last month for our 13thAnnual Festival Focus series.  Festivals in Pittsburgh, Muskegon, Indy and the Ohio Celtic Festival fill the month. We’re taking a caravan up to Michigan; Hope to see you here, there and everywhere to close out the summer with as much shenanigans as we can get into. 

Good Luck to all the Midwest teams competing in the US Gaelic Athletic Association Finals, this year in Leesburg, Virginia, the weekend before Labor Day. We are well represented and it is well worth the trip if you can go.

Looking forward to seeing you all and swapping a few stories.  Feel free to send us invites, give feedback, notices etc, or just to say Hi; remember, 3 hugs a day for wellness.

Nuair a stadann an ceol, stadann an rince

(When the music stops, so does the dance)

John

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