Long before the world had ever heard of Bono or Bob Geldof the four folk musicians in their trademark aran jumpers were, as Gay Byrne famously declared, quite possibly “the four most famous Irishmen in the world”.
The Clancy’s from Carrick-on-Suir in Tipperary and Tommy Makem from Keady in Armagh began playing in New York in the late 50s. Gigs grew across the pub circuit in New York, Boston and Chicago and the quartet got their big break in 1961 when US singer Peal Bailey was a no-show and The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem were given her slot on the Ed Sullivan show beamed into the homes of 80 million people.
A five-year contract with Columbia records, complete with a $100,000 advance which was simply staggering for the time, followed.
Their incredible story is recounted in A Fine Girl Ye Are, an evening of Clancy classics such as Holy Ground, Carrickfergus and The Irish Rover performed live. Interspersed between the music RTE’s Cathal MacCabe narrates the rumbustioius story of this folk supergroup.
On Saturday September 14th at 8.30pm. Tickets are €15 – available from The Balor Box Office on 0749131840 or online at www.balorartscentre.com.