Ronnie Drew visit website

Ronnie Drew  (16 September 1934 – 16 August 2008) was an Irish singer and folk musician who achieved international fame during a fifty-year career recording with The Dubliners. He is most recognised for his lead vocals on the single ‘Seven Drunken Nights’ and ‘The Irish Rover’ both charting in the UK top 10 and then performed on Top of the Pops. Ronnie was born in Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin, he was most celebrated for his unique voice and always identifiable by his long beard. In the 1950s, Drew moved to Spain to teach English and learn Spanish and flamenco guitar. His interest in folk music began at the age of 19. When he returned to Ireland, he performed in the Gate Theatre with John Molloy and soon went into the music business full-time, after holding a number of short-term jobs—including one at the Dublin's telephone exchange. In 1962, he founded the Ronnie Drew Group with Luke Kelly, Barney McKenna and Ciaran Bourke. They soon changed their name to The Dubliners—with John Sheahan joining shortly afterwards to form the definitive line-up—and quickly became one of the best known Irish folk groups. They played at first in O'Donoghue's Pub in Merrion Row, Dublin 2. Drew left the Dubliners in 1974,went to Norway in 1978 and recorded with the Norwegian group Bergeners. He rejoined The Dubliners in 1979 and left for good in 1995, though he did reunite with the group in 2002 for a 40th anniversary celebration. He made several television appearances with the group between 2002–05. From 1995 onwards, Drew pursued a solo career. He recorded with many artists, including Christy Moore, The Pogues, Antonio Breschi, Dropkick Murphys, Eleanor Shanley and others. He did a number of "one-man shows"—he was accompanied by various guitarists—during this period, such as Songs and Stories, Ronnie, I Hardly Knew Ya and Ronnie. These shows consisted of stories about people such as Brendan Behan, Patrick Kavanagh and Seán O'Casey, as well as Drew singing their songs.He also narrated a retelling of the great Irish Myths and Legends—scripted by Steven Byrne—over a six CD set in 2006. He also narrated the stories of Oscar Wilde in his distinctive voice for a series released on CD by the News of the World newspaper. Both were re-released as CD box sets in 2010. On 22 August 2006, Drew was honoured in a ceremony where his hand prints were added to the "Walk of Fame" outside Dublin's Gaiety Theatre. In the final months before his death, Drew recorded a number of songs in a traditional jazz style. A number of stars from the music world, including Mary Coughlan and Damien Dempsey, joined him in duets on the album. It was produced by Hugh Buckley and released in November 2008 by Celtic Collections.

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