It was 4 December, 2009, that singer Liam Clancy, died in Cork, Ireland , at the age of 74. Clancy was the youngest and last surviving member of the influential folk group, The Clancy Brothers, who are regarded as Ireland’s first pop stars. They recorded 55 albums, achieved global sales in the millions and appeared in sold-out concerts at such prominent venues as Carnegie Hall. He was a central figure during the 1960s folk revival on both sides of the Atlantic.
The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, began recording on Paddy Clancy’s Tradition Records label in the late 1950s. Liam Clancy played guitar in addition to singing and also recorded several solo albums. In 1959, the brothers began to performance live in the American cities of Boston, Chicago and New York. A record-breaking sixteen minute long performance on American TV’s The Ed Sullivan Show on 17 March 1961 launched the group into stardom.
Clancy was particularly known for his performance of the folk song, ‘The Patriot Game’, which relates the story of Irish Republican Army Volunteer, Fergal O’Hanlon, who was killed in a raid on a Royal Ulster Constabulary Barracks in Brookeborough, County Fermanagh, on New Years’ Day, 1957. The song can be heard below….