Ronnie Drew was born in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin. He was best known for his long beard and his voice, which was once described by Nathan Joseph as “like the sound of coke being crushed under a door”.
For more than 30 years, the distinctive voice of the Irish folk band the Dubliners belonged to Ronnie Drew, who died at aged 73. His gravelly voice, described by Mary Kenny as “proper sawdust Dublin”, was the essential ingredient to the Dubliners’ two 1967 chart successes, Seven Drunken Nights and The Black Velvet Band. But there was far more to the Dubliners than those hits. With Ronnie on lead vocals, and the combination of guitars, banjo, fiddle and whistle, they were one of the key sounds of Irish folk.
While they might have lacked the subtlety of later bands such as Planxty and Clannad, they were immensely popular and proved an inspiration…
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