1939 – Bernard Noël ‘Banjo Barney’ McKenna of the Dubliners is born.

Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

Barney McKenna was the last surviving founding member of the Irish folk group the Dubliners. While Ronnie Drew’s gravelly voice gave the band its memorable vocal sound, it was McKenna’s playing of the tenor banjo, coupled with John Sheahan’s fiddle, that gave the Dubliners their original instrumental quality. In the process, McKenna redefined the role of the banjo in Irish traditional music. His distinctive playing can be heard on the Dubliners’ two hit singles in 1967, Seven Drunken Nights and Black Velvet Band, as well as on group favourites such as The Wild Rover and McAlpine’s Fusiliers. When the Pogues brought the Dubliners back to the vanguard of Irish music in 1987, their joint recording of The Irish Rover has his banjo well to the fore.

McKenna was born in Donnycarney, Co Dublin, and started to play the banjo because he could not afford a mandolin. He was rejected from…

View original post 469 more words

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s