I"m really excited to tell you that our TV series, Songbirds - the First Ladies of Irish Song which we made for Irish TV about 7 years ago, is going to be shown across Ireland and the UK next month.
A small satellite station , Showcase TV, are going to show the series starting on the 19th June at 9pm. If you're based here, the station is 191 - Showcase TV, which is under the banner of Irish TV. There are 6 programmes in total and they'll be shown for 6 weeks, Thursday nights at 9pm.
I had recorded a lot of songs that were popular when my mum was young and that I learned when I was a child. After the CD was done we realised that most of the songs had first been recorded by one woman, Delia Murphy, between the mid 1930s and the mid 1950s - and she in turn influenced countless other female (and male) singers. To cut a very long story short, we got to make a TV programme about her life for RTE based around my songs, and the one programme suddenly became 6. At the time I was very unsure about using my recordings rather than theirs, but from the point of view of paying out huge royalties that we couldn't afford, it made sense. So there are guest performers working with me and recording a song that pertained to each of the women in question who all had different styles of singing, but who all in essence sang the same repertoire.
I'll tell you more about each lady as the programme comes up for screening, but for now, here's a role call of them all.
- Delia Murphy - the first person recorded singing in her own accent
- Bridie Gallagher - the mother of Irish Country music
- Margaret Barry - a street singer and traveller who became a huge part of the British Folk Revival
- Mary O'Hara - harpist and classical style singer
- Ruby Murray - the pop singer who still holds the record for having 5 songs in the UK pop charts on the same week.
- And the 6th programme is an overview of all their lives - sometimes this is shown first.
Wow! I'm both nervous and excited - it'll be interesting to see the response.