Rita Lynch was born in Macroom in 1914 and showed an early talent for singing which was encouraged by her mother. Despite having her early career disrupted by the Second World War she went on to record for HMV and to tour extensively performing in operas, concerts and
oratorios in Ireland, the UK and the USA. In this programme Evelyn Grant visits the soprano’s daughter Mary Shaw as she sifts through the
extensive personal archive of letters, programmes, costumes, recordings and stories which her mother left behind.
In 2014, The Rory Gallagher Music Library made available, online,
selected images and other materials relating to Rita Lynch as part of the celebrations to mark the one hundredth anniversary of her birth. If you would like to visit the Rita Lynch Archive then please click on the link below:
A CD of Rita Lynch’s music is also available to borrow from Cork City
Liam Ronayne, Cork City Librarian — as those who know him are aware — is a huge music fan and is always happy to spend a coffee break chatting about the latest goings-on in the music world or about revered legends of the past. It isn’t often, however, that Liam would have the time to put pen to paper on the subject, but considering that this is Rory Gallagher & Taste and that Liam himself is a fan, he’s gone that extra mile:
The Taste Box Set, I’ll Remember — recently released by UMG / Polydor — is a four-disk treasure trove.
On disk 3, the five numbers culled from a 1970 BBC Radio 1 live set are introduced by John Peel, so laid-back he’s virtually horizontal. Peel remarks that, “Taste are one of those bands . . . who need to be seen and heard live to be fully appreciated”. That’s a view that most would agree with, borne out here by pillars of Taste’s live set, like ‘Catfish’, ‘Gamblin Blues’ and ‘Sugar Mama’, and by the version of ‘What’s Going On’ captured live in Stockholm not long before the band split up, which breathes so much more into the song than the studio version. Gallagher’s legendary energy, fantastic technique, and joy in the music are all to be found in the many live cuts over the four disks, and especially on the Stockholm set.
But it would be very wrong to overlook the beautifully crafted songs that make up ‘On the Boards’, Taste’s second studio album. This is a very special artefact in itself, and much more than a keepsake of the live sets. In the title track, the band, all three of them, stretch out to great effect: the dynamic, the groove, the bluesy sound all remind us what was lost when they did split up.
Another unmissable aspect of the Box Set for Rory fans from this part of the world is having a full 56 minutes of the original line-up from 1968, with Eric Kitteringham on bass and Norman ‘Sticks’ D’Amery on drums. Seven numbers were recorded in the Maritime Hotel, Belfast (Van Morrison & Them’s old stomping ground) as a demo to interest record labels; there are versions of ‘Blister on the Moon’ and ‘Born on the Wrong Side of Time’, recorded as singles for the Major Minor label (run by Belfast promoter Phil Solomon), songs that were re-recorded with Wilson and McCracken for Taste’s debut album on Polydor the following year. The four tracks recorded at the Woburn Abbey Festival in England in the summer of 1968 showcase a lively, powerful band, with a great sense of fun.
‘A Question & Answer Session with Johnny Campbell’
Cork City Library, Thursday, 27 August, 7pm
During his musical apprenticeship with the Fontana Showband, the young Rory Gallagher, a mere fifteen when he joined in 1963, learned his craft as a touring musician. Never to be content as a cog in a machine churning out safe, dance-hall friendly, pop hits, night after night, Rory would inevitably push himself to the fore. As his reputation as a guitarist began to grow, the Fontana changed their name to The Impact in 1965 to reflect a more blues/rock-oriented set list showcasing Rory’s fiery guitar work.
Ireland’s conservative music scene was hardly the ideal stomping ground for this new direction, however, and The Impact was forced to find work abroad. As a natural metamorphosis, a stripped-down three-piece version of the band — featuring Rory on guitar & vocals, Johnny Campbell on drums and Oliver Tobin on bass — eventually found themselves on the club circuit in Hamburg, Germany.
For three Irish teenagers arriving in Hamburg in 1965, a city still reverberating with the aftershock from legendary performances at the Star Club, from the likes of The Beatles and Jerry Lee Lewis, it must have been like walking on to a film set, such was its legendary status. Even today, Hamburg is a city which pulses with primal, hedonistic energy. We can only imagine what it was like back in its heyday of the 1960s.
Throughout this relatively short but formative period in Rory Gallagher’s career, Johnny Campbell was the man behind the drum kit. As part of the 2015 National Heritage Week programme of events, Johnny will be in Cork City Library on Thursday, 27 August, at 7pm, for a special ‘Question & Answer’ session on his time with TheImpact Showbandand Rory Gallagher. So, if you’d like to hear it ‘from the horse’s mouth’, then here’s your chance!
In 1966, Rory Gallagher quit The Impact and went on to form the Taste. The rest, as they say, is history. And what a history it is! even if it ended prematurely. Like another Irish hero, Cú Chulainn, Rory Gallagher lived a short life that was filled with glory and his name will live on as part of musical lore until the last Fender Strat is plugged into the last Vox AC 30.
In its latest issue, Hot Press, Ireland’s leading music magazine, published a list of Ireland’s greatest gigs since the magazine’s inception in 1977. The number-one spot in the festivals category was claimed by none other than Rory Gallagher at the Mountain Dew Festival, Macroom, County Cork, in June of 1977!
And who could argue with the result? Not alone was the Mountain Dew Festival the first major, open-air music festival of its kind to be staged in Ireland, but it was headlined by the nation’s first true Rock God!
As Hot Pressputs it: Rory Gallagher had soundtracked the 1970s for so many people, playing powerfully incendiary shows in the National Stadium and the Ulster Hall every year, but the first Macroom Festival was a moment when Irish music entered another dimension.
Follow the link below to read the full honour roll and scroll down to the Top10 Festivals section to read the entry on Rory in Macroom.
Were you there in Macroom in 1977? Do you think it deserves the top spot as Ireland’s greatest ever festival? Feel free to share your memories in the comments below!
This year’s Cork Rocks for Rory weekend was a great success and attracted Rory Gallagher fans from all parts of the globe to the city on the Lee Delta!
The Rory Gallagher Music Library played host to the fabulous Dave McHugh who played an acoustic set of blues tunes which inspired Rory himself. This is Dave’s own rendition of ‘Gamblin’ Blues’, a tune associated with the great Lil’ Son Jackson and which features on Taste’s record, ‘Live Taste’. Rory played a smokin’ hot version of this tune at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970 on his Fender Telecaster.
As part of our Rory 20 commemorations in the Rory Gallagher Music Library we have made available online for the first time, an amazing collection of rare photographs of Rory & band in full flight, taken in Manchester in the late 70s!
The photographer is Stephen Smith and we would like to thank him for donating his collection to our Rory Gallagher Archive.
Cork’s annual tribute to guitar legend Rory Gallagher will take place this weekend, the 5th and 6th of June, and the Rory Gallagher Music Library will of course be playing its part!
Well known axe-men Dave McHugh and Brian Tambling will perform a set of acoustic blues songs that influenced Rory Gallagher in the cosy setting of our music library at 2.30pm on Saturday, 6th June.
Admission is free for this event so don’t miss this rare opportunity to experience the music that helped to shape a legend, played by two of the best musicians in the game today. As 2015 marks the twentieth anniversary of Rory’s passing you can be sure that this year’s Cork Rocks for Rory event will be one to remember.
Jimmy Crowley to launch new book ‘Songs from the Beautiful City : The Cork Urban Ballads’ at Cork City Library.
Jimmy Crowley is a man who needs no introduction to Corkonians and little introduction to the rest of ye! The renowned balladeer has been singing songs from his native city for decades and many of these are to be enshrined in his new book which will be officially launched on Thursday14th May at 7.00 in the City Library, Grand Parade.
The book will be launched by Mick Moloney, NYU and John Dolan, Features Editor at the Cork Evening Echo.
Bígí linn mar sin le h-aghaidh oíche cheoil is scéalaíochta ó dhuine de na ceoltóirí is cáiliúla na cathrach seo!
Don’t miss what promises to be an unforgettable night of story and song with one of Cork’s most celebrated bards. For more information please visit Jimmy’s website: http://www.jimmycrowley.com/
Dave Burke is by now a well known figure in the Cork singer/songwriter scene and has built up quite a reputation for himelf over the last few years. We are delighted to host the launch of Dave’s debut album ‘Fulfil the Wish’ in the City Library on Wednesay March 25th.
The event is free of charge and starts at 7.00pm. All welcome!
Fáilte roimh gach éinne!
More info about Dave Burke on his Facebook page. Click below!