Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
CLANCY BROTHERS and TOMMY MAKEM
Irish folk group: Tom (d 7 November 1990), Pat ("Paddy', d 1998) and Liam (b 2 September 1935; d 3 December 2009) from Carrick-on-Suir, Eire; and Tommy Makem (b County Armagh, Northern Ireland; d 1 August 2007, Dover NH) The brothers were reared on traditional music in a small rural community. The eldest, Pat and Tom, settled in NYC late '40s, working in theatrical groups (produced Sean O'Casey's The Plough And The Stars). After working with Elektra and Folkways labels Pat founded Tradition Records in the early 1950s. Tommy was a dance-band vocalist in Ireland, arrived in NYC with Liam '56; the four sang at parties and the blend of voices in 'Brennan On The Moor', 'The Irish Rover', 'The Leaving Of Liverpool' etc struck a chord with the NYC Irish community. Their Greenwich Village club work coincided with the folk revival; their first LP for Tradition late '50s The Rising Of The Moon was made at home around the tape recorder. They appeared at the Newport Folk Festivals with Josh White, Judy Collins, Pete Seeger; on Ed Sullivan TV show '61 at a time of interest in all things Irish due to the rise of the Kennedys in politics. They signed with Columbia '61, who took over the eponymous Tradition LP, and they made more than 40 altogether ( Fill Your Glass '59, In Person At Carnegie Hall '63, etc), bringing to world-wide audience 'The Jug Of Punch', 'Wild Mountain Thyme', 'Carrickfergus', etc. They also recorded for Vanguard. They split '69; Tommy was sometimes replaced by Lou Killen, or the fourth Clancy, Bobby. Tommy had always done solo work; he reunited '70s with Liam (duet LPs on Blackbird); the original lineup reunited '84 for LP Reunion and toured the USA '85.