Ronnie Drew & The Dubliners: A life dedicated to folk
A unique way to sing, a sandy voice, and the best-known Irish folk beard. So was Ronnie Drew, the main icon of the legendary band The Dubliners, founded in 1962.
First steps of the band and initial members
After going through a multitude of jobs, from vacuum salesman to night telephonist, and even English teacher in Spain, Ronnie’s life would change completely when in the early years of the 60 he decided to ally himself with three other musicians. In one of the many endless nights in the O’Donogue’s Pub in Dublin, Drew, along with Barney McKenna, Luke Kelly and Ciaran Bourke, decided to found the band the Ronnie Drew ballad Group, which later, on the initiative of Ronnie himself and in reference to the book of James Joyce would change his name to the Dubliners.
In 1963 they play at the Edinburgh Festival, allowing them to sign up for Transatlantic Records and record their debut album. His first single contained the themes Rocky Road to Dublin and the Wild Rover.
Songs for the story: from Seven drunken nights to Whiskey in the jar
Despite being well known, it is in 1967 when the group reaches its first great international success with Seven drunken nights, a hymn of the nights of beer, friendship and whiskey. The repercussion was such that just a year later, the group made its first tour of the United States.
Another great success was his reinterpretation of the original Whiskey in the jar, a song belonging to the Irish tradition that tells the story of a bandit and how a woman deceives him.
An eternal Band
In 2012, without its original members, the group celebrated its 50 anniversary. The legacy of the Dubliners and Ronnie Drew is imperative if we talk about Irish folk. Bob Dylan or Jimi Hendrix are some of his most renowned fans.