1969 Siobhán O’Brien was born on 24th August 1969 in Limerick, Ireland. She is a singer-songwriter and plays acoustic guitar and diatonic harmonica. Her unique voice has been described as “caressing a lyric with sophisticated simplicity.”
Her family is musical going back four generations. Her eclectic musical influences include Irish folk, traditional American folk, blues and country, gospel, rock & roll, English, Scottish folk music.
She has performed with Bob Dylan, The Chieftains, The Cranberries, and The San Diego Symphony, and she has played supporting act for Christy Moore and Donovan.
1974 Órla Fallon was born on 24th August 1974 in Knockananna in County Wicklow. She is an Irish singer/ songwriter and harpist. She performs traditional Irish music often in her native Irish. She is a former member of the group Celtic Woman (she left in 2009), and the chamber choir Anúna (the original choir from Riverdance).
Her landmark performances include singing for the Pope and the President of Ireland.
2007 Tom Munnellywas born on 25th May 1944 in Dublin. He died on 30th August 2007. He was Ireland’s greatest Irish folk-song collector. He devoted his life to collecting and recording traditional music and social history.
He worked with many prominent folklorists including Seamus Ennis and Bert Lloyd. He worked as a research assistant to D. K. Wilgus, Professor of Anglo-American Folk Song at the University of California, where he catalogued and annotated 1,750 song manuscripts for the Irish Folklore Commission.
In 1970 he co-founded (with Breandán Breathnach, Professor Seóirse Bodley and Dr Hugh Shields) Cumann Cheoil Tíre Éireann (the Folk Music Society of Ireland).
Many of the unaccompanied songs he rediscovered were from John “Jacko” Reilly, a penniless traveller from Co Leitrim. Munnelly introduced Christie Moore to Reilly who performed many of Reilly’s songs with the band Planxty.
In his lifetime, he recorded over 20,000 songs – he transcribed and catalogued each song.
1945 Van (George Ivan) Morrison, OBE was born on 31st August 1945 in East Belfast, Northern Ireland.
He is a singer/songwriter and musician. He played guitar, harmonica, saxophone, keyboards for the Irish showbands when he was a young teenager. He also plays drums, tambourine and ukulele. He was the lead singer of the rhythm and blues group Them between 1964 and 1966.
He left Them and went solo and had a huge hit with Brown Eyed Girl (it took 22 takes to get it right) released in June 1967. It has become a classic pop song and is one of the most popular songs played by DJs in America (4th in both 2006 and 2007 – 40 years after it was released!).
It is one of the 365 top selling songs of the 20th century (confirmed by the Recording Industry Association of America in 2003). Brown Eyed Girl was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2007.
Morrison has written hundreds of songs and he says he was influenced by the Romantic poets – William Blake, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and WB Yeats. His songs have a recurring theme of nostalgia for his early Belfast days.
His live performances encompass many musical genres including Celtic songs, jazz, rhythm and blues, rock, gospel, country, skiffle. Morrison describes himself as a soul singer. Some critics call his music the new genre of Celtic Soul.
He says he never performs a song the same way twice. When performing he controls the dynamics of the music of the band members with hand gestures and may add spontaneity by pointing to a band member to play a solo.