Wednesday, 20 August 2008

RIP Ronnie Drew - 1934-2008

The music world lost one of its great characters and hugely influential performers with the death this week of the great Ronnie Drew, famed as front man of The Dubliners and inspiration to a raft of bands, most notably The Pogues.

Drew formed The Dubliners in 1962, originally as The Ronnie Drew Group. The band would go on to become one of the most popular and successful folk groups in history, notching up a number of UK hit singles - "Seven Drunken Nights" and "The Black Velvet Band" both reached the top twenty (in the days when the charts actually meant something), while "Maids When You're Young Never Wed An Old Man" scraped into the top 50. In 1987, the single "The Irish Rover", recorded with the Pogues, reached number 8 in the UK - and number 1 in Ireland, introducing a new generation of music fans to the delights of the Dubliner's recordings.

Drew left The Dubliners in 1974 but returned to the fold five years later. He would remain a Dubliner until 1995 when he again left the band, this time to launch a solo career.

Sadly, Ronnie Drew was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2006. Despite a two-year fight, he could not beat the illness and died aged 73 in St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin, on 16th August 2008. He leaves two children and five grandchildren.

A true legend of Irish music, Ronnie Drew will be sadly missed by friends, family and fans alike.

Celebrate some of Ronnie's finest moments with the selection of tracks below.

Download: The Dubliners - Seven Deadly Sins
Download: The Dubliners - A Pub With No Beer
Download: The Dubliners - Finnegan's Wake
Download: Ronnie Drew - The Dunes

Amazon links - buy Ronnie Drew or The Dubliners stuff!

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