Brendan Bowyer Of Royal Showband & Hucklebuck Fame In the 1960’s era of Irish showbusiness one showband singer was responsible for the huge popularity of showbands and that all star performer was Brendan Bowyer. He was born into a musical family and singing and music was a natural way of…
Famous Son Of Ireland: Musician Category:   James Galway - Virtuoso Flute Player & A Native Of Belfast Born  on 8th December 1937, and a native of Belfast, Co. Antrim, James Galway is a world renowned Irish virtuoso flute player and is acclaimed as “The Man With The Golden Trumpet”.…
Famous Son Of Ireland:  Music Composer Category   Seán O'Riada - One Of Ireland's Greatest Composers Of Music & Song In The Irish Language A short and very fruitful forty years lifespan gave Ireland a heritage of rich traditional music that will be preserved for many future generations. Cork born…

Famous Daughter Of Ireland: Singers Category:


Ruby Murray - Famous Belfast 1950's Singer Actress


Mention of the name Ruby Murray on Irish radio in Irish households during the late 1950's and early 1960's brought the kitchen to a grinding halt. Her songs and sweet Irish voice was a treasure to behold and Ruby was on top of the music world with a succession of No. 1 hit songs. Her popularity had no boundaries.


Born on Donegal Road, Belfast on 29th March 1935, many musical experts contend that an operation on her throat as a child gave the Belfast entertainer an extra lyrical chord that created a really special singing voice.

At the age of twelve Ruby was singing around Ulster concert halls and was soon discovered.

Singing Irish lullaby songs or pop tunes, she mastered both with her beautiful voice.


In 1955 the U.K. Top Twenty charts were heaving with her records and she managed to have at least one song in the charts for fifty two consecutive weeks. This extraordinary feat has never been repeated by another artist.

Her maiden release was ‘Heartbeat’ 1954 followed by ‘Softly Softly’ 1955. At one stage the famous Irish singer had five singles in the Top Twenty at the very same time.


'Happy Days And Lonely Nights', 'Let Me Go Lover', 'If Anyone Finds This, I Love You' (with Anne Warren), 'Evermore', 'I'll Come When You Call', 'Real Love', 'Goodbye Jimmy, Goodbye' and 'You Are My First Love'.

She sang the last number over the opening titles of the film musical It's Great To Be Young.


 Murray's own film appearances included the comedy, A Touch Of TheSun, with Frankie Howard and Denis Price.

During a hectic period in the mid-50s, she had her own television show, starred at the London Palladium in Painting The Town with Norman Wisdom, appeared in a Royal Command Performance, and toured the USA, Malta and North Africa.


In 1957, while appearing in a summer season at Blackpool, she met Bernie Burgess, a member of the vocal group the Jones Boys. They married in secret 10 days later.


Burgess became her personal manager and during the early 60s, they toured as a double act.

In 1970 Murray had some success with 'Change Your Mind', and released an album with the same title, which included contemporary songs such as 'Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head', and revamped some of her hits.


In 1989 Ruby Murray's EMI years included other songs regularly featured in her act such as

'Mr. Wonderful', 'Scarlet Ribbons' and 'It's The Irish In Me'.


In the 90s, based in Torquay, Devon, with her second husband, impresario Ray Lamar, she was still performing in cabaret and in nostalgia shows with other stars of the 50s right up to her death in 1996, aged sixty one.

Famous Daughter Of Ireland: Actress Category:   Maureen O'Hara - Iconic Irish Actress   Famous for her flow of red hair, Maureen O’Hara was born into the arts sphere of life in 1920. Her mother was an operatic singer who instilled in her daughter an aptitude for music and drama.…

Famous Son Of Ireland: Singers Category: 


International Success For Kerry Tenor In 1950's

Connie Foley is a name that will not roll off the lips of Ireland's music fans and yet he is still a world famous artist and singing tenor, born in Tralee in 1925 and died at Leeds, England in 1975. His music lives on through the 500 songs he recorded and not too many world famous artists can lay claim to such a great achievement. His rise to fame from the obscurity of working as a waiter in a Boston hotel is not unusual for many artists but Connie Foley mainly specialised in singing Irish songs only.


In Tralee as a young boy he left school at twelve and became a messenger boy in similar fashion to another famous Tralee artist, the late Christy Hennessy. After a few years peddling around Tralee on his messenger bike, Connie set out for the bright lights of Birmingham, England, on his 21 st birthday and soon found the work available, with his limited qualifications, would not be too rewarding.

After two years toiling in the midlands of England and singing for the pleasure of pub patrons in Irish bars, Connie set out for the United States at twenty three and setlled in Boston. He found employment working as a waiter at the Sheraton Plaza Hotel and with his sweet melancholy voice, he becamd known as the singing waiter from Ireland. On occasions he was called upon to sing a few Irish numbers with the resident band and he was hugely popular with patrons.


On one notable occasion two men with strong Irish heritage strolled in to the hotel and heard Connie Foley on stage blasting out The Wild Colonial Boy, a real favourite with the Irish in Boston. Both men were steeped in the music industry, one as a promoter and the other as the owner of a recording company. These men were lamenting the early death of John McCormack and his music was financially very important to both men. The voice of Connie Foley captivated the pair of musicmen and soon after Connie Foley, the messenger boy from Tralee, would be recording the Wild Colonial Boy.

The single sold in millions to Irish Americans and also in Europe and Connie followed up with many more recordings that him a successor to John McCormack as Ireland's most popular tenor singing Irish songs. His wealth and earning capacity was great until the arrival of the 1950's pop and rock n roll era with Elvis and several more U.S. pop sensations. Unable to compete with this market Connie left America and settled in Dublin and invested heavily in the production of Irish albums.


Regretably the venture was not a success and after six years - 1968 - '74 - he once more set sail for England with his fortune crumbling away. He ventured out on a country wide tour of Irish centres across Britain but the Irish ballad scene was now firmly out of tune with most venue proprietors and the great and famous Connie Foley act was over. He lost heavily in the financial stakes and would never recover from the crushing blow dealt to him. He died alone in a rented apartment near Leeds in 1975 and was buried at a local cemetry. 


Now here's a brief introduction to some of Connie's best known recorded songs:

Dingle Bay; I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen; When You & I Were Young Maggie; Hills Of Glenswilly; County Cavan; That Old Irish Mother Of Mine; Ireland's 32; Whistling Gypsy; Goodbye Johnny Dear; Doonaree; Garden Where The Praities Grow; Golden Jubilee; Boys From The County Mayo; Three Leaf Shamrock; Typical Irishman; McNamara From Mayo and many others.

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