Ronnie Drew, Founder of The Dubliners Dies at 73

Ronnie Drew
Ronnie Drew
Celebrated Irish musician Ronnie Drew died in Dublin August 16. Drew was the founder of legendary Irish folk band The Dubliners.

Often referred to as the spiritual godfathers of Irish folk, The Dubliners released top 20 singles or albums in the 60’s, 80’s and even 00’s. The Dubliners formed in 1962. They made a name for themselves playing regularly in O’Donoghue’s Pub in Dublin. Initially known as The Ronnie Drew Group, the founding members were Ronnie Drew, Luke Kelly, Ciaran Bourke and Barney McKenna. The change of name came about due to Drew’s unhappiness with the name, coinciding with the fact that Kelly was reading Dubliners by James Joyce at the time.

Ronnie Drew spent some time in Spain in his younger years, teaching English. In Spain he learned to play Flamenco guitar, and he accompanied his songs on a Spanish guitar. His gravelly voice was compared to a cement mixer and the sound of coke (coal) being crushed under a door, it is instantly recognizable. Drew left the band in 1974 to spend more time with his family, to be replaced by Jim McCann. He returned to the Dubliners five years later, but left the group again in 1995.

From 1995 onwards Drew pursued a solo career. He recorded with many artists, including Christy Moore, The Pogues, Antonio Breschi, the Dropkick Murphys, Eleanor Shanley and others.

On 22 August 2006, Drew was honored in a ceremony where his hand prints were added to the "walk of fame" outside Dublin’s Gaiety Theatre.

Part of the biography courtesy of Wikipedia.


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