Irish Rovers Listings at GEST Songs Of NFLD

Black Velvet Band ~ Traditional (V)

Braes Of Killicranky, The ~ Traditional (V)

Christmas In Killarney ~ Redmond/Cavanaugh/Weldon (V)

Goodbye Mrs Durkin ~ Traditional

Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer ~ R Brooks (V)

My Old Man's A Dustman ~ J P Long, L Donegan (V)

Wasn't That A Party ~ Tom Paxton (V)

Whiskey On A Sunday ~ Glyn Hughes (V)

Biographical Notes

The story of the Irish Rovers starts in Canada in 1963, when the 16-year old George Millar and 23-year old Jim Ferguson, both new emigrants from Northern Ireland, met in Toronto at an Irish function. They ended up singing together till dawn, and so the Irish Rovers were launched. They performed as a duo until George's cousin, Joe Millar, immigrated to Canada the following year. After several months of engagements around Ontario, the trio made their way to Calgary, AB, where they joined forces with George's brother, Will Millar. The four Rovers then headed off to Americay where they ended up at the famous folk club in San Francisco The Purple Onion where they became headliners for an unprecedented 22 sold-out weeks. The folk clubs of California became the learning grounds for the young Rovers and, through old-fashioned hard work and a wee bit of Irish luck, they were offered a recording contract with Decca Records.

In 1966, The First Of The Irish Rovers, a live album recorded at The Icehouse in Pasadena, was released. It generated enough excitement to warrant another album and, from this release, came the million-selling single The Unicorn, the band's signature song to this day.

Through the 1970's and early 80's, the Rovers brought their magic to television with a weekly series for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and later, a series on the Global Network in conjunction with Ulster Television in Ireland. In 1980-81, The Rovers once again soared to the top of the pop and country charts with Wasn't That A Party. This real-life celebration was written by their friend, American folk singer Tom Paxton after he witnessed one of the band's famous post-show parties. It went on to become an international anthem of good cheer. The band also recorded Grandma Got Run-Over By A Reindeer in 1982, which has become a seasonal hit ever since.

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