Irish KC : A Blog

Kansas City's Irish Festivals, Music, Pubs & Events

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Clancy Brothers: The Men Behind the Sweaters

Young Bodhran player, Conor Murray, has published the first extensive biography of The Clancy Brothers, titled The Clancy Brothers with Tommy Makem & Robbie O'Connell: The Men Behind the Sweaters. Bridgewater State College, where Conor is a Theater major and English minor, carries the story.

Including the Milwaukee Irish Fest, Connor has seen The Clancy Brothers perform about 25 times in the last seven years alone, though he's been a fan his whole life and writing the book for three years.

The book traces the original Clancy Brothers, Liam, Pat and Tom, and their friend Tommy Makem from when they were in New York in 1961, and famously the Clancys’ mother sent them aran sweaters to keep them warm. From then on those sweaters became their trademark. The Ed Sullivan Show in 1961, and signing with Columbia Records quickly propelled them to be the most famous Irishmen in the world, according to Conor.

Fans of rockier Irish bands that have played in the Kansas City area recently, might be interested to hear Conor say:
They had a huge influence on Irish music still felt today. Almost all Irish bands, even the rock music bands like Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphys, and Gaelic Storm all sing songs the Clancys made popular
I'm just impressed that he's only 21, and he likes them enough to have self-published a book. A collector of band memorabilia, Conor has more than 300 photos of the musicians in the book.

Available on Amazon: The Clancy Brothers with Tommy Makem & Robbie O'Connell: The Men Behind the Sweaters


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