Country music fans are in for a special double treat as Cork showbusiness legends Joe McCarthy and Donal Ring are interviewed in two upcoming broadcasts this January.
Corkman Hugh O’Brien will host an exclusive hour-long Life & Times interview with the late Donal Ring on Monday, January 23, and with Joe ‘Mac’ on January 30, both shows running from 7pm to 8pm.
A broadcaster with Hot Country TV, Hugh hosts one of Europe's longest running Country Music weekly TV shows. They will be aired on Sky TV 181 and worldwide at www.hotcountrytv.com. The show with Donal Ring was recorded shortly before he passed away in March last year. Donal tells the viewers how it all started for him and his much loved Donal Ring Ceili Band.
Mr O’Brien told The Echo that the interview includes an interesting anecdote where the 15-year-old Donal searched Gurranabraher in Cork city high and low for four days for a special Hohner Accordian associated with the Scottish musician Jimmy Shand. Donal eventually got to meet his hero Jimmy in the City Hall in Cork.
When Hugh asks Donal what he will do when his time comes, Donal replies: “he hoped there would be a Céilí on, and that he would ask God to dance the haymaker jig and he would play for Him.”
Joe Mac was born on August 6, 1936, in Cork, and was for many years one of the best-known faces of the showband group The Dixies.
As a youth Joe joined the Cork Butter Exchange Brass Band and learned to play the French Horn but later became best known as a drummer.
In 1954 Joe and two of his friends, Sean Lucey and Theo Cahill formed a dance band which they called The Dixielanders. The band had their greatest success with their version of Leapy Lees 'Little Arrows', and shot to number one in the Irish singles chart.
During the late 1970s the band broke up after lead singer Brendan O'Brien was electrocuted on stage. Tragedy struck in 1981 when his eldest son Aidan, and Aidan's wife Linda were killed in a car accident.
However, he returned and was instrumental in bringing the Dixies back together in 1982. He stayed with the band until the 1990s before going solo, and continues to play to this day around Cork city and county.