He was one of the finest tenors this country ever produced, could have been a great international opera performer, but instead choose the world of popular entertainment, and before the music scene was changed by The Beatles in the early Sixties, he was a massive recording success.
In the 1950s when television aerials began to sprout on the chimney stacks of Dundalk houses, capturing the snowy black-and-white signal from Black Mountain in Belfast, and sending it down to 17 inch screens that sat in walnut cabinets in the corners of linoleum-covered dining rooms, one of the biggest stars on the Saturday night entertainment show from the BBC channel - the only one in existence - was Brendan O’Dowda from Barrack street Dundalk.
In fact, he would introduce himself by saying he was from Dundalk.
His light tenor voice was very expressive lending itself to the poetry of Percy French - whose songs he made popular, and the haunting Scottish air, The Loch Tay Boat Song, the most beautiful song ever written.
Brendan’s magical recording of this poetic masterpiece was sent to me by Dermot McDevitt from Dublin, who lived in Dundalk, and has strong family connections with the town.
Dermot is an expert on Brendan O’Dowda but there is one piece of the great jigsaw he has not found yet.
“I would like to get the sheet music of Brendan O’Dowda’s song The Girl from The Wee County Louth,” said Dermot. Does anyone know who wrote the words and where it was published?
“And would anyone know where it could be purchased? All information would be greatly appreciated.”
The song was written by Brendan and recorded and published in 1959 and is on the EMI platinum set of Brendan’s recordings.
So there is no difficulty getting the recording, the problem is the sheet music.
Would anybody out there know where the music sheet could be found? If you do please contact: 042-93 95 602. firstname.lastname@example.org