The legendary Irish singer Joe Dolan died on 26th December 2007 aged 68.
One of Ireland’s most popular and charismatic performers, Dolan made his name in the 1960s and 70s, first as the lead singer with the Irish showband The Drifters and later as a solo performer. He toured extensively and was famous for his his Vegas-style showmanship and his trademark white suits. His hits included “Make Me An Island”, “You’re Such a Good Looking Woman” and “Lady in Blue”.
To be honest, I wasn’t a big fan of his music. It was a bit too Easy Listening for my tastes, but my parents adored him. My mother was genuinely gutted by the news, and – judging from the number of phone calls local radio presenter Bob Brolly received from Joe Dolan fans on his Irish music show on Sunday – she wasn’t alone.
Joe Dolan was part of Ireland’s showband tradition, where homegrown artists would tour the country’s dancehalls performing cover versions of contemporary hits. Although he did record original material, cover versions remained a big part of his repertoire right up to the end.
In 1998 he recorded a cover of Blur’s “The Universal”. Here’s the video. I find it quite touching.