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Bridie Gallagher, The Girl from Donegal story.
- Bridie Gallagher, The Girl from Donegal story.
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Remembering Bridie Gallagher.
Bridie Gallagher Donegal Singer Bridie Gallagher died in Belfast last Monday after a short illness. She was 87.
Gallagher was born and reared in Creeslough, County Donegal the ninth of 10 children. Her father was James Gallagher, from Ards and her mother was Bridget Sweeney from Creeslough, who played the melodeon.
The story of Bridie Gallagher, The Girl from Donegal.
Bridie Gallagher (7 September 1924 – 9 January 2012) was an Irish singer, affectionately known as "The Girl from Donegal". She was "Ireland's first truly international pop star".
Bridie Gallagher shot to fame in 1956 with her recording of "A Mother's Love's A Blessing" and achieved international acclaim with her legendary rendition of "The Boys From County Armagh". During her career, which spans over six decades, she has appeared in many leading venues across the globe. She also made songs such as "The Homes of Donegal" famous.
The Homes of Donegal by Bridie Gallagher
Bridie Gallagher Career
Gallagher started her singing in the Creeslough Hall with a local Ceili Band started by Bill Gallagher. The Creeslough Hall was owned by Jim Mc Caffrey and Bridie would make many more visits to the Creeslough Hall in her home town throughout her long and successful career. Bridie's talent was soon spotted in the 1950's by Billy Livingstone (no relation to her husband) who was a talent scout for Decca records, and she went to Belfast which was to become her base, therein she married George Livingstone and had two boys, Jim and Peter. One son, Peter died in a motor accident in 1976 and the other later went on to tour with Gallagher.
Gallagher holds the record for the largest number of people in attendance in the Albert Hall London, with over 7,500 people, a record that was never equalled as it went on to be come an all seater venue. Gallagher become world famous and travelled all over the world, United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and was known as "The Girl from Donegal". Bridie played in many of the world's best known theatre's including London's Royal Albert Hall, Sydney Opera House and Carnegie Hall in New York. Bridie sang mainly ballads or as they later became known as Country and Irish. One of her best known songs was "The Boys From The County Armagh" which sold over 250,000 copies, the biggest selling Irish single at that time.
Gallagher had her own radio show on RTÉ. As well as many appearances on television (RTÉ, BBC, UTV, and coast to coast in the United States).
Bridie Gallagher Personal life
Gallagher has lived in Belfast for most of her life. In 1976 she lost her 21-year-old son in a motorbike accident."She never really got over that (accident)," said her son Jim, "but she just kept going.". She was honoured by the people of Creeslough on July 10, 2000 with an event to celebrate her career. Members of her family from Creeslough and Donegal attended the event along with her two sisters and their families who travelled from Glasgow to be there along with an estimated crowd of 2,500 fans. A plaque paying tribute to Gallagher was unveilled. The following day she was honoured by Donegal County Council when the held a Civic Reception for her. "Bridie blazed the trail for many artists who followed after her and I'm sure that many of them looked upon her as a role model as they started their careers in the music world," council chairman Charlie Bennett said at the ceremony.
Gallagher died at her home in Belfast on 9 January 2012 at the age of 87. With her burial taking place in her native Creeslough.
Bridie Gallagher Discography
Bridie Gallagher Singles
A Mother's Love's a Blessing/ I'll Remember You Love, In My Prayers (1956)
The Boys From the County Armagh/ Kilarney and You (July, 1957)
The Girl from Donegal / Take this Message to my Mother (1958)
At the Close of an Irish Day / Two Little Orphans (1958)
The Hills of Donegal / My Mother's Last Goodbye (1958)
I'll Forgive But I'll Never Forget / Poor Little Orphan Boy (1958)
Hillside in Scotland / Johnny Gray (1958)
The Kylemore Pass / Cutting the Corn in Creeslough (1958)
Goodbye Johnny / The Faithful Sailor Boy (1958)
I Found You Out/ It's A Sin To Tell A Lie (December 1958)
If I Were a Blackbird / The Moon Behind the Hill (1959)
Moonlight in Mayo / In The Heart of Donegal (1959)
I Left Ireland and My Mother Because we were Poor / Star of Donegal (1959)
Noreen Bawn / Moonlight on the River Shannon (1959)
Hills of Glenswilly / The Old Wishin' Chair (1959)
Orange Trees Growing in Old County Down / The Crolly Doll (1959)
I'll Always Be With You / Stay With Me (May 1959)
Irish Jaunting Car / Johnny My Love(1960)
My Lovely Irish Rose / Don't Forget To Say I Love You (1960)
Homes Of Donegal / Ballyhoe (1960)
Rose of Killkenny / Shall My Soul Pass Through Old Ireland (1960)
The Castlebar Fair / Home To Mayo (1962)
Christmas In Old Dublin Town/ I'll Cry Tomorrow (December 1962)
A Little Bunch Of Violets/ The Bonny Boy (1966)
The Wild Colonial Boy/ Poor Orphan Girl (1967)
Destination Donegal / The Turfman From Ardee (1967)
The Glen of Aherlow / Henry Joy (1967)
Cottage On The Borderline / Rose of Mooncoin (December, 1967)
Swinging In The Lane / 5,000 Miles From Sligo (October, 1970)
If I Had My Life To Live Over / Golden Jubilee (1971)
Just Like Your Daddy/ No Charge (March, 1976)
A Mother's Love's a Blessing / The Road To Creeslough (October, 1976)
Bridie Gallagher Extended Plays
The Girl From Donegal, No. 1
A1: The Girl From Donegal
A2: Take This Message To My Mother
B1: At The Close Of An Irish Day
B2: Two Little Orphans
The Girl From Donegal, No. 3 (1958)
A1:Hill Of Donegal
A2: I'll Forgive But I'll Never Forget
B1: The Boys From County Armagh
B2: The Poor Orphan Boy
Bridie Gallagher (1959)
A: Moonlight On The Shannon River
B1: I Left Ireland And Mother Because We Were Poor
B2: The Hills Of Glenswilly
Bridie Gallagher (EP) (1959)
A1: I Found You Out
A2: Two-Faced Moon
B1: It's A Sin To Tell A Lie
B2: Somebody Cried At Your Wedding
Bridie Gallagher Long Plays
At Home With Bridie Gallagher (1962)
Little Bunch of Violets (1966)
In The Heart of Donegal (1968)
Bridie Gallagher Sings Irish Requests (1970)
The Half Door (1978)
Daniel leads farewell to 'Girl from Donegal'
THE 'Girl from Donegal' made her final journey home yesterday -- singer Bridie Gallagher was laid to rest in her native Creeslough.
More than 500 people stood in silence on the footpaths of the town as the hearse, bearing the coffin of the singer, arrived in the town after a requiem Mass held earlier in Belfast. Ms Gallagher had lived in Belfast for the past 60 years.
As the cortege entered the town, country singing star Daniel O'Donnell greeted family members.
Ms Gallagher's son Jim wiped away a tear from his eye as he said: "Thank you everybody. Thank you so much for this."
He received a spontaneous round of applause before the hundreds of local people fell in behind the hearse and walked behind it as it passed through the town.
Irish singer Bridie Gallagher is laid to rest
Irish singer Bridie Gallagher brought "sparkle" into people's lives through her songs about home, a priest told mourners at her funeral.
The 'Girl from Donegal' was laid to rest yesterday in her home village of Creeslough following Requiem Mass at St Brigid's Church in south Belfast.
IRELAND and Donegal lost one of its great singing stars this week with the passing of Bridie Gallagher.
Bridie was born in Creeslough, but moved to Belfast as a young woman and it was there that she began her recording career. She became known internationally as The Girl From Donegal and was the country's first pop star. Bridie's career spanned more than five decades and her hits included A Mother's Love Is A Blessing and The Boys From The County Armagh. She filled concert halls all over the world and still holds the record for the largest ever attendance at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
In the 1950s and '60s Bridie was a link with home for the emigrants who had left in search of work and they flocked to her shows around the world. Bridie also had a great sense of style, and her glamorous costumes and hairstyles had a big influence on the ladies of this country at the time.
She is an unforgettable entertainer who paved the way for a lot of us. I loved her voice and her records and I always felt she was somebody we should salute because she was one of the first singers who really made it from Donegal. Bridie made her home in Belfast and whenever I did shows there I always had her there as a guest. She was just marvellous and great fun to be around.
In July 2000, a two-day festival was held in Bridie's honour in her native Cresslough. As my sister, Margaret (Margo) recalled this week, tears of happiness ran down Bridie's face when Margo and I unveiled a plaque in her honour during that special event. It meant so much to her to be recognised at home.
Bridie Gallagher really was one of a kind, both as an entertainer and as a person. May she rest in peace.
Bridie Gallagher, The Girl from Donegal story.
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