Irish folk group the Dubliners will be honoured at the BBC folk music awards on February 8. With folk singer Don McLean, associated with the hit American Pie, they will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. Presenter Mike Harding announced the news on January 18, and the awards will be broadcast on the BBC Folk Show on Wednesday 8 February.
Mike Harding said of the Dubliners “When The Dubliners virtually invented the Dublin pub music scene 50 years ago, they changed the face of Irish music forever. They were exciting and different, with a real whiff of danger about them. In Luke Kelly and Ronnie Drew, they possessed two truly charismatic singers of a rare quality. Barney McKenna and John Sheahan, who remain with the group to this day, are indisputably world class musicians. Hugely influential and deeply loved at home and abroad, The Dubliners are responsible for countless definitive recordings and I’m delighted that Radio 2 is honouring their immense contribution to folk music.”
The Dubliners were formed in 1962 and celebrated their 50th anniversary with a concert at the Temple Bar Tradfest last week. After performing at the 1963 Edinburgh Festival they appeared on a BBC programme called Hootenanny, which led to a record contract ant the release of their debut album in 1964. They had chart hits in the UK and Ireland with the singles Seven Drunken Nights and The Black Velvet Band.
Singer and founding member Luke Kelly died in 1984, and frontman Ronnie Drew died in 2008 after a long illness. The current lineup is comprised of original members Barney McKenna and John Sheahan, with Sean Cannon, Eamonn Campbell and Patsy Watchorn.