Luke was born in the Dockland area of Dublin City in 1940. He left school at 13, worked at odd jobs around Dublin for four years and then roamed to England. He continued odd-jobbing but secretly aspired to be the Irish Sinatra. When he fell for folk music, however, he fell hard and with his boundless physical energy and totally uninhibited vocal style soon became a singer to be reckoned with. The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem met him on one of their trips to Ireland and they added many of Luke's songs to their repertoire. In 1963, he and three other lads formed a group, "The Dubliners," but Luke likes singing alone also. He came on his own to the Newport Folk Festival '64 where the Festival Committee, after hearing a sample of his singing, invited him to perform at a workshop and at the New Folks Concert.
THE KERRY RECRUIT
Luke picked up this song on his rambles from other singers. He says it has been published in Colm O'Lochlainn's collection, "Irish Street Ballads," now a collector's item. "The Kerry Recruit" is found in many variants (Uncle Jason Ritchie in Kentucky used to sing a fragment of it). Luke's singing of it is a great thing to hear …
Tom, Paddy and Liam Clancy are brothers from Carrick-on-Suir, Erin, and Tommy Makem is a North Irelander from Keady, Co. Armagh. When the two older Clancys came to America a few years ago, their main interest was the theatre and they produced and acted in off-Broadway plays, supporting themselves by working in factories. Liam and Tommy Makem were acquainted in Ireland and when they too came to America it was not long before the now world-famous Irish quartet was formed. They recorded for Tradition and later, Columbia Records.
YOUNG RODDY M'CORLEY
This is a heroic story of a young Irish defender who was hanged for his part in the 1798 County Antrim uprising.