November 16, 1939

Luke Kelly, musician and founder of The Dubliners was born on this day in Dublin in 1939. Kelly grew up in a working class family. At the age of thirteen he left school and went to England where he worked in building. He was fired and continued living in England while working various odd jobs. As the folk revival began to take form in England, Kelly began memorizing songs in addition to learning the banjo. He began performing in public. He returned to Dublin in 1962 and joined a ballad tour with the Ronnie Drew Ballad Group. At his suggestion, the group renamed themselves The Dubliners. Kelly also had a solo career. His rendition of “The Rocky Road to Dublin” is best remembered.

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