Guitarist Rory Gallagher has been voted Ireland’s best musical artist by listeners to Dublin’s independent national radio station Newstalk.
Gallagher came at the top of the list, ahead of artists such as U2, Thin Lizzy, Christy Moore and Van Morrison. The full list of nominees was chosen through a combination of submissions from Newstalk listeners and a panel of experts.
Gallagher’s victory coincides with celebrations for the 50th anniversary of Gallagher’s eponymous debut in 1971, as well as his flagship performance at the Reading Festival that year. Marking the date, a new triple-LP box set, containing a new mix of the original disc and 18 unreleased extracts and unreleased songs. It can be pre-ordered here, for release on September 3, 2021. It will also be available to stream through all major services: find out more here.
In addition, on August 26, the Musée de la lecture will launch a major exhibition entitled The 1971 reading festival: for the first Time, taking its title from the 1971 Gallagher song, For the last time. Rory’s 1966 Fender Telecaster and Vox AC30 amplifier, along with a number of other elements of his performance at the festival, will be on display. Find out more here.
Gallagher was born in 1948 in Ballyshannon, County Donegal, Ireland, and raised in Cork. His first group, Taste, was a blues rock power trio. After their split, Gallagher embarked on his solo career, during which he released numerous solo studio records and collaborations with musicians such as Muddy Waters and Jerry Lee Lewis.
Gallagher died of liver failure at the age of 47 in 1995. Many tributes are paid to him throughout Ireland, including a statue in his native county and a bronze model of his Fender Stratocaster in Dublin , under the sign of a street named in his honor.
Newstalk revealed the full top ten for the poll, which is as follows:
- Rory gallagher
- Slim Lizzy
- Luc Kelly
- Christy moore
- Van Morrison
- Sinéad O’Connor