Christy Moore & Friends


Back in the late Sixties, after giving up his good permenant and pensionable job as a bank teller, Christy Moore moved to England, where he spent a number of years building a reputation as a solo singer. In Manchester in 1969 he met Dominic Behan, who persuaded him to make his first album. It was called 'Paddy on the Road', and Christy wasn't really happy with it - the English session musicians who backed him had no feel for the Irish songs.

In 1970 he met record producer Bill Leader in London and asked him would he bring mobile recording equipment to Prosperous, Co. Kildare, where he could make an album using Irish musicians of Christy's choice. Bill Leader agreed to his request and Christy returned to Ireland to set about assembling his musicians. His first call was to Donal Lunny, another native of Newbridge, Co. Kildare, who had been in school with Christy. A silversmith by trade, Donal had been involved in a number of folk groups, and as well as being an all-round musician, he was also an experienced producer of folk albums.

Liam (Og) O'Flynn was an uilleann piper from Kill, Co. Kildare, who had been piping since he was very young and had been causing a bit of a stir in the fairly limited Irish music scene of the time. Finally, there was Andy Irvine, who was a founding member of the groundbreaking Irish group Sweeney's Men with Johnny Moynihan and Joe Dolan. Christy also recruited Clive Collins playing fiddle, Dave Bland on concertina and Kevin Conneff (who later went on to join The Chieftains) on bodhran.

The album 'Prosperous', was recorded from sessions in the basement of his sister Anne's house in the town of Prosperous in Co. Kildare. It was released in England without much effect. However, in Ireland where a major revival in folk music was underway, there was a huge demand for the album, so much so that to satiate demand from his customers, Jack Fitzgerald, who owned the Tara Records store in Dublin, bought the rights to the album and released it on a label of convenience entitled Tara Records.

Kevin Conneff, Liam O'Flynn, Christy, Donal Lunny & Andy Irvine
Kevin Conneff, Liam O'Flynn, Christy, Donal Lunny & Andy Irvine
Christy, Donal, Liam & Andy enjoyed each others company so much during the recording of 'Prosperous' that they decided to have a go at making it a full-time adventure. This lead to the formation of one of Ireland's most important and influential groups Planxty, who brought a style, innovation and 'cool' to Irish music which was to lead directly to the many Irish musical success stories during the decades that followed.

"We did it because we loved to do it. We had a ball and all we sought to do was to record the sounds that we liked. All that followed has been an unexpected and most welcome bonus." Christy Moore