Willie Brady started with a ballad on that first radio broadcast nearly ten years ago. He had a talent for singing ballads, interspersing them with his own style of yodelling. He applied for an audition for the Radio Eireann talent-spotting show, "Beginner's Please". At the time, he and his brother, Joe, did a double act at local concert halls, staging charity shows. Willie brought the house down with his first broadcast and Radio Eireann, Ireland's national network, picked him up.
In the past two years, Brady has received many offers to jump on the skiffle band wagon, currently booming in Europe, but he refused. Firstly, he is at home with ballad singing and ballad songs; secondly, he figures that skiffle is a passing fad. He is being swamped with ballads by fans, Irish fans— range from kids of 14 to old men and women of 90—write Willie each week or call on him when he is touring the country, to press ballads, old and new, into his hands, to sing them.
His suburban Dublin home is littered with old broadsheets, home-made tapes of ballads from the four corners of Ireland, and Brady has found in them a rich vein of material which he uses in his radio shows. The bulk of selections on this disc, leans heavily towards the light hearted. Singer Brady concerns himself with the plight of the local "Stuttering Lover" or "The Killigrew Ceili".
There is one other type of ballad in this collection, "Whack-Fol-De-Diddle," which is more than a humorous ballad; it is one of those satirical songs which marked various periods of Irish history. It has the deliberate advantage of being a song that could be sung under the nose of British officials in Ireland, and yet was a rebel song of the first water.
Willie Brady gets the full value, with the malicious humor, out of these verses.
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