Susan McCann - the ‘First Lady’ of the Irish country music scene - celebrates completion of a 40-year singing career this weekend.
To mark this very special anniversary, Susan and her band and country music associates will appear at a series of shows in the Park Hotel, Sligo this Friday Saturday and Sunday.
Newry-based Susan, always a bubbly personality with a voice that is pure country, has come a long way from she broke on to the country ‘n’ Irish scene in the mid-1970s. Susan’s vocal gifts of being able to express every emotion with ease through her songs made her a highly popular singer over four decades.
On the anniversary shows, multi-award winner Susan will revive many of the hit songs that hold a special place in the hearts of her legion of fans, like Once Upon a Time, Broken Speed of the Sound of Loneliness, When I Was Making Love to You, and When The Sun Says Goodbye To The Mountains.
Susan has recorded hundreds of songs over the years and she believes there is no better way of celebrating this special year than with her fans.
To coincide with this event she has also re-released a special updated 40th year celebration edition of her popular DVD ‘MY Story’, a remarkable visual recording that takes one on the journey of Susan’s life and career.
The DVD is narrated by Susan herself, and she talks at length about growing up in Forkhill, South Armagh and moving on to a showbiz career that took her to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee and the Wembley Auditorium in London.
Susan, who presents country music on a radio show relaying out of Newry, can also be seen weekly on Irish TV Sky channel 191 co-presenting the popular ‘Susan and Malachi Show’ with Malachi Cush. Her down to earth patter, glamorous style and warm personality has attracted many viewers. Susan has charted well with the song The Old Man on The Porch from her latest CD Through the Years.
Merle Haggard cancelled two concerts at the weekend in New Mexico as a result of a continuing battle with double pneumonia.
His son posted a message via social media regarding the legendary Okie’s condition.
Merle, who underwent lung cancer surgery in 2008, cancelled a series of concerts in December after being hospitalised in California. Then, in a phone interview aired on Sirius XM‘s Willie’s Roadhouse radio channel, he indicated the severity of his illness.
“A couple of weeks ago, I came in the hospital here and I guess I was nearly dead,” he said. “They couldn’t tell whether the cancer had returned or whether I just had pneumonia. They had to wait until they got the pneumonia under control before we could tell. So it’s been kind of a tough couple of weeks. but I’ve got so many people to thank.”
Haggard, now 78, and Kris Kristofferson, 79, were to appear yesterday at a sold-out show at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills, California.
Haggard, a San Quentin convict in his early turbulent youth and arguably American country music’s most defining performer earning the reputation of being the ‘Workingman’s Poet’, still records and tours, although ill-health is a recurring problem.
He has recorded some classic songs - Okie from Musgohee, Sing Me Back Home, Mama Tried, The Fightin’ Side of Me, Hungry Eyes, Branded Man, The Fugitive, Daddy Frank (The Guitar Man) and Workin’ Man Blues. He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994.