Frankie Kennedy

Re: Frankie Kennedy

What great clips…thanks for sharing!

Re: Frankie Kennedy

This is the one were Mairead says Frankie was keen to learn an instrument so he could sit in at the sessions, to be near her.

Blinded by love Frankie calls at my door to ask me to teach him the whistle, and I explained that it was my mate who actually played ITM on the whistle, in those days I played the mouth organ.

This illustrates how one can be blinded by love, and also how little music was about, as my friend and I were getting serious bookings as a duet on whistle and mouth organ. And this was in the early 1970s in Belfast.

Next time I saw Frankie, not that long afterwards, he was playing the flute as though he had been playing for years. And he must have been 16 0r 17 when he started.

Lucky he didn’t choose something difficult, like a bodhran. -🙂

I know there are those out there who will accuse me of "name dropping", but I was merely a neighbour, and knew his older brother well.

A tragedy when he went so young, but we all have his music to remember him by.

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Incidentally, someone asked recently about changing from banjo to fiddle. Dermie Diamond who appears on this did so, to great effect.

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I’ve known this clip to have been on youtube for quite a while, but was really surprised it was never posted.

I wanted you to have your moment or two of glory too, Bliss.

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I saw Altan years ago,before Frankie became ill.A wonderful flute player.

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Yes I new Frankie Kennedy well too,- I never forget when He was a Fleadhs if he saw me he would always find a way to sneek up behind me cover my eye with his hands and say
”Guess Who” As I think I was the only one he done this with,
it was not hard to just say , ”Frankie Kennedy”
A great fella - and the best I’ve ever heard playing in A Major
on Irish Flute… SADDLY MISSED,,,
Jim McAuley,,

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I never knew anything about Frankie Kennedy before I watched this documentary a few weeks ago. I must say that it’s quite an interesting and amazing story. It’s a great shame that he is no longer with us.

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When I began struggling with the flute 20 years ago, Matt Molloy was my hero, as he is to most flute players. Then I heard Frankie Kennedy. His youth, his passion for the music, and the freshness of Altan were great motivations for me. In 1992, I was cycling the west coast of Ireland with the flute, and Altan was the lead band at the festival in Ballyshannon. I was wandering about town one afternoon, and bumped into Frankie, who obliged me with kind and genuine conversation. He was coping with the cancer at that point, and sadly couldn’t summon the energy to be part of any sessions. I admired his courage, and positive outlook. As the documentary mentions, he loved the slow airs, a couple of which I’ve learnt from the CDs, and whenever I play them, the sadness of our loss of a dynamic musician at such a prime age is magnified. Thanks for the links, Hugo.

Re: Frankie Kennedy

Thanks Hugo…

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I think Mairead mentions he was 18 and she was 14 when they met and he took up the flute at that time.

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Re: Frankie Kennedy

I would even take up German oompaa band music if it meant I got to sit next to Mairead at sessions.

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It’s worth a try Button. I look forward to hearing your German oompaa band music a camp this summer. Perhaps you could run a workshop.

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Currently I don’t believe Mairead is playing German oompaa band music, so there’s no impetus to learn it. I have had the pleasure of sitting next to her at a couple of sessions though. I’ll admit it — I’m smitten.

Hmmm… perhaps I’ll start a Mairead appreciation workshop. 😏

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I don’t think Frankie was playing the flute as early as 16 or 17. I first met him in Hiudai’s in Bunbeg pub when I was 17 — he was a year older — and he was definitely playing the whistle that day. But, you’re right bliss, once he got his hands on a flute, he got very good very quickly.

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Oampaa band music players everywhere breathed a sigh of relief—one less beginner coming to their sessions.

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Even oompaa players have standards!

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Thanks for that link. Makes me want to go there. I just have reservations about a midwinter ferry crossing. Perhaps I should go over 6 months early.

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LongNote-
I first met Frankie in a pub up the road from
Hiudai’s in Bunbeg pub .. He was sitting with Mairead
playing both whisle and flute - more learning the flute, ? ?
He laught heartlly when i said - is that your sister - ie/ because
both -even more then had very fair hair and fine of face..
When he went down and told her I could see her laughing too.
We all became great friends after that,, Happy Memories,,
jim,,

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When I first heard ALtan on the radio I was blown away. Here is a band that trusts the music! I could hardly sleep. So many traditional musicians dont trust the music and it was something that was going through my head for quite sometime and then I turned the dial on the radio and BAM! ALthough it sounds vain, It was incredible to know that other people on earth had a similar mindset. Frankie’s playing is just like the music itself. SImple, accessible, yet subtle and contains depth that draws you deeper. He didnt screw with it and even Altans’s arrangements that are contemporary leave the music alone and let it be what it is. That combination of flute and fiddle is so powerful… I miss it.

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I had some lovely tunes with Frankie.

For my 40th birthday one of my great friends, a contributor here and the instigator of my presence here, Seargent Fox, gave me a tape of Frankie’s music.

I don’t mind saying, as I posted some time back, that I have a little weepie when I hear Dobbin’s Flowery Vale.

Frankie, may God rest you gently.

Brian x