Whether you love the Eurovision or detest it, I was saddened to get a phone call earlier this week to tell me that Noel Kelehan had died.
He was best-known as the most successful conductor in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest, conducting Irish winning entries in 1980, 1987, 1992, 1993 and 1996. In total he conducted 24 Irish entries, as well as entries from Bosnia Herzegovina in 1993, Poland, Greece and Romania in 1994, and Poland again in 1995 in an unequalled record of consummate professionalism. He last conducted at the contest in 1998.
He was a lovely man, witty, talented, generous with his time. Today would have been my mother's 80th birthday, and reading his obituary filled me with sadness as it lists many of the jazz greats in Dublin, including my own father Rick, who have all left us now for that great jazz session in the sky.
For those who are interested, here is the link to the Irish Times obituary. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/obituaries/2012/0211/1224311624109.html
And because it's Mum's birthday today, this is her !(upload://hitqBSFJH6x2NzOYHM9azd1Cru2.jpg)with the said Noel Kelehan and the late Ronnie Drew.