Musicians of Cork: (Courtesy of the Knotted Chord Archive).
Jimmy Crowley(1950- ) Singer, songwriter, bouzouki, guitar, mandola.
Born in Cork and raised in Castletreasure, County Cork he followed his father into the firniture trade as a cabinet maker and carpenter. An early musical influence was local uilleann piper John Harris. Visits to Miltown Malbay in County Clare, Dun Chaoin in County Kerry and Cuil Aodha in West Cork in the late 1960’s cemented his interest in the singing tradition. Among the musicians who influenced him through this period was Willie Clancy, Denis Murphy, Nioclas Toibin, Seamus Ennis and Sean de hOra.
The Die-hards was an early group that he co-founded with Michael Harris and Dee McCarthy. He next formed the group Stoker’s Lodge who performed a Cork urban repertoire and were based out of the Folk Club at the Group Theatre in Cork.
His albums include "The Boys of Fairhill"(1977), "Camphouse Ballads"(1979), "Some things never change"(1980), "Jimi mo mhile stor"(1981), "Jimmy Crowley"(1991), "My love is a tall ship"(1997), "Uncorked"(recorded live, 1998)and most recently "The coast of Malabar"(2000).
He also produced the album "Sex, sca and sedition" featuring a selection of Cork writers and singers.
He has toured constantly over the years and appeared alongside such luminaries as Joe Burke, Jackie Daly, Donal Lunny, Jerry O’Sullivan and Micheal O’Domhnaill.
He has written a ballad opera "Red Patriots" and released a the "Jimmy McCarthy songbook" in 1986. He also wrote a weekly Column for the Cork(now Irish) Examiner over a seven year period.
In 1997 Jimmy completed a degree in Irish and Folklore at University College Cork which involved him in music and song collection, especially across the southern counties of Ireland.
A great singer, a great wit and storyteller and great character with a unique voice.
Dr. Mick Moloney sums Jimmy’s singing perfectly…..he sings the songs of the past and songs of the present ………songs of land and sea, love and war, courting and fighting, drinking and sporting. Almost all bear the imprint of his beloved Cork".
Among the songs associated with Jimmy is "the boys of fairhill", "the holy ground", "Johnny jump up", "Clonakilty black pudding".
Christy Moore offers the following tribute "Jimmy and I have been on the road for many’s the mile and my journey is always shortened when I meet him"(FV).