No mere green-shaded knock-offs of their more famous Mediterranean counterparts, the Irish Tenors comprise three vocalists with individually distinguished careers who came together for a concert at Ireland's giant Royal Dublin Society complex. The concert, accompanied by a 60-piece orchestra, was well attended and was recorded for television. What cemented the three singers into a group, however, was the broadcast of the concert during the U.S. television PBS network's fundraiser in March 1999. The broadcast, with favorites like "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" and "Only Our Rivers Run Free," rode the crest of a new American Irish craze, and the trio was contracted for further recordings.
The three Irish Tenors are John McDermott, Ronan Tynan, and Anthony Kearns. McDermott, an Irish Canadian, in 1995 recorded a group of Irish songs for his parents' 50th wedding anniversary; a copy of the tape fell into the hands of the EMI Music label, which immediately signed him to a multi-album contract. Tynan has overcome the disability of two prosthetic legs to win honors that include not only top finishes at various European vocal competitions, but also several equestrian championships. Kearns is a leading lyric tenor in Ireland who has also toured with the English Light Opera Company.