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Ray Lynam

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Biography

b. 29 November 1951, Moate, County Westmeath, Eire. Lynam played saxophone with a local group, the Merrymen, while still at school. He was so greatly influenced by the recordings of George Jones and Buck Owens that in his early career, he carefully reproduced their vocal styles in his own singing. In 1969, he became front man for the Hillbillies, a band led by lead guitarist Kevin Sheeran that also included Billy Condon (both later members of Daniel O’Donnell’s band). In 1970, a recording of ‘Busted’ attracted attention, while the follow-ups, ‘Sweet Rosie Jones’ and ‘Gypsy Jo And Me’, firmly established Lynam on the Irish country scene by their chart success. In 1971, Lynam and the band proved a hit in London at the Wembley Festival, which led to concert appearances in the UK. In the early 70s, he began to work with Ireland’s Philomena Begley. They were very popular on the 1974 Wembley Festival and voted Top European Duo by the British Country Music Association. They also proved a highly successful duet recording partnership, recording two albums together and scoring Irish chart hits with ‘You’re The One I Can’t Live Without’ and ‘My Elusive Dreams’. In 1974, Lynam visited the USA to record, Something Special, his first Nashville album. In the early 80s, he returned to recordMusic Man and gained a US single release with ‘There Ought To Be A Law’. He and Begley were reunited for an album on Ritz, while Lynam had UK success with his cover of David Allan Coe’s 1984 hit ‘Mona Lisa Lost Her Smile’. Since that time, he has remained active and a popular figure on the Irish and UK country scene.
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