Few singers could have rocketed to national popularity in quite so short a time as did Danny Doyle, a young guitar-playing Dubliner, with "Step it Out Mary".
If you selected ten people at random on any street in Ireland and asked them to sing, whistle or hum the song, I'm willing to bet eight or nine would be able to oblige. Now that's what I call fame.
Not that things happened all that quickly for Danny. For what seemed a long time before he made his disc debut, friends on the folk scene used to tell me how highly they rated him…and what a "character" he was. Just wait and see him move, they said. And they were right, probably to an extent unimagined by many of them.
Are there any forceful adjectives left that sound sincere and not just the standbys of a lazy mind? Well, the word that sprang to mind the first time I heard Danny's voice was "earnest".
It isn't one of those pretentious, cliche-ridden words that have a false ring to them and I think it aptly describes Danny. Look it up in a dictionary and you'll find it variously described: serious; sincere; not trifling; ardent; zealous.
Add to these qualities the word integrity and a portrait of the artist starts to emerge. You'll know what I mean as you listen to this, his first E.P. You'll begin to appreciate that there's so much more to Danny than a hit single.
Here's to the fellow who said: "I would rather write the nation's songs than make its laws." In Danny Doyle's case, he would obviously rather sing the nation's songs than make its laws. Let's hope things stay that way.