Frank Harte


Frank Harte (1933-2005)


Frank Harte was a traditional Irish singer, song collector, architect and lecturer. He was born on May 14, 1933, on the banks of the Liffey, at Chapelizod, where his family ran The Tap pub. His introduction to Irish singing came, he said, from a chance listening to an itinerant who was selling ballad sheets at a fair in Boyle. He became a great exponents of the Dublin street ballad, which he preferred to sing unaccompanied. After qualifying as an architect he spent three years working in the United States, but later returned to Ireland where he worked as an architect, lecturer at DIT (Dublin Institute of Technology) in Rathmines, Dublin and in later life fully engaged in songs in many ways.

He was widely known for his singing — his Dublin accent was laced with a rich nasal quality — and also as a collector of songs and the stories behind them. He had assembled a database of over 15,500 recordings. He began collecting early in life. He remembered buying ballads from a man who sold them by the sheet at the side of the Adelphi Cinema.

He was a regular at the Sunday morning sessions in the Brazen Head pub along with the late Liam Weldon. He was also an enthusiastic supporter of the Dublin Goilin Singers Club. A regular at singers' sessions in Ireland, he appeared at clubs, seminars and festivals in France, Britain and America where he was in demand as a teacher. He also made numerous television appearances.

Frank Harte died on June 27, 2005.

Source: Rambling House


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