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Christopher Lynch Tenor Rathkeale THE VOICE OF FIRESTONE

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Presentation on theme: "Christopher Lynch Tenor Rathkeale THE VOICE OF FIRESTONE"— Presentation transcript:

1 Christopher Lynch Tenor Rathkeale THE VOICE OF FIRESTONE
Christopher’s home, ?Rathkeale Tony G Doyle MAY 2010


3 Early Years Born in Rathkeale 23 July, 1920
Youngest son of Patrick Lynch and Mary(Sheehan) Lynch Grand mother – a Swiss Governess His father raised and trained horses and Christopher assisted him in that work. Played hurling with Rathkeale team –in goals Had very fine boy soprano voice Sang in local church choir Sang in local concert - first big concert- Feb 1943

4 Personal Married Dympna Daly, Moy, Lahinch at the age of 21
Had five children -Brian, Christopher, Terence, Marese, Rosaleen Three sons became medical doctors,–One of his daughters died a number of years ago. A number of years after the death of Dympna he married Yvonne from England in 1980 and settled down in Worchestshire

5 Discovery Sang in the Savoy Theatre , Limerick – Spotted by the O MARA family, great patrons of the arts They arranged for Christopher to study under Dr Vincent O Brien(early tutor of John McCormack) in Dublin O Brien arranged a series of concerts for him throughout the country Sang in Savoy Limerick on a number of occasions

6 Irish Experience While in Dublin O Brien arranged a series of concerts for him Christopher did several tours of the country Received rave reviews where ever he went Sang in the Savoy Theatre , Limerick on a number of occasions Sang in Shamrock Club, London in Nov 1943 In Jan, 1945 he sang in Newcastlewest in the Desmond Cinema. Back in Savoy, Limerick in Feb, 1945 Gave approximately 30 concerts throughout Ireland before going to U.S.

7 Meeting with Count John McCormack
A special concert before an audience of Dublin socialites and Government officials in the Shelbourne Hotel. Among the distinguished audience was Count John McCormack Afterwards John said that Christopher would be the one most likely to succeed him ‘ I have not heard better in a quarter of a century’ From that time both men became close friends with McCormack adopting the role of mentor and tutor - coaching him several days a week

8 John Mc Cormack Said Christopher had ‘ a finely developed sense of humour- a tenor’s saving grace’. On May McCormack wrote to RCA Victors records re Christopher – arranged for his first recordings He had hoped to accompany Christopher to U.S to help launch his career Endorsement by McCormack brought Christopher early fame Christopher was summoned to Mc Cormack’s bedside when he was dying Mc Cormack’s widow (Countess Lillian) hoped that Christopher would play the title role in a film about her hisband She was godmother to Marese, one of Christopher’s daughters

9 In Italy With support from O Mara family Christopher went to Italy to further his training Stayed in the Irish Embassy in Vatican city for a time with Dr Kiernan, Irish Ambassador to the Vatican and Mrs Kiernan (Delia Murphy) His maestro was Signor Morelli, who taught many famous singers of the era Morelli said he had a wonderful natural voice of exceptional purity and beautiful timbre

10 Before leaving for U.S. Joseph O Mara flew to U.S in 1945 with five trial recordings of Christopher . He played them for Howard Barlow, the NBC Conductor who in turn played them for H Firestone Almost immediately there was a one year contract for Lynch to broadcast as The Voice of Firestone Christopher did several concerts in Ireland before his trip

11 The Voice of Firestone One of radio’s and tv’s pre eminent prestigious award winning cultural offerings since 1928 – continued for 35 years Sponsored by Firestone -featured celebrated singers and musicians– from the Met, from Broadway ---such as Nelson Eddy, Eleanor Steiber, Leonard Warren, Richard Crooks , Iussi Bjoerling Broadcast on NBC chain of 157 stations from Alaska to Mexican border Transferred to TV on 5 Sept,1949 59 piece renowned symphony orchestra conducted by the distinguished Howard Barlow Barlow had directed the country’s outstanding symphonic orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Symphony, Cleveland ,Chicago, Baltimore etc

12 Christopher’s Debut for Firestone
Succeeded Richard Crooks as Voice of Firestone First broadcast before an audience of 3000 people in Carnegie Hall in Oct , The packed hall hailed his debut It was a resounding success Review: ‘Last night the young Irish tenor ,Christopher Lynch established himself as an artist of front rank calibre’. To say he was terrific is putting it mildly . We watched an audience change from curious scepticism to overwhelming enthusiasm as he progressed into the programme.’ Rave reviews in papers Afterwards a reception in the Starlight roof of the Waldorf Astoria hotel for 600 guests

13 Time Magazine Mon 7th Oct, 1946
Reference to his radio debut in the previous week ‘Before he died Mc Cormack taught strapping blue eyed tenor Lynch what he knew about singing’ ‘Christopher is the season’s most trumpeted visitor’ ‘His voice sounded nearly as clean and sweet, his Irish Legato as rippling as MC Cormack’s’ Flawless diction, warm communication, very handsome’

14 A Household Name His first American season made him a household name , endeared his voice and personality to millions In his concerts Lynch sang selections by great German, Russian, French and Italian classical composers as well as familiar folk songs of Ireland, England and Scotland

15 IN THE U.S Lynch lived in Valley Stream, Long Island with his wife Dympna and his children Two appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show Invited to sing at the cornerstone ceremony at the United Nations Building in 1946 Guest on Toast of the Town TV Show , Nov 23, also appearing were Les Paul and Mary Ford and Paul Lynde Invited to Hollywood where he met and sang for many of the stars at that time – including Barry FitzgeraldHis work with Firestone finished in 1954 Sang in the movie ‘Hills of Ireland’

16 Change in Music World In Mc Cormack’s time huge changes occurring - -A new emerging microphone style of vocalising and a new informality of singing The old full voiced style began to appear strange and old fashioned to many The Victorian and Edwardian ballads were swept away from public consciousness by the new American popular music as sung by Crosby, Sinatra, Como A distinction made between the serious singer and the popular singer . Mc Cormack tried to bridge the two eras but his voice and health were failing at this time Lynch was more successful in this respect and became hugely popular with millions of listeners and viewers. This was a hugely competitive scene in America at that time

17 RCA Release First Record
Time magazine , 7 Oct ,1946 reported that RCA Victor had released his first record ‘Oft in the Stilly Night’ and ‘Believe Me if All those endearing young charms’

18 Us/ Canada Tours Critically acclaimed concerts were given in great auditoriums throughout the U.S and Canada— Toured with Philadephia Philharmonic under Eugene Ormandy In the context of his tours he was described ‘as busy as a left-handed leprechaun in the light of the moon’ In Boston in 1948 he was presented with a testimonial scroll in appreciation of his singing songs of Turlough O Carolan, ‘The Irish Handel

19 Tours Tatler noted his gruelling schedule
Though only 28 he had done 150 concerts in previous years Travelled over 50,000 miles per year throughout U.S. and Canada Soloist at midnight Mass, St Patrick’s Cathedral, New York Did several concerts for Fr Flanagan, (Boystown)

20 George Hanlon Did an interview in Allentown – the scene of one of his first American concerts ‘He sang with a zest that was way ahead of his time’ ‘His voice was softer and higher than most tenors’ ‘His voice never lost its boyish charm’

21 Further Reviews Has been in U.S for 5 weeks and already a sensation in radio circles Captivates Providence audience, ‘ well received by Portland audience’ Lynch delights Grays Harbour with perfect singing ‘He has English enunciation that may well be imitated by all English speaking people’. ‘Youthful vigour coupled with thoughtful expression tend to colour every note that Lynch sings . He has developed a wide range of tonal shadings which he employs for well –planned effects.’ ‘It is in songs calling for particular warmth and sentiment in interpretation that the Lynch virtuosity is best displayed .’ ‘His future lies before him as he rises a bright gleaming star toward the galaxy of stars that charm, inspire and entertain the American people’. Newsweek: ‘the true Irish tenor with voice of hauntingly sweet quality’

22 Eleanor Steiber ( ) Eleanor alternated with Christopher every other week on the Firestone Show She was an outstanding soprano who sang the lead in many operas in the Met , New York Eventually Callas challenged her for leading roles at the Met Christopher recorded at least two duets with her ‘Indian Love Call’ from ‘Rosemarie’ and ‘I remember’ from ‘Maytime’

23 The Joyful Hour from CKLW -8 to 9 Dramatisation of the Christmas Story 1948
Among those taking part: Bing Crosby, Ethel Barrymore , Dennis Day, Joan Leslie, Christopher Lynch, Perry Como, Roddy McDowell, Maureen o Hara, Ann Blyth, Maureen o Sullivan, Jeanne Crain, Mullen Sisters – others and special Hollywood choir Two orchestras 1947 Joyful Hour was rated as one of the five finest progs of the previous year

24 Return to Ireland He returned to Ireland in 1950 and gave a number of recitals throughout the country Appeared in the Deel Hall, Rathkeale in July – a sell out – a night to remember Savoy, Limerick -23 July 1950 ‘his singing last night stamped him as one of the world’s greatest tenors– great voice – unique stage presence’ (Leader) Gaeity Theatre , Dublin, 1950 before President Sean T O Ceallaigh Records were played on Radio Eireann, Donnelly sponsored programme for many years Accompanist E Bossart

25 Recordings – RCA/Columbia
Mr Judson, president of Columbia records had never seen Christopher or heard him sing . Yet he offered him one of the biggest contracts ever made with a beginner on the basis of his recordings in London Minstrel Boy--- Columbia ‘Down by the Glenside’ Macushla / Oft in the Stilly Night –HMV HMV for distribution in Britain and Columbia for distribution in US

26 His Voice An intensely beautiful and lilting Irish voice
He sang higher and softer than most other tenors Great diction and phrasing He had a very melodic voice Great resonance ‘His Irish Legato as rippling as Count J MCormack and very nearly as clean and as sweet’. ( Time) At his best before a live audience His voice never lost its boyish charm

27 A great ambassador for Ireland
He sang a large number of Irish songs and his lovely songs of Ireland endeared him very much to U.S audiences A worthy son of Rathkeale – his home town which he loved so much A genial warm friendly person A great communicator and interpreter of songs of different genres

28 His Death Died on 15 April, 1994 at his home in Worcestershire, England at the age of 73. His death was reported in The New York Times, Wed 18, October His celebrity and fame were relatively brief but he made a huge impact on audiences in Ireland and America

29 Rathkeale Arts Group Acknowledge and continue to celebrate Christopher’s singing career Organised 3 Tribute Concerts already Tony Doyle Feb. 2010

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