Thursday, December 1, 2011

Artist: The (Irish) Rovers, Album: The Rovers, Song: Wasn't That A Party

"Could've been the whiskey, might have been the gin.  Could've been the three or four six packs I dunno but look at the mess I'm in."  The Irish Rovers were a Celtic folk band that formed in Toronto during the early sixties.  They were all immigrants from Ireland yet they met in Canada and began performing in the folk clubs of Toronto.  They would move West and settle in Calgary where they began performing on television for the first time.  This would become a major element in the band's success over the next couple of decades.  They hosted their own shows on the CBC and many of the shows had international syndication which introduced the band to a much wider audience.  The band toured the United States and Canada during the sixties before signing with Decca and releasing their debut in 1966.  The band were musical ambassadors for Canada and represented the country at various World Expos.  They were actually asked by the late, former Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau, to become Canadian citizens.  Their music was often comedic and there is no better example of that than their 80's single, Wasn't That A Party.  Strangely enough, despite already performing for nearly two decades by the time this album was released and sharing stages with artists like Johnny Cash, the band achieved their first Number 1 record in Canada.   The song was actually written by American folk icon, Tom Paxton.  The Rovers were known for their partying and Tom happened to witness one of their post show events and was compelled to write a song about it.  As it turned out, it became the band's biggest hit.  You can hear the song on You Tube (  The band is still around today and continue to play shows.  You can follow them at  The Rovers have been nominated for a Juno six times yet have never won.  Their 1980 release, entitled, The Rovers, which spawned this hit, garnered the band the Juno nominations for Single Of The Year which they lost to Martha and the Muffins (see blog 1/25/11) and Folk Group Of The Year which was won by Bruce Cockburn.  This particular hit has been included on a number of compilations over the years which is great because the original release is very hard to find today.  You can purchase the song on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!