Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Susan McCann celebrates 40 years in music

Veteran country singer Susan McCann will celebrate 40 years in showbusiness this weekend with her “String of Diamonds” Festival taking place in The Carrickdale Hotel & Spa on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 26th, 27th and 28th January.

The star-studded line-up includes favourites such as Philomena Begley,  Hugo Duncan, Mick Flavin and many more, with Susan and her band finishing the show each night.

Speaking to The Examiner ahead of her milestone celebration weekend, Susan looked back with particularly fond memories of starting out with Crossmaglen’s renowned John Murphy Ceile Band, who she credits with giving her the break into music.

“Only for John Murphy, I never would have been heard of!” she said.

Susan admits that this year is actually her 41st year in the business but says she’s celebrating again after a fantastic festival weekend last year. 

“It’s always a great turn out and a brilliant weekend. Everyone who comes is from the same era so last year became a bit of a reunion, with my husband Denis meeting people he had gone to school with in Silverbridge. It was just an absolutely brilliant weekend of packed shows and reminiscing so we were all keen to do it again.”

Of her enduring career and international popularity, Susan says she has been very lucky to have amassed such a loyal fan base and to have performed across the globe. In fact, the star has recorded around 650 songs and toured the world, performing at prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall and Dollywood, and has even sung for former US President George H. W. Bush and his son George W Bush.

“I’ve been very lucky over the years that people still come out to hear me sing. If anyone had told me 40 years ago that at 69 years of age I’d still be doing this I would have laughed at them.

“To have such a strong career for so long has been wonderful.  I achieved a lot over the years and owe so much of it to my husband Denis who is the backbone of everything.  He’s kept my career going, organising tours and events, taking care of the travel arrangements – doing everything I couldn’t do!”   

Susan’s plans for 2018 include a new album which she hopes to begin working on in March this year aiming for a Christmas release date. This will be the first album since her “Through the Years” compilation album in 2015 and she says it may be her last.

“I’ll be 70 next year so I don’t know if there will be any more albums after this one.”  Fans should not be too disappointed though as the singer intends to keep performing as long as she can.

“I’m glad to be doing what I’m doing and that I’m still hanging in there. To be able to sing at this stage of my life and for people to still come to hear me is just fantastic.”