Tuesday 6 December 2016

I am so very proud of my own French connection

Being compared to legendary songwriter Percy was better than being on front of the RTE Guide, writes Johnny Duhan

Johnny Duhan

Published 21/06/2015 | 02:30

TALENT: Percy French penned the most beautiful songs ever
TALENT: Percy French penned the most beautiful songs ever
french and collison

I knew little or nothing about the most popular Irish songwriter of the late 19th century, when a friend brought my attention to a letter in the RTE Guide in late 1960s in which it was predicted that Johnny Duhan was destined to become Ireland's next Percy French.

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A few years earlier, the same magazine had featured my photograph on its front cover, but I got more of a kick out of being compared to a successful songwriter in the letter section than I did for having my mug featured on magazine stands all over Ireland.

The main reason for this was that, after five years of a rollercoaster career in swinging London as the front man with one of Ireland's most popular beat groups, Granny's Intentions, I was beginning to harbour ambitions of becoming a real songwriter myself. Little did I realise then the long struggle it would take to gain the skill to write my first real songs.

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