11 February 2022

Tony Friel on Bluegrass Today

Country and bluegrass record collector and radio presenter Tony 'The Bluegrass Boy' Friel is featured in a major article on Bluegrass Today. Tony recounts for Sandy Hatley the history of his personal love affair with the music since 1968, beginning with hearing in a local cinema the voice of Hank Snow, who remains his favourite country singer. He also touches on the encouragement and advice he received from the late, great DJ Ray Davis of WAMU; how he came to appreciate the music of Bill Monroe; the many friends he has made in the bluegrass world; and much more.

Tony is now broadcasting every Tuesday evening from 7.00 to 9.00 p.m. (GMT) on Donegal Bay Radio. He ends with these words:

I have found as a bluegrass presenter how difficult it is to get artists to send you their music. We broadcast worldwide. So if any of you reading this have bluegrass CDs that you would like to have played on my show, please send them to me!

Tony Friel, 18 Sycamore Avenue, Sion Mills, Co. Tyrone BY82 9HT, Northern Ireland

BIB editor's note: The photo below, showing Tony between me and Niall Toner, was taken in the lounge of the Tullamore Court Hotel on Sunday 23 Sept. 2012 during the eleventh and last Johnny Keenan Banjo Festival, at Tullamore, Co. Offaly. It tickled me to read on Bluegrass Today how Tony came to find himself sitting with Bill Monroe, Kenny Baker, Brother Oswald, and Charlie Collins at a lunch table in my home town.

© Richard Hawkins

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