John Francis McCormack

I came across a John McCormack tape, so I wanted to honor him by reminding us of McCormack & introducing some of you to who he was. John McCormack was Irelands greatest tenor, Irelands first global celebrity and cultural icon. McCormack was extremely smart and talented but also sincere, kind, humble & charming.
John Francis McCormack was born in Athlone, Westmeath. His parents were from Scotland but moved back to their ancestral home. He had dual Irish and American citizenship he was offered but rejected British citizenship.
A tenor is a type of classical male singing voice, the highest voice type. McCormack started his singing career in the church choir. His parents originally wanted him to become a priest. However, McCormack wanted to pursue singing.
There were fundraisers on his behalf that allowed him to travel to Italy to receive voice training. He trained with Maestro Sabatini. He learned to sing in and speak Italian. While in Italy he didn’t use his real name, he used the stage name, Giovanni Foli.
McCormack went to America to perform Operas & concert engagements. He became the most celebrated lyric tenor of his time. It was said he could sing 65 notes in one breath. He made several recordings and sang on the radio. He also sang songs of Irish nationalism, such as Wearing of the Green. He married a singer like himself, Lily Foley.
McCormack was very generous and donated to the USA world war effort, Irish famine relief & Catholic charities. McCormack had a luxurious lifestyle & passion for learning. He had fancy cars, many residences & owned several thoroughbred horses.
Toward the end of his life sadly McCormack was sick with emphysema and he died of pneumonia. Ireland has honored the legendary tenor in different ways including: he’s on a stamp, he received the title Papal count from the Pope, a life size bronze statue in Iveagh gardens in Dublin, he is on collectors coins and another statue of him in his hometown of Athlone. McCormack is in a few movies: Song o my heart & Wings of the morning. A few of his famous songs include Machushla, Mother Machree & I hear you calling me.
I will leave you with this story I hope you enjoy it as I did:
Three Feet From Gold
“During the gold rush, a man who had been mining in Colorado for several months quit his job, as he hadn’t struck gold yet and the work was becoming tiresome.  He sold his equipment to another man who resumed mining where it had been left off. The new miner was advised by his engineer that there was gold only three feet away from where the first miner stopped digging.
The engineer was right, which means the first miner was a mere three feet away from striking gold before he quit.” We need to believe things will get better soon and our lives will be golden again one day.
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