Sean Dunphy

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Sean Dunphy (30 November 1937 – 17 May 2011) was an Irish singer who represented Ireland at the 1967 Eurovision Song Contest, achieving second place with "If I Could Choose". He was also the first Irish singer to record in Nashville.[1]


Born in Whitehall, Dublin, Dunphy first became famous in his home country as lead singer with The Hoedowners, a showband led by trumpeter Earl Gill.[2] Between 1966 and 1973, fourteen singles by Sean Dunphy and The Hoedowners entered the Irish Charts including, in 1969, two number ones: "Lonely Woods of Upton" and "When The Fields Were White With Daisies". In the late 1970s, Dunphy went on to have two further hits as a solo artist.

Despite undergoing a quadruple heart bypass operation in 2007, Sean Dunphy continued to give live performances.[3] In March 2009, he sang many of his greatest hits in a one-off concert at Dublin's National Concert Hall.[4] His last public engagement was at a charity event twenty-four hours before his death.[5]

Dunphy died at his home in Baldoyle, County Dublin and is buried at Greenogue cemetery in Ashbourne, County Meath.[6]

Sean Dunphy and his wife Lily had four children. His son Brian is a member of the Irish band, The High Kings.[5]


Sean Dunphy and the Hoedowners[edit]

Year Single Chart Positions
1966 "Wonderful World of My Dreams" 3
"Showball Crazy" 2
1967 "4033" 17
"If I Could Choose" 2
"Talking Love" 13
1968 "Two Loves" 2
"Christmas Polka" 2
1969 "Lonely Woods of Upton" 1
"When the Fields Were White with Daisies" 1
1970 "The Old Fenian Gun" 5
"The Old Refrain" 19
1972 "There's an Island in the Sun" 10
"Michael Collins" 12
1973 "Pal of My Cradle Days" 3

Sean Dunphy solo[edit]

Year Single Chart Positions
1972 "Fields of Green" 3[7]
"And the Old House Died" 47[8]
"The Great White Horse" 23[9]
1977 "Santa Claus Is Coming Tonight" 14
1979 "Rosie" 30


  1. ^ RTÉ One A Little Bit Showband (retrieved September 25, 2009)
  2. ^ The Irish Times, "No injunction against dance band", August 10, 1967
  3. ^ The Irish Times, "A fresh spin for a ballroom of romance", June 12, 2007
  4. ^ Evening Herald, "Sean Dunphy - Showband era legend", March 26, 2009
  5. ^ a b Irish Independent, "Tributes as singer and showband legend Sean Dunphy dies", May 18, 2011
  6. ^ Irish Independent, "A final rapturous applause as 'the Duke' laid to rest", May 21, 2011
  7. ^ "RPM Adult Contemporary Chart March 25, 1972". Retrieved 2010-03-17.
  8. ^ "RPM Country Singles Chart March 25, 1972". Retrieved 2010-03-17.
  9. ^ "RPM Country Singles Chart August 19, 1972". Retrieved 2010-03-17.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Dickie Rock
with "Come Back to Stay"
Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
Pat McGeegan
with "Chance of a Lifetime"