Category: local
Updated: 19/03/17 : 08:02:42

Most famous Ballisodare 'boy' dies at 90

Chuck Berry in 1981

THE MOST famous of all the 'Boys of Ballisodare' has passed, with the death of Chuck Berry (90) yesterday, Saturday.

Berry headlined the fifth annual festival in the Sligo village, ahead of Christy Moore, Richard Thompson and Ralph McTell. See poster below

Duck Walks

Berry in Ballisodare even surpassed the billing in 1981 of another recently deceased star, Peter Sarstedt of ''Where Do You Go To, My Lovely'' fame.

''His distinctive guitar licks, duck walks and songs about girls and cars helped define Rock 'n' Roll,'' said the New York Times about Berry online last night.

His 1981 appearance in Sligo, on the weekend of August 7th to 9th, spawned a bucketload of salacious tales about the star, on and offstage.

The Ballisodare concert itself was described as ''superb'' by one online blogger, who rated it among the six best he had ever seen at home or abroad.

Berry's biggest hit in Ireland was a 1970s live recording of ''My Ding A Ling,'' which got regular radio play despite its suggestive lyrics.

Six Seasons

Yesterday's death was confirmed by police in Missouri.

The department said it responded to a medical emergency at a home.

Mr. Berry was declared dead ''after lifesaving measures were unsuccessful.''

The Boys of Ballisodare festivals lasted six seasons and drew crowds from 4,000 rising to 20,000 into the Sligo village.

Promoters and brothers Philip and Kevin Flynn rented a field just across the road from The Thatch pub owned by Brian Fitzpatrick.

The event was the first ever all-weekend Irish major outdoor music festival.

The promoters originally envisaged only 2,000 turning up for their annual event.

The 'Boys of Ballisodare' was modelled on the famed Newport Festival in Rhode Island, United States and Cambridge in England.