Mary Coughlan (singer)

Last updated

Mary Coughlan
HULL 19 Mary Coughlan simone rudolphi photography-1896.jpg
Coughlan at The Met in Bury, April 2019
Background information
Birth nameMary Doherty
Born (1956-05-05) 5 May 1956 (age 65)
Galway, Ireland
GenresBlues, Jazz, Irish Soul
Occupation(s)Singer, writer, actress
Years active1984–present
Labels WEA, East West, Tradition & Moderne, Hail Mary Records
Website marycoughlanmusic.com

Mary Coughlan (born 5 May 1956) is an Irish singer, songwriter and actress. [1] [2]

Contents

Background

Mary Coughlan was born in Galway, Ireland. [2] Her father was a soldier from County Donegal. She was the eldest of five and had endured an erratic youth. She left convent school and started drinking alcohol and taking drugs when she was fifteen. At this age she spent time in a mental hospital. After time in hospital and a belated graduation, Coughlan decided to leave home. In the mid-1970s, she moved to London, England, where she married Fintan Coughlan and had three children. [2] In 1981, she left her husband and took custody of her children. [2] In 1984, she moved back to her hometown of Galway. On her return to Ireland, when she started to perform in public, she was noticed by Dutch musician and producer Erik Visser. [2] [1]

Musical career

Vlado Kreslin and Mary Coughlan Vlado Kreslin Mary Coughlan 15082011 2s.jpg
Vlado Kreslin and Mary Coughlan

Visser, whose band Flairck was popular in Europe, helped Coughlan record her first album, Tired and Emotional . [2] Visser went on to become her long-term collaborator. [2] The album sold an unexpected 100,000 copies in Ireland, partly because of an appearance on The Late Late Show . [2] Despite problems, Coughlan continued to reap praise for her recording output on WEA. On Under the Influence (1987) she sang the 1948 Peggy Lee hit "Don't Smoke in Bed" and the Billie Holiday ballad "Good Morning Heartache", as well as Jimmy McCarthy's "Ride On", which reached number 5 on the Irish pop charts in 1987. [2] In 1988 she made her acting debut in Neil Jordan's High Spirits . [2] She lost her record contract with Warner Music Group.

In 1990, she signed with East West Records, which released her third album, Uncertain Pleasures , recorded in the UK and produced by Pete Glenister, former music director for Terence Trent D'Arby. [2] It included compositions by Mark Nevin and cover versions of the Rolling Stones' "Mother's Little Helper" and Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel." [2] After receiving treatment, it seemed as though Coughlan had landed on her feet again. Sentimental Killer (1992) and Love for Sale (1993) were received well. [2] In 1994, she lent her vocals to A Woman's Heart Vol.2 album with Mary Black and Dolores Keane. She released Live in Galway and in 1997 After the Fall, which became her American debut. [2]

In June 2000, Coughlan took another turn in her career when she presented a series of multimedia shows in Dublin and London celebrating Billie Holiday, a singer whose life had parallels to Coughlan's. Material from these shows was collected on Mary Coughlan Sings Billie Holiday. [2] In April 2001 Long Honeymoon was released, [2] and in 2002 Red Blues. She appeared on the RTÉ reality television charity show Celebrity Farm . [3] The House of Ill Repute was released in 2008. [4] She participated in the album Sanctuary with Moya Brennan.

Woman Undone

In 2018, Coughlan collaborated with the Brokentalkers [5] and Valgeir Sigurðsson, [6] to create a fusion of theatre, music and dance to re-imagine her extraordinary life and her difficult childhood. It tells the story of a young woman who endured abuse, addiction and mental illness and whose discovery of art and music was her redemption.

The premiere took place at Projects Art Centre, Dublin, featuring Mary Coughlan alongside female quartet Mongoose performing an original score by Valgeir Sigurðsson which fuses electronic music with live instrumentation and a haunting vocal score. Woman Undone was nominated in two categories for the Irish Times Theatre Awards: [7] Best Sound for Mary Coughlan, Mongoose and Valgeir Sigurðsson; Best Movement: Eddie Kay

Personal life

After Tired and Emotional, Coughlan faced mismanagement of her career. She lost her car, house, and recording contract with Warner Music. She drank alcohol excessively and was hospitalized more than thirty times. She recovered in 1994 and had two children with Frank Bonadio. [8] A public spat with singer Sinéad O'Connor ensued over Bonadio's affections. [9]

Coughlan has spoken about the role of women in Irish society. [10] In September 2017, she walked out of an interview with Newstalk presenter George Hook in response to comments made by the presenter about rape victims. [11]

Awards

In 2020, Mary received a lifetime achievement award by the Mayor of Galway in recognition of her impact on the cultural life of the city. [12]

Discography

Bury 19 Mary Coughlan simone rudolphi photography-2445 Bury 19 Mary Coughlan simone rudolphi photography-2445.jpg
Bury 19 Mary Coughlan simone rudolphi photography-2445

Related Research Articles

Dana Rosemary Scallon Irish singer and politician

Dana Rosemary Scallon, known professionally as Dana, is an Irish singer and former politician who served as Member of the European Parliament from 1999 to 2004.

Mary Harney Irish politician, 18th Tánaiste (deputy Prime Minister)

Mary Harney is an Irish former politician and the current Chancellor of the University of Limerick.

Mary Coughlan (politician) Irish politician

Mary Anne Coughlan is an Irish former Fianna Fáil politician who served as Tánaiste from 2008 to 2011, Deputy Leader of Fianna Fáil from 2008 to 2011, Minister for Health and Children from January 2011 to March 2011, Minister for Education and Skills from 2010 to 2011, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment from 2008 to 2010, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food from 2004 to 2008, Minister for Social and Family Affairs from 2002 to 2004 and Minister of State for the Gaeltacht and the Islands from 2001 to 2002. She served as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Donegal South-West constituency from 1987 to 2011.

The Saw Doctors Irish rock band

The Saw Doctors are an Irish rock band. Formed in 1986 in Tuam, County Galway, they have achieved eighteen Top 30 singles in the Republic of Ireland including three number ones. Their first number one, "I Useta Lover," topped the Irish charts for nine consecutive weeks in 1990 and still holds the record for the country's all-time biggest-selling single. Renowned for their live performances, the band has a cult following, especially in Ireland, Great Britain, and the United States. On 15 February 2008, they received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Meteor Ireland Music Awards.

Microdisney Irish band

Microdisney was an Irish rock band formed in Cork in 1980. It was founded and led by the songwriting team of Cathal Coughlan and Sean O'Hagan (guitar). Originally typeset as Micro Disney, the band had become Microdisney by the time they had relocated to London in 1983 and signed to Rough Trade Records.

Holiday (Green Day song) 2005 single by Green Day

"Holiday" is a song by American rock band Green Day. It was released as the third single from the group's seventh studio album American Idiot, and is also the third track. The song is in the key of F minor. Though the song is a prelude to "Boulevard of Broken Dreams", "Holiday" was released as a single later on, on March 14, 2005.

Sharon Shannon Irish musician (born 1968)

Sharon Shannon is an Irish musician, best known for her work with the button accordion and for her fiddle technique. She also plays the tin whistle and melodeon. Her self-titled debut album, in 1991, Sharon Shannon was the best-selling album of traditional Irish music ever released in Ireland. Beginning with Irish folk music, her work demonstrates a wide-ranging number of musical influences. She won the lifetime achievement award at the 2009 Meteor Awards.

Julie Feeney is an Irish singer, composer, songwriter and record producer who self-produces and self-orchestrates her own work. She makes both instrumental and electronic music, and all of her songs with full orchestrations. Feeney is a three-time nominee for the Meteor Choice Music Prize for 'Irish Album of the Year', winning in 2006 for debut album 13 songs. She has released three studio albums on her own label 'mittens': 13 songs (2005), pages (2009), and Clocks (2012). Clocks entered at No.1 on the Irish Independent Albums Chart and No. 7 on the Main Irish albums charts making it her highest charting album to date. She is from Galway, Ireland. Previously she worked as a professional choral singer and educator.

Dolores Keane Irish folk singer and occasional actress (born 1953)

Dolores Keane is an Irish folk singer and occasional actress. She was a founding member of the group De Dannan and has since embarked on a solo career.

Valgeir Sigurðsson

Valgeir Sigurðsson is an Icelandic record producer, mixer, composer, audio engineer and musician.

Jenny Huston is a Canadian presenter of radio and television in Ireland. She was disc jockey on RTÉ 2fm, an occasional presenter on RTÉ Radio 1 and a television presenter with channels operated by Raidió Teilifís Éireann.; Huston presents an indie rock and pop music show on Friday nights and a rock anthems show which is broadcast on Sunday nights. A highlight of her television career was co-hosting RTÉ's Electric Picnic coverage with Tom Dunne in 2006.

<i>Tired and Emotional</i> 1985 studio album by Mary Coughlan

Tired and Emotional is the debut album by Irish singer Mary Coughlan released in 1985 by East West Records, a subsidiary of Warner Music Group.

Imelda May Irish singer

Imelda Mary Higham, professionally known as Imelda May, is an Irish singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Known primarily as a singer, she also plays the bodhrán, guitar, bass guitar and tambourine. Described as "a unique vocal talent", May is known for her musical style of rockabilly revival and has also been compared to female jazz musicians such as Billie Holiday.

Ultan Conlon is an Irish singer-songwriter.

Mickey Finn (Irish fiddler)

Mickey Finn was a traditional Irish fiddler. He was a fixture in Galway's traditional music scene during the 1970s and 1980s, playing with artists such as Mary Coughlan, Mick Lally, and Christy Moore.

Mary Byrne is a top 10 selling Irish singer and TV presenter based in Ireland and the UK. Mary rose to fame in 2010 after becoming a finalist on the seventh series of The X Factor in 2010. Following her elimination in the live semi-final, she signed a record deal with Sony Music Ireland. Byrne and her fellow The X Factor finalists gained a number-one single on the UK Singles Chart and the Irish Singles Chart with a cover of David Bowie's "'Heroes'" in aid of Help for Heroes.

Claire Byrne Irish journalist

Claire Byrne is an Irish journalist and television presenter who currently fronts Claire Byrne Live each Monday evening on RTÉ One.

Nicola Mary Coughlan is an Irish actress. She is known for her roles as Clare Devlin in the Channel 4 sitcom Derry Girls and Penelope Featherington in the Netflix period drama Bridgerton.

Ciara Kelly is an Irish radio presenter and former medical doctor. She presents the morning show on Newstalk. She also has a weekly column with the Sunday Independent.

Sarah McInerney is an Irish radio and TV presenter and reporter, notable for her work with RTÉ, TV3 / Virgin Media One and Newstalk, and a print journalist, notably having worked with the Sunday Tribune and the Sunday Times. From County Galway and with a degree in journalism from Dublin City University, as of April 2021 she presents RTÉ's main commute-time radio programme, Drivetime, and is a co-presenter of RTÉ's flagship current affairs TV programme, Prime Time.

References

  1. 1 2 Sullivan, Maireid. "An Interview with Mary Coughlan". Alternate Music Press. Retrieved 18 November 2008.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Colin Larkin, ed. (2003). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Eighties Music (Third ed.). Virgin Books. pp. 129/30. ISBN   1-85227-969-9.
  3. "Mary Coughlan is third off Celeb Farm". RTÉ. 10 September 2003. Archived from the original on 6 November 2003. Retrieved 18 November 2008.
  4. "Interview with Mary Coughlan". Entertainment.ie. 17 October 2008. Archived from the original on 24 October 2008. Retrieved 18 November 2008.
  5. "Woman Undone". Bropkentalkers.ie. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  6. "Valgeir Sigurðsson | Official Website". Valgeir.net. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  7. "The Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards: all this year's nominees". The Irish Times.
  8. "Mary Coughlan Biography". Deelside. Archived from the original on 6 January 2009. Retrieved 18 November 2008.
  9. Harris, Anne (2 April 2006). "Why Sinead O'Connor sent those toxic texts to Mary Coughlan". Irish Independent.
  10. "Interview with Mary Coughlan". Tallgirlshorts.net. Retrieved 18 November 2008.
  11. "'He should be fired' - Mary Coughlan walks out of live Newstalk show in protest at Hook rape comments". Independent.ie. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  12. https://www.rte.ie/news/connacht/2020/0624/1149378-mary-coughlan/ [ bare URL ]