Listen up Daniel O'Donnell and Nathan Carter join Eddie Rowley on new Irish country music podcast
The two Irish country celebs are among many major stars who will be joining Eddie to tell their life stories on the My Country Life podcast
The twists and turns of life, the events we experience, the decisions we make and the interactions we have with other humans can change the course of history for others - as happened with country music superstars Daniel O'Donnell and Nathan Carter.
In my brand new Irish country music podcast, My Country Life, which will be launched by the Sunday World next weekend, Daniel and Nathan both recount their engaging tales of why they might never have been born.
The two celebrities are among the many major Irish country stars who will be joining me to tell their life stories on the My Country Life podcast in the weeks and months ahead - taking us on a rollercoaster trip from their childhood to the bright lights of showbusiness.
And don't miss next week's Sunday World when we will also be publishing excerpts from the podcast interviews in a free 32-page glossy magazine called My Country Life, which will also feature stunning photographs of your favourite country music stars.
The My Country Life podcast will be launched next Saturday and will be available wherever you get your podcasts, as well as on sundayworld.com.
Daniel O'Donnell is the first featured artist, and as he reminisces about times past and his family background on Owey Island off the coast of Donegal, the singer reveals that his maternal grandfather, James McGonagle, was born in America, in Bayonne, New Jersey, back in 1876.
When he was a baby, James was taken back to Ireland, where he was raised by his parents on Owey Island.
In adulthood, James married a lady called Margaret Sharkey, and in the podcast Daniel reveals how Margaret tried to persuade her husband that they should emigrate to America and built a life in that land of dreams.
However, James insisted that their lives would play out on Owey Island. It was on Owey that they then raised their children, who included Daniel's late mother, Julia.
"My mother used to say to me that her father, my grandfather, wanted Granny to emigrate to America and she never would," Daniel recalls.
"Isn't it funny how the things that people do in the past have a huge effect on the future, because if she had emigrated with him we would not be here. My mother would not have met my father."
Looking back on his own roots, Nathan Carter tells the incredible story of how his great grandparents, Jimmy and Winnie O'Neill, left Ireland bound for America, but ended up stranded in Liverpool after they were robbed of all their money and possessions.
Had that not happened - just like Daniel's story - Nathan says he would never have been born.
His grandad, Jimmy O'Neill, was originally from Cork, but had been living in Warrenpoint, Co Down, with his wife Winnie. "Like many an Irish family back then, they were struggling, and the dream of America seemed much better," Nathan explains.
"So they decided to get the boat to Liverpool, to get the big ship to the States. But they got robbed of all their money and their possessions on the boat over and then ended up staying in Liverpool."
As he points out in the podcast, had Jimmy and Winnie gone to America with their young family, that included his grandmother Anne McCoy, he would not be here today. Nathan has also written a song about the saga, called Winnie O'Neill.
In My Country Life, Nathan also tells us about his paternal grandmother, Amana, who came from a wealthy family in Yemen. Nathan's grandfather, John Carter, met Amana while then a struggling young builder carrying out work for her father at their home in England. Amana later married John against her father's wishes.
Top singer and songwriter Derek Ryan from Carlow will also join us on My Country Life in the weeks ahead to share his own personal story, from life in the world of pop to country stardom in Ireland.
Derek speaks about his late mother's distress when he first left home as a teenager to find fame on the British pop scene with a boyband called D-Side.
He says: "My mam got fierce upset, and at the time I didn't really understand it because I was thinking, 'this is great, this is really exciting.' Now I look back and I can see that it was her saying goodbye to her youngest. The house was never going to be the same again."
Mike Denver reveals that he was working on the buildings with his father on a freezing cold day when he got a phone call that changed his life. It was his now manager, Willie Carty, asking him if he'd be interested in fronting a country band. "We chatted for 30 seconds and I said, 'Yeah!' I didn't have to think twice about it," he laughs.
"It's a great job working on the buildings during the nice, warmer months, but from October till the end of March they are cold and hard months for any man or woman that's working on a site."
On the podcast in the weeks ahead, we'll also be bringing you the life stories of Cliona Hagan, Michael English, Jimmy Buckley, Patrick Feeney, Robert Mizzell and many more.
LISTEN to Daniel O'Donnell's My Country Life podcast next Saturday and get your free My Country Life glossy magazine in next week's Sunday World.
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