‘It took me seventeen years to become an overnight success.’
And so it did. For seventeen years Val Doonican had played and sung all over Ireland, Britain, and Germany, in clubs, dance halls, theatres, Army and Air Force bases – even cinemas; it took just one major television show from the London Palladium in 1964 to turn him into a star, an overnight success.
Val Doonican, whose gentle voice and Irish humour have charmed us ever since, now tells the story of those seventeen years and of his childhood in Ireland before World War II.
From a poor but close-knit family, Val paints a vivid, humorous and touching picture of his early years; the many incidents he recounts, filled with fun and drama, recall the world of childhood with particular charm.
Compelled to leave school because of his father’s sudden tragic death, Val’s first job was in the works where his brothers were employed. He describes how, on his first day, the boss handed him a hammer ‘with which I became remarkably adept, knocking inch nails into wooden boxes with such speed and accuracy that I would have made a worthy interlude on The Generation Game‘.
About a year later he left the job, and from then on his story is one of a long hard grind (alleviated by much good humour and camaraderie) towards his goal of becoming a musical entertainer.
His discovery by impresario Val Parnell marked the turning point of his career as a highly successful and much loved artist, whose television programmes and recordings made him a household name.
Val’s story, which reflects in its every line the warmth, sincerity and humour of the man who wrote it, will bring as much pleasure to its readers as his unmistakable brand of entertainment has to his millions of fans over the years.
Hardback 1st edition signed