Gerry O’Kane


Gerry O’Kane was a prominent and popular voice at The Wellington in Kingston. I don’t know the full time frame he was there, but my experience was in the mid-to-late 90’s. His Irish music filled the Welly with large crowds and ensured a fun evening where everyone would join in with the tunes they knew, and clap to the rest (and sometimes too much as was the case with Tim Finnegan’s Wake).

Nothing has been heard from Gerry for some time now. A quick Google search finds links like this one where people are wondering what’s become of him. It’s hard to find his music too. Gerry had a cassette tape of music live at the Wellington, and Becky (formerly Becky Brown for anyone who winds up here and might remember some of the Wellington regulars) had a copy of it. As part of Sarah Kennedy’s wedding gift, I transfered the recording to my computer and encoded it into individual MP3 tracks in the best quality I could muster. I thought I would share them here for all those looking for a fix.

***Update 28 Oct 2012***

I have, for some time, been in contact with Gerry’s daughter, Etain O’Kane.  Gerry is not an enthusiast of the Internet, and continues to value his privacy.  Despite this, he has provided me with some great news:  Gerry has launched a CD of original music on his website, www.gerryokane.com.  Apparently, the CD has been causing quite a bit of buzz in Ireland, and he’ll be doing some performing in the new year (vacation to Ireland, anyone?)  He also has a planned CD entitled “The Nostalgia Tapes” – comprised of live and unreleased tracks.

According to his site, Gerry recorded the CD where he now lives, in County Down, Ireland.

 

Gerry O’Kane – Live at The Wellington

Just right-click a track to save it. Enjoy!

 

139 Comments

  1. Comment by Jayne on October 2, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Singing at the Wellington is one of my favourite memories of Queen’s, especially on the nights when Gerry hosted the Band’s Smokers. Pints of cider, kilts and Gerry was the best combination!! Thank you so much for creating this website. I would give anything to go back in time for just one more night at the Wellington. There will never be another experience like it!

    Reply

  2. Comment by Greg on October 20, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    Great memories and great friends, loved the Wellie most Friday and Saturday nights. Cheers for this!

    Reply

  3. Comment by Geoff on December 23, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    some of my best memories..

    Reply

  4. Comment by mizcatt on December 24, 2011 at 9:01 am

    Ohmigosh! Hello, Noel! I haven’t been on this site for awhile, obviously, and have just now seen your reply. Sad to hear Gerry isn’t making music, but I’m so glad you still are. I had lots of fun listening to you with Rakish Paddy and when you came back to town with Roy. Those were the days with the dance classes and the friends, in particular Jery H, Carol D, Cathy C, Eileen and Peggy T, etc. I hope you’re well and that you have a Merry Christmas and a very Happy Holiday season! Pam C (mizcatt)

    Reply

  5. Comment by Mark on January 17, 2012 at 12:23 am

    I only saw Gerry twice. And unfortunately I was nowhere near into Celtic music as much as I am now. However I LOVE these tracks. The crowd participation, the good times, it’s such a treat that this website exists with these MP3’s! I still tell people who think Fionn MacCool’s, Winnipeg’s Dylan O’Connors and Shannon’s Pub, are Irish Pubs that they’ve never seen a real Irish pub. Man the Welly had people banging their empty mugs off the tables in sync with the beat. There was no dance floor but people were dancing! It was one of the greatest places I’ve ever had the pleasure to tip a few in, and I wasn’t even aware of how great it was at the time – that’s my only regret. My brother John was there frequently if anyone recognizes a Johnny G and his younger brother Mark combo. Anyway, back to the music!

    Reply

  6. Comment by John Donnelly on February 7, 2012 at 5:12 am

    Hi all,

    I have some news for all Of Gerrys fans, I’m his nephew and know he’s working on some stuff, when I get more details I post them here, some of your requests may come true

    John

    Reply

    Reply by James on February 8th, 2012 at 11:13 am

    I’ll gladly pay some of my hard earned wages for any new recordings from Gerry!

    Reply

    Reply by sean on August 10th, 2012 at 9:05 am

    You have no clue what reading that did to my insides… Gerry alive, well, and working on new stuff??? When anything is done PLEASE email and I will whip out the visa faster than the dissapointment in the crowd when Gerry was done singing!

    Reply

    Reply by jeanne on August 22nd, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Hi John,

    My friends and I in the late 70s and early 80s would get togetehr with Gerry whenever he came to Cleveland. Miss him and his music. This is a blast from the past for sure. I hope he is doing well and look forward to hearing details about hhis new stuff. Can’t wait.

    jeanne

    Reply

  7. Comment by Pete Carbone on February 13, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Friends of mine saw Gerry some 20 years ago and I wore out more than one copy of this tape. It’s been some years since I’ve heard it, although it remains some of my favorite music ever.

    Reply

  8. Comment by Jack on February 20, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Regularly took the trip from Syracuse to Kingston in the mid nineties to see Gerry @ the Wellington. He’s sorely missed. Anyway, we’ve burned some discs & one of them gets regular rotation @ Kitty Hoynes in Syracuse.!

    Reply

  9. Comment by Patty on March 8, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Wow…you guys only go back to the Wellington…I go back to Muldoon’s and Finnegans!! Seeing noel’s name pop up too was very exciting too! My sister and her friend were good friends with Gerry and Noel but when Muldoon’s closed they kinda lost track of them. It was exciting finding this blog. I have one of Gerry’s albums still in my possession. Anyway would love to hear more about those two…My parent’s and I took Noel’s sister on a trip across Canada one summer when she came to visit.

    Reply

  10. Comment by Deadwood McGhee on July 23, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Hey! Great site! My friends and I always loved hearing Gerry at the Welly. Back in the day I learned a few of his songs on guitar and have always been campfire favorites! The ones I play are; Irish Ballad, Old Dun Cow and of course, 7 Drunken nights.

    Very cool to see this huge following, I thought it was just my friends and I!

    If anyone wants the chords/tab to these songs, let me know.

    Reply

  11. Comment by Peter McFawn on September 6, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Gerry was great, it was a sad day when the Wellington closed. I would love to get some CDs of his songs.

    Reply

  12. Comment by Jeremy and Sarah on September 9, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Great memories of some great nights, love the music.

    Reply

  13. Comment by Karl on September 19, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    Spent one semester at Queen’s back in 1997…. I now lost many memories of dear friends there. I remember going many time to the pub and those tunes bring back some memories. I hope we can learn his story.

    Reply

  14. Comment by Kristin on October 5, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Thank you for taking the time to do this. My good friend (then boyfriend) I went to the Wellington with died almost two years ago and I was missing him like crazy today. Just wanted to hear some Gerry and you appeared.

    Reply

  15. Comment by Michelle H. on October 19, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    Thanks so much Mike. I was at Queen’s 1995 – 2000 and I remember the Welly and Gerry very very fondly. This brought back so many memories…

    Reply

  16. Comment by Johng on October 20, 2012 at 4:58 am

    Hello Mike and everyone,
    I’ve just been playing on the computer (too much spare time?), and looked up this site out of curiosity.
    I’m also listening to Gerry’s new CD. It’s called ‘Days like these’.
    I think they’re things he has had in mind for sometime, and now has put them into words (and music).
    I believe he is releasing a more traditional CD soon.
    As soon as his sister tells me, I will let you know

    Reply

  17. Comment by EJ on October 25, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    Hi Gerry has a new website where the album can be purchased:

    http://www.gerryokane.com or http://www.gerryokane.co.uk

    Reply

  18. Comment by TMcK on November 26, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    Just posted a video of Noel Lenaghan who was Gerry’s other half in Rakish Paddy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yE_PKdDejxQ We had many great times in Detroit and Windsor w Gerry and are glad he’s back home and doing well.

    Reply

  19. Comment by Marissa Quinlan on March 17, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    so excited to find this! I was at the Welly a fair bit in 1999/2000 (which I’m pretty sure was Gerry’s last years or so there) and this totally brings me back. Especially on St. Paddy’s Day!

    Thanks so much!

    Reply

  20. Comment by Peter Buckholtz on March 23, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    I, along with Gerry and others, was an owner at The Weliy. His Welly tunes may be found also at:
    http://grooveshark.com/#!/album/Live+At+The+Wellington/4854852

    It was a great time to be alive.

    Reply

  21. Comment by Paul K on June 15, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Just want to add one more post to the legend. O’Kane was spectacular, and I didn’t even know how truly amazing until much later. I’ve quaffed pints in fake Irish pubs around the world, hoping to find the magic of the Welly, but it’s all for nought. Gerry was one of kind. May he die in Ireland!

    Reply

  22. Comment by pure raspberry ketones reviews on June 18, 2013 at 2:08 am

    What’s up to every body, it’s my first pay a
    quick visit of this web site; this webpage contains amazing and really good stuff in favor of visitors.

    Reply

  23. Comment by sean on September 14, 2013 at 7:07 am

    Folks!! Gerry is coming back to Kingston!!!! He will be at the rCHA club on Ontario st November 1, 2013… Tickets ae $10 in advance and they are limited!!! Let’s give Gerry a homecoming he will never forget!! He has also mentioned he may do a second date if the first one goes amazingly well….. !!!!

    Reply

    Reply by Rob on September 18th, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Hey Sean, I’m in Toronto… any idea if you can order tickets from RCHA? Gerry’s added a second show November 8.

    Reply

    Reply by Ruth on November 6th, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    I have tickets for Nov. 8th to see Gerry here in Kingston and thanks Sean for the heads up!

    If Gerry ever reads this, I hope you realize how wonderful it is for so many to have you back in Kingston making new memories for us all to cherish.

    Reply

  24. Comment by Ben Barnes on October 20, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    And Gerry is also playing in Toronto on November 6, 2013. Just got tickets!

    Reply

    Reply by Ben Barnes on January 8th, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    Gerry is coming back for an Ostara, St. Patrick’s Tour this March. He has shows booked in Toronto, Kingston and Ottawa. I’m most familiar with his Toronto shows which are booked for March 13, 2014 at McVeigh’s and for March 21st 2014 at the Monarch Tavern. If you google Gerry O’Kane and eventbrite you can see the show details and buy tickets for each of the upcoming shows. I went to see him last November and it was an absolutely fantastic experience. He is crowdfunding for a new album and studio time and I encourage all of you to look him up on Facebook.

    Reply

  25. Comment by Monika Minar on January 9, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    Thanks so much for posting these songs! I actually still have his cassette 🙂 yes, the Live at Wellington one. Apparently, I have held onto it for about 20 years now, through about a million a moves and across the country from Kingston, Ottawa, Regina, Port McNeill, Courtenay, Victoria, Vancouver and now off to Lethbridge…(ok, I move a lot!)

    I am listening to it right now (I also, for some strange reason, still have a walkman, you stop laughing any time now!) and that is what prompted me to google him and found your site. Now I can share his music with the rest of my friends from Queens that went to the Wellington often to enjoy Gerry’s music live…and drink 😀
    Feeling really nostalgic right now…so many fun/funny memories and WHAT A VOICE!!! Live, just amazing.
    It is great to hear he is still touring, wish I could come see him.

    Reply

  26. Comment by SmithinJapaan on May 14, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Thanks so much for this. I still have the original cassette, purchased one drunken night, with the case still intact. Have made scruffy MP3 conversions, but it’s still awesome to know the spirit is out there, and yours is the first site where I found any actual info on things after the fact (ie. the Wellington). Went there once in a visit to Queen’s after graduating to find the bar changed (with Wade as owner, I think) and it felt like a part of Kingston was lost (no insult to Wade intended, but the Welli was legend!). Will definitely buy his album. Thanks again. Last year in Japan I played his tunes out loud from my apartment, drank green beer with people on my balcony (and after a few we danced some jigs), and you should have seen the audience. I prefer to think they were there for Gerry and not for the spectacle, but either way it was fun for all.

    Reply

  27. Comment by Brock Harrison on June 21, 2014 at 9:22 am

    Hey Michael,

    Quite the surprise when I stumbled across this while looking for some music to play in my store…

    Brings back a few great memories.

    Reply

  28. Comment by deb on June 22, 2014 at 9:58 am

    The tickets for Gerry OKane’s Summer Tour 2014 have been on sale for a few weeks now. Don’t be disappointed and make sure you order yours today!

    Toronto June 27 The Monarch Tavern
    https://gerryokane-monarch-june.eventbrite.ca/

    Ottawa June 28 The Celtic Cross Pub & Eatery
    https://gerryokane-ottawa-june.eventbrite.ca/

    Ottawa July 12 The Celtic Cross Pub & Eatery
    https://gerryokane-ottawa-july.eventbrite.ca/

    Arnprior July 18 The John St. Pub
    https://gerryokane-arnprior.eventbrite.ca/

    Toronto July 25 The Monarch Tavern
    https://gerryokane-monarch-july.eventbrite.ca/

    Kingston July 5, 11 and Aug 1 at The Kingston RCHA Club – The Standeasy – the club will be selling tickets. You can call after 3pm 613-542-8152.

    Reply

  29. Comment by Anonymous on November 23, 2014 at 8:28 am

    Bro I don’t know if you will get this but I’m getting all fucked up on blow and whiskey with a couple of irish guys and I’m gonna introduce them to gerry shortly. Chagheil!

    Reply

  30. Comment by Miku Linkruus on February 7, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    Mike, This is Awesome. Found my old Gerry O’Kane tape today while clearing out my parents basement. Thought how can I get this on MP3? Tried looking for it online a several years ago but no joy.

    Neighbours are going to start hating me soon as I play this over and over again when I come back from McVeighs drunk and want to keep hearing more Irish Music.

    Gerry was the best. And Bless you for making his music live on for all to enjoy.

    Somebody shouted, “McIntyre!”
    And we all got blue blind paralytic drunk
    When the Old Dun Cow caught fire.

    Cheers

    Miku

    Reply

    Reply by mart on February 27th, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    Gerry will be in Canada again in 2 weeks playing:
    Arnprior March 13 at the John St Pub tickets at the door or https://gerryokane2015arnprior.eventbrite.ca

    Toronto at the Monarch Tavern March 27 tickets at the door or https://gerryokane2015toronto.eventbrite.ca

    Kingston at the RCHA Standeasy March 14, 17 and April 24 – tickets available at the club after 3pm or call with a credit card 613-542-8152

    He will also be doing an all ages show in Toronto April 12 at Remarks Bar and Grill, [in their functions-room], 1026 Coxwell Ave., East York.

    Reply

  31. Comment by Jon Clement on March 29, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    2016 april toronto & kingston
    https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/gerry-okane-tickets-21171044163

    Reply

  32. Comment by Mike Thibault on August 12, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    From Gerry’s website:

    In late January Gerry suffered a stroke. He is getting excellent care and his family are at his side. While Gerry works hard at his recovery his family asks that you respect his privacy. Of course, your support also means a lot to Gerry. If you would like to send him your well wishes please send a message to . Gerry deeply regrets missing his gigs and misses all his friends in Canada

    Reply

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