Dana Rosemary Scallon
||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2015)|
|Dana Rosemary Scallon|
Dana Scallon in 1970
|Birth name||Rosemary Brown|
|Also known as||Dana|
30 August 1951 |
Islington, London, England
|Genres||Celtic, folk, pop, Christian|
|Labels||Rex, Decca, GTO, Creole, Warwick, Fanfare, Epic, Heart Beat, Lite, Ritz, Word, DS Music, Cherry Red|
|Dana Rosemary Scallon|
|Member of the European Parliament|
11 June 1999 – 11 June 2004
|Preceded by||Mark Killilea|
|Succeeded by||Constituency abolished|
Dana Rosemary Scallon (born Rosemary Brown on 30 August 1951), known in her singing career as Dana, is an Irish singer and former Member of the European Parliament (MEP).
She entered politics in 1997, as Dana Rosemary Scallon, running unsuccessfully in the Irish presidential election, but later being elected as an MEP for Connacht–Ulster in 1999. Scallon was again an independent candidate in the Irish 2011 presidential election, but was eliminated on the first count.
Scallon was born in Islington, North London. Her father, who worked as a porter at nearby King's Cross station, was a native of Derry, Northern Ireland; he had relocated his family due to the high unemployment there after the war. She was five when her parents chose to return to Ireland because of the London smog and the harmful effect it had on some of their children; their doctor recommended they return to the cleaner air of Derry. (London had not yet benefited from the Clean Air Act 1956.) Their new home was on Derry's Creggan housing estate where they stayed until 1967, when they moved to the newly built Rossville Flats complex in Bogside, an area overlooked by the historic city walls.
Her parents were musical – her father played the trumpet in his own dance band, The Imperial All Stars, and her mother was their guest pianist. They had seven children in all: four daughters, including their third-born child Grace who died at eight months from a penicillin allergy, and three sons. Fifth-born and youngest daughter Rosemary won the first talent contest she entered: an all-aged event at St Columb's Hall at the age of six. During her childhood, she was taught to play the piano and violin, taught herself to play the acoustic guitar, sang in the school choir, and at one point considered becoming a ballet teacher. She took part in many more contests and feiseanna (festivals). In the early 1960s she began performing with her sisters Eileen and Susan in charity concerts organised by their father. Eileen left the trio to become a hairdresser, leaving the others as a duo, who later managed to secure a summer season at the Portrush Palladium. Her Aunt Rosaleen then contacted a friend in the music business and that led to Decca Records offering them a recording contract. Susan declined the offer, choosing instead to get married and emigrated to America with her husband. In 1965, the now solo Rosemary Brown took part in a local talent contest at the Embassy Ballroom where she won first prize – a chance to record a demo tape. Tony Johnston, a headmaster and part-time promoter who sponsored the competition, took her under his wing while she undertook her GCE O-levels.
After gaining seven good grades in her exams, Rex Records (Decca) in Dublin received her demo and manager Michael Geoghegan signed her up. Her debut single was "Sixteen", written by Tony Johnston, while the B-side, "Little Girl Blue", was her own composition. It came out on 17 November 1967, but failed to take off, though local TV and radio began to show an interest in her. It was at this time that she adopted the professional name of "Dana", which had been her school nickname. Now studying A-level music and English, she became popular in Dublin's cabaret and folk clubs and was crowned Queen of Cabaret at Clontarf Castle in 1968. Rex Records' Phil Mitton suggested she audition for the Irish National Song Contest, due to take place in February 1969 – a victory would see her compete in the Eurovision Song Contest in Spain on 29 March. With mixed feelings due to nerves she made it through to the final in Dublin where she sang "Look Around" by Michael Reade, later released as her fourth single. Shown live on Irish television, Scallon came second.
1970s – Eurovision victory and pop career
In December 1969 Tom McGrath, head of Light Entertainment at RTÉ and producer of the Irish National Song Contest, invited Scallon to try again in next year's event, feeling one of the entered songs, the ballad "All Kinds of Everything", would suit her. Her second attempt to win the Irish contest was a success and she became Ireland's 1970 Eurovision entrant. On Saturday 21 March 1970, Scallon performed the song at the Eurovision finals held in Amsterdam, before an estimated viewing audience of two hundred million. Perched on a stool while wearing an embroidered white mini-dress, she was the last of twelve contestants to perform that night. The UK's Mary Hopkin (already known for "Those Were The Days") and the Spanish star Julio Iglesias had been the favourites to win, but it was Scallon who took the victory. This was Ireland's first of seven successes in the contest, and came as a particular surprise for Scallon herself, who was planning to concentrate on her A-Level exams once the contest was over, and had intended this performance to be her last as a singer.
"All Kinds of Everything", composed by Derry Lindsay and Jackie Smith, had been issued as a single on 14 March 1970 following its winning the Irish National Song Contest. Phil Coulter provided the musical arrangement for the Ray Horricks production. The track had reached #1 on the Irish charts dated 20 March 1970, the day before its Eurovision victory, and would remain at #1 for nine weeks. Subsequent to the Eurovision contest, "All Kinds of Everything" spent two weeks at #1 in the UK and achieved success in Australia, Austria, Germany, Israel, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, South Africa and Yugoslavia. The song went on to sell more than two million units.
Scallon's debut album All Kinds of Everything, recorded with an orchestra in two days, was released in June 1970 and included four songs co-written by the singer. She was now represented by Dick Katz, a jazz pianist featured on The Goon Show who'd represented such luminaries as Jimi Hendrix, Dusty Springfield and Lulu. The follow-up single to "All Kinds of Everything", the Jerry Lordan composition "I Will Follow You", failed to chart however. After hearing the song "Who Put the Lights Out" on an album by Barry Ryan, she solicited the permission of composer Paul Ryan to record the song. Her version, cut with Barry Ryan's producer Bill Landis, proved a strong comeback vehicle reaching #5 in Ireland and #14 UK in March 1971. Following this, Scallon – continuing to work with Bill Landis – endured three years of unsuccessful singles broken only by the Irish chart showing of "Sunday Monday Tuesday" (#4) in 1973. This lack of success caused her agent Dick Katz to recommend Scallon join Dick Leahy (former head of Bell Records UK) on his new GTO record label formed in 1974.
She debuted on GTO with "Please Tell Him That I Said Hello", a song written by Mike Shepstone and Peter Dibbens. Released in October 1974, the song reached the Irish charts that November rising to a #7 peak. In the UK, the track spent ten weeks registering below the UK Top 50 before making its chart debut on 25 January 1975. Boosted by Top of the Pops performances on 6 February and 13 March 1975, "Please Tell Him That I Said Hello" rose to a #8 peak on the UK chart. This UK success gave the track a resurgence of popularity in Ireland where a chart re-entry saw the track again peak at #7 in February 1975. She also recorded a German version of the song, "Spiel nicht mit mir und meinem Glück", which reached #27 in Germany over a fourteen week chart run in the spring and summer of 1975. Other foreign language singles she released include "Wenn ein Mädchen verliebt ist" (German, 1971), "Tu Me Dis I Love You" (French, 1975) and a Japanese version of "It's Gonna be a Cold Cold Christmas" in 1976.
Her next single, "Are You Still Mad at Me", missed the chart but she returned to the Top 10 with a Geoff Stephens/Roger Greenaway composition, "It's Gonna be a Cold Cold Christmas". Released four weeks prior to Christmas 1975, the single gave her her second highest chart peak, reaching #4. In Ireland, the track reached #3 and went on to re-enter the charts the following year, peaking at #12. At the end of 1975, Scallon collected two awards – Best Female Singer in Britain from the NME and Best Female Singer from the TV Times. The success continued into 1976 with "Never Gonna Fall in Love Again" entering the UK Top 40. In September however, while promoting her next single, "Fairytale", she lost her voice. Her left vocal cord, which had been cauterized the year before, required urgent surgery to remove a growth (non-malignant) as well as a small part of the cord itself. This caused some newspapers to report on the possibility that she might never sing again. Despite her inability to fully promote "Fairytale", an upbeat pop song produced by Barry Blue, the single reached #13 in the UK and was also her biggest international success since "All Kinds of Everything".
Scallon's fifth album The Girl is Back was released in 1979. The Barry Blue production gave her a contemporary sound and a Top 50 single, "Something's Cookin' in the Kitchen", which peaked at #44 in the UK. A new phase in her career began after Pope John Paul II came to Ireland in September 1979, inspiring her to write with her husband the Irish chart-topper, "Totus Tuus".
Outside her chart career, Scallon had remained a popular personality since her 1970 Eurovision win. She had played the part of a tinker girl in Flight of the Doves (1971), a children's adventure film starring Ron Moody and Jack Wild and directed by Ralph Nelson. She also performed in summer seasons at resorts and seasonal pantomimes as well as performing at venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, the Royal Festival Hall and a week of sell-out shows at the London Palladium. Scallon also performed extensively in cabaret venues and was voted Top Female Vocalist at the National Club Acts Awards in 1979. BBC Television gave her two shows of her own: a series of A Day with Dana in 1974 and four series of Wake Up Sunday in 1979. For BBC Radio she presented a series of I Believe in Music in 1977.
Having scored an Irish number one in January 1980, with the song that was based on the Pope's motto: Totus Tuus, latin for Totally Yours, the much larger American Christian market became a possible outlet for her music. Not long after returning home from a promotional visit to the National Religious Broadcasters' conference in Washington, opened by US President Jimmy Carter, she was contacted by award winning songwriter Kurt Kaiser, vice president of Word Records. He invited her back to the USA where she was offered a recording contract. Meanwhile, Warwick Records issued Everything is Beautiful in late 1980. Recorded in September at Pye Studios in London, the LP subtitled 20 Inspirational Songs was advertised on TV and became her biggest-selling album in the UK, reaching #43 in the chart on 10 January 1981. It was followed later that year by Totally Yours, her first Christian album for Word Records; the songs "Praise the Lord", "The Soft Rain" and "Totus Tuus" were credited to Dana and Damien Scallon. As was "Little Baby (Grace's Song)", written while she was pregnant with their first child.
She was soon back in the studios again to make Magic in 1982, a pop album for Lite Records. It included four songs by her younger brothers John and Gerald Brown, as well as "I Feel Love Comin' On", which was to be her final UK chart entry. Together with her younger brothers she co-wrote the official Northern Ireland 1982 FIFA World Cup song "Yer Man", and recorded it with the full squad before they headed to Spain for the finals. Following this, she completed her second album for Word, Let There Be Love, which contained an assortment of music such as up-tempo Christian pop, jazz, ballads and an old Irish hymn sung in Gaelic.
Scallon starred in a West End production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, staged at the Phoenix Theatre during the 1983 Christmas and New Year pantomime season. She played Snow White for fourteen years, each time in a different city, beginning the run at the New Theatre, Hull in 1982.
A tour of America took place in 1984 to promote her two Word albums. Appearances were made in concert halls, churches, colleges and also on TV and radio.
After fifteen years in show business Hodder and Stoughton published Dana – An Autobiography in 1985. It told the story of her childhood, married life and music career, as well as her growing devotion to God.
Due to work commitments in 1979, she wasn't in the country when Pope John Paul II became the first pope ever to visit Ireland. But she eventually saw him in 1987 at the Superdome in New Orleans, having been invited there to perform "Totus Tuus" before a gathering of 80,000 or more. After her performance the pontiff made his way to the stage to personally thank her for writing the song.
1990s – politics
In 1991, Scallon and her family relocated to Birmingham, Alabama. Scallon hosted EWTN programs on TV and radio, entitled Say Yes and We Are One Body. She became a popular Catholic music singer and released many albums with HeartBeat Records, the US Catholic music label she and her husband, her sister, Susan, and brother, John, had formed for that purpose. She appeared at conferences and public gatherings across the US. One such occasion was in Cherry Creek State Park, Denver, Colorado, in 1993: to help celebrate the sixth World Youth Day, she was invited to sing her song "We Are One Body", the theme song for the event, live to the Pope. She also sang at the World Youth Day celebrations held in Paris (1997), in Toronto (2002), and in Sydney (2008).
Prior to returning to Ireland in 1997, Scallon applied for US citizenship, requiring her to swear an oath renouncing allegiance to any other state. Later in 1997, she became a candidate for the office of President of Ireland standing as an independent under the name Dana Rosemary Scallon, the name she has utilized for all of her political endeavours. She came third with 13.8% of the first-preference vote. Scallon was the first presidential candidate to secure a nomination solely from County and City Councils rather than from members of the Oireachtas. She said afterwards: "I may not be a President. But I AM a precedent."
In 1999, having secured US citizenship and standing again as an independent, Scallon won a seat in the European Parliament, representing the Connacht–Ulster European Parliament constituency. She campaigned on family values and her opposition to abortion, contraception and divorce along with a Eurosceptic line on the EU. Scallon refused to associate with any political party despite Fianna Fáil making several approaches for her to join them.
2000s to present
Scallon opposed a proposed amendment to the Irish constitution in 2001, that would have legalised the "morning after pill" and IUD. The amendment was defeated in a referendum in 2002, although it was supported by the mainstream political parties. Scallon also had public disagreements at the time with the Catholic hierarchy (notably with Cardinal Desmond Connell), the latter wishing instead to negotiate a consensus solution.
She contested a seat in Galway West in the 2002 Irish general election, again as an independent. She lost, scoring 3.5% of the first preference vote in a general election where other independent candidates performed well. In June 2004, Scallon lost her European Parliament seat, taking 13.5% of the vote. Later that year, she failed to secure a nomination to the office of President of Ireland against the uncontested incumbent.
Returning to the world of entertainment in 2005, she spent time on the RTÉ television series The Afternoon Show. In 2006, she and dancer Ronan McCormack were paired together in the RTÉ dance series Celebrity Jigs 'n' Reels. They made it to the final show and came second. Also in 2006, Scallon and her husband launched their own music label, DS Music Productions. One of the first albums released was Totus Tuus, a compilation of songs dedicated to the memory of Pope John Paul II and issued on the anniversary of his death. A children's album was released in 2007, entitled Good Morning Jesus: Prayers & Songs for Children of All Ages, which featured in a special series on EWTN. Early in 2007, Scallon, her husband Damien Scallon, and their company DS Music Productions were sued by Heartbeat Records for copyright violations for several of the albums they released under their new label.
Gill and Macmillan published her second autobiography, All Kinds of Everything, in 2007.
In 2009, Scallon became a judge on The All Ireland Talent Show, and in the summer of 2010 she participated in the Best of British Variety tour. She was a contestant in the fourth series of the reality television programme, Celebrity Bainisteoir, in 2011, but was forced to withdraw by RTÉ when she announced she would run for the Irish presidency again.
2011 presidential campaign
On 19 September 2011, at the Fitzwilliam Hotel on St Stephen's Green, Scallon announced she would be seeking a nomination to enter the following month's Irish presidential election. Carlow County Council was the first to nominate her. She was then nominated by other County Councils thus becoming a candidate. In all, there were seven candidates, five men and two women.
In the first debate, held on RTÉ Radio 1's News at One, independent candidate Scallon explained she had delayed her entry into the race due to numerous family bereavements. Appearing on The Late Late Show alongside the other candidates, Scallon displayed a copy of the EU Constitution, telling her audience: "This is what this election is about. I have the knowledge and experience to be able to protect our sovereignty and that's the only question I think that's really urgent at this time." When asked by Ryan Tubridy if she would refuse to sign any bill threatening Bunreacht na hÉireann she responded by saying "You bet your boots I would". In fact, the President does not have such a veto power, being able only to refer a Bill to the Council of State for its consideration.
Speaking on Newstalk's The Right Hook programme on 5 October 2011, Scallon said she was not anti-Europe. "I am not anti Europe. I have always said that Europe, the concept of Europe is good. We want to be in Europe."
It was revealed on 7 October that Scallon had dual US and Irish citizenship, but she denied hiding this from the public, saying that her US citizenship, which involved her taking an oath renouncing allegiance to Ireland, was not an issue then or now and she had no reason to hide it.
During a debate on Prime Time (RTÉ) on 12 October, Scallon read out a prepared statement towards the end of the debate, announcing that a "malicious" and "false" accusation had been made against her and her family in the United States and, while refusing to divulge any details, she said she would leave "no stone unturned" in her mission to track down the person or organisation responsible. The incident was described as "bizarre" by some media.
It later transpired that the statement she read out on Prime Time referred to her brother, John Brown, who had been accused in 2008, in the course of litigation in the US among family members, of having sexually abused his niece. He denied the allegation. Brown was arrested by London police in June 2012, following a complaint against him made in October 2011. In May 2013, he was charged with three counts of indecent assault on two girls aged under 16.
John Brown was found not guilty and cleared on all charges on 25 July 2014.
On 5 October 1978, she married hotelier Damien Scallon at St Eugene's Cathedral in Derry, where her parents were wed. The couple first met in 1970 at his Ardmore Hotel in Newry, where a reception took place following a street-naming ceremony in nearby Hilltown, to honour her recent Eurovision success. A copy of the Dana Place sign hangs in their kitchen. After a three-week honeymoon in Grenada the newlyweds set up home in Rostrevor, County Down. They have four children: Grace, born in Dublin on 18 January 1981; Ruth, born in Newry on 18 August 1983; John James, born in London on 5 November 1984; and Robert, born in Newry on 25 August 1989.
- martinunderwood.co.uk – Frederica Street as seen in The Ladykillers, a classic Ealing comedy made while Scallon was still living at number 89 (central character Mrs Wilberforce lived at "number 57", a set built at the end of the street).[dead link]
- "Frederica / Frederick Street now". Multimap.com. Retrieved 2011-03-07.
- "– Rossville Street today, where the flats once stood opposite Glenfada Park". Multimap.com. Retrieved 2011-03-07.
- "Dana Profile". CatholicMusicNetwork.com. Retrieved 2011-09-28.
- "Dana Scallon: Musical Artist, Faithful Messenger". Aquinasandmore.com. 1951-08-30. Retrieved 2011-09-28.
- imdb.com – Flight of the Doves
- "Dana denies US passport deception". RTE. 2011-10-07. Retrieved 2011-10-07.
- Terry Prone (26 May 2011). "With Mary on for the Aras the contest really hots up". Evening Herald.
- Maeve Sheehan (16 October 2011). "This is a bid to discredit me -- I won't be broken". Sunday Independent (Ireland).
- As revealed in an interview, Conversations with Eamon Dunphy, 3 November 2007, RTÉ Radio 1 http://www.rte.ie/radio1/eamondunphy/
- "Dana election results at Elections Ireland". Electionsireland.org. Retrieved 2011-09-28.
- "DS Music Productions". Dana-music.com. Retrieved 2011-09-28.
- "Heartbeat Records Inc v DS Music Production". Dockets.justia.com. 2007-07-20. Retrieved 2011-03-07.
- "Waterford News & Star:". Waterford-news.ie. Retrieved 2011-03-07.
- "Home | Dana set to star in town". Whitehaven News. 2010-08-18. Retrieved 2011-03-07.
- "RTÉ's Celebrity Bainisteoirs announced". RTÉ Ten. 15 July 2011.
- "Lissan GAC". Mid Ulster Mail. 27 September 2011.
- "Dana seeks help from all sides in bid to nail down her nomination". Irish Independent. 20 September 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-20.
- "Dana get first Aras nomination, as meetings continue". Newstalk. Retrieved 2011-09-26.
- "Carlow votes for Dana". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 2011-09-26.
- "Dana is officially a presidential candidate following Offaly nomination". TheJournal.ie. Retrieved 2011-09-27.
- "Dana in Irish presidential election after fourth council nomination". Bbc.co.uk. 27 September 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-28.
- Taylor, Charlie. "Áras candidates set out positions in first debate". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2011-09-28.
- O'Halloran, Marie; Cullen, Paul (1 October 2011). "Campaigns to cost up to €350,000, say candidates". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2011-10-01.
- Cullen, Paul. "Áras candidates dodge bullets". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2011-10-01.
- Article 26, Constitution of Ireland
- "Dana insists: ‘I am not anti-Europe’". The Journal. Retrieved 2011-10-05.
- "Live - Prime Time Debate: 2247". RTÉ News. 12 October 2011.
- "Dana criticises "vile and false" accusation against member of her family". Irish Examiner. 12 October 2011.
- "Dana future in presidential campaign in doubt". Breakingnews.ie. 12 October 2011.
- "Irish presidential election: Michael D Higgins elected". BBC. 29 October 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-29.
- "Dana's brother charged with child molestation in UK", Independent.ie, 23 May 2013
- , John Brown, the brother of Eurovision winner Dana, has been cleared of five counts of historic sex abuse, bbc.co.uk, 25 July 2014.
- "Claregalway Resident Dana Intends To Run For President". galwaynews.ie. 2011-09-22. Retrieved 2011-09-28.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 139. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dana Scallon.|
- Official website of Dana
- Dana Rosemary Scallon at the Internet Movie Database
- EWTN's Dana Website
- Dana's channel on YouTube
- European Parliament profile
|Awards and achievements|
with "The Wages of Love"
|Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest
with "One Day Love"
Lulu with "Boom Bang-a-Bang"
Salomé with "Vivo cantando"
with "Un jour, un enfant"
with "De troubadour"
|Winner of the Eurovision Song Contest
with "Un banc, un arbre, une rue"
|Member of the European Parliament