Jimmy Ferguson

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James Francis "Jimmy" Ferguson (February 26, 1940 – October 8, 1997) was a founding member of the Irish-Canadian folk group The Irish Rovers. He was the only member who did not play an instrument. He sang in a rich baritone voice, in contrast to Will Millar's tenor, and was also the comedian of the group.

Ferguson was born in Belfast to a Roman Catholic family.[1] He emigrated to Canada as a young man, and met George Millar in 1963 at an Irish function in Toronto. They decided to form a folk duo and the following year were joined by Millar's cousin, Joe Millar. After touring the province of Ontario, they recruited Millar's brother, Will, in Calgary, and adopted the name The Irish Rovers.

Ferguson's voice is heard in several Irish Rovers recordings, including "The Orange and the Green" and the 1981 hit "Wasn't That a Party". The heavy-set Ferguson suffered a heart attack in New Zealand in 1992 and continued to have heart problems for the rest of his life. He died while on tour in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1997 at the age of 57.

Personal life[edit]

Ferguson married Jan Adams in 1968 and they had a daughter, Erin, in 1970.


  1. ^ "History", The Irish Rovers Official Website. Gives his age in 1963 as 23.

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