his rich, resonant voice, tenor Brendan Locke won the hearts of music lovers
half a world away; he left his native land and became a star in Australia.
Like his uncle Joe, he is gifted with an easy celtic charm, and quickly won the hearts of his adopted country. Among the highlights of his career, he became the first Irish tenor to appear on stage at the Sydney Opera House concert Hall (in 1974).
He was awarded a Gold Disk for his very first recording The Shamrock Spectacular, based on the highly successful show of the same name.
He achieved another Gold Disk with the recording of a spectacular show, which was released as a fund-raiser for the Sydney charity Boystown; he was presented with this accolade at his own Bunratty Castle Theatre restaurant in 1977 - the same date as his third Australian-produced album My Many Requests was released by EMI.
Born in Derry City, Brendan comes from a large family. He moved to England and got a job with car-makers Vauxhall. It was at this time that he began professional singing lessons "just to see how much my voice could improve". He married Frances, and the couple expect their first grandchild this October.
To earn more money, Brendan took a job long-distance truck driving all over the UK.
It was then that fate took a hand - and changed his life completely...
"My mother's sister, Bridie, had married a Welsh Sgt. Major, Bill Lewis, who was living in Newport, South Wales. The truck I was driving suffered a mechanical fault on a Friday while I was at the docks in Cardiff.
"Unable to get back home to Leighton Buzzard, I contacted Bridie and Bill who were happy to see me as always. I went with them to a local ex-servicemen's club where a Welsh tenor was singing, badly.
"I boasted I could do better, and I was immediately challenged by the singer's family, who had overheard my crass remark, to get up and prove it.
"This I did, and I was immediately offered five pounds to come back the following week.
"After that there was no stopping me...
Having purchased a bow tie, and wearing his wedding suit, Brendan set upon a singing career, under the name of Carl Stevens. His repertoire was mainly Mairo Lanza and Richard Tauber standards, and he played the workingmen's clubs, which thrived in the North of England at that time.
Anyone familiar with the Locke story will know of the mystery singer 'Mr X', who played on the fact that no-one knew his identity. Was it Joe himself ?
In fact the story is a key part of the movie Hear My Songs. And Brendan was for a time fingered as the unknown singer who made such a hit with UK TV audiences on Opportunity Knocks.
Mr X turned out to be Eric Leibstrom, but confusion reigned in the entertainment world; then for a time Brendan was billed as Carl Stevens, Jo Locke nephew. It was Jimmy Hartley of The Stage newspaper who persuaded him to change to his new - and long-standing stage name - Brendan Locke.
Although 'retired', Brendan has been busy, organising major entertainments in Sydney, despite having suffered a stroke, a heart attack and undergone a quad-bypass operation in April of '98
LATEST FROM BRENDAN:
Some of the fine albums from Brendan and his talented tenors
It is no secret *
If I can help somebody*
What a wonderful World
Just a closer walk with thee
The Old Rugged Cross
Count Your Blessings*
At the End of the Day*
What is a Boy
The story of the sparrows*
You'll never walk alone
How great thou art
One day at a time
Beautiful isle of somewhere
I will never pass this way again
Bless this house
The Lord's prayer
When I leave the world behind
I'll walk with God
He's got the whole world in his hands
Battle hymn of the republic
Brendan sings with his uncle Josef on tracks 1,2,6,7 and 9, using the original Josef Locke EMI recordings.
The land I love so well
A little bit of heaven
When you were sweet sixteen
The wearing of the green
How are things in Glocca Morra
Moonlight in Mayo
My wild Irish rose, After the Ball and Endearing young charm
Cockles and mussells
Lord of the dance
Mountains of Mourne
Rose of Tralee
Jug of punch
Show me the way to go home
Ireland calls (reprise).
Dear old Donegal
Medley: My wild Irish rose, After the ball, Endearing young charms
Cockles and mussells
I'll take you home again Kathleen
The wild colonial Boy
An Irish lullaby
Climb ev'ry mountain
It's now or never
So deep in the night
The last waltz
One day at a time
More than love
Love is a beautiful song
You are my heart's delight
The loveliest night of the year
If I only had time
She wears my ring
The drinking song
A Scottish soldier
Mull of Kintyre
Now is the hour