The Dubliners were an Irish folk band founded in Dublin in 1962. The band started off as The Ronnie Drew Ballad Group, named in honour of its founding member; they subsequently renamed themselves as The Dubliners. The group line-up has seen many changes over their fifty-year career. However, the group's success was centred around lead singers Luke Kelly and Ronnie Drew, both of whom are now deceased. The band garnered international success with their lively Irish folk songs, traditional street ballads and instrumentals. The band were regulars on the folk scenes in both Dublin and London in the early 1960s, until they were signed to the Major Minor label in 1965 after backing from Dominic Behan. They went on to receive extensive airplay on Radio Caroline, and eventually appeared on Top of the Pops in 1967 with hits Seven Drunken Nights (which sold over 250,000 copies in the UK) and "Black Velvet Band". Often performing songs considered controversial at the time, they drew criticism from some folk purists and Ireland’s national broadcaster RTÉ had placed an unofficial ban on their music from 1967-71. During this time the band's popularity began to spread across mainland Europe and they appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in the United States. The group's success remained steady right through the 1970s and a number of collaborations with The Pogues in 1987 saw them enter the UK Singles Chart on another two occasions.
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