Stand Beside Me – Live from Detroit
A concert celebration of Irish, country, gospel, rock, movie tunes and long-time fan favorites, “Daniel O’Donnell: Stand Beside Me” was recorded before a packed house on September 18, 2013 at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts in metro Detroit. The title of the popular singer’s 13th special for PBS refers to more than one of the songs he performs, but reflects his belief that fans have been standing beside him throughout his more than ten years on PBS, making his career a success and bringing him to where he is today. Joining Daniel O’Donnell on stage is his six-piece band, back-up vocalists, and longtime singing partner of 26 years, Mary Duff. The concert is filled with notable classics including the popular 1956 sing-a-long “Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be”), introduced in Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Man Who Knew Too Much” starring Doris Day and James Stewart, and Dean Martin’s signature song “That’s Amore,” performed in the 1953 movie “The Caddy” with Jerry Lewis. Sprinkled in the mix are songs such as “Hey, Mr. Moon,” “Flying with Angels,” the heart-felt “Our Anniversary,” the lively “Erin Tennessee,” about a small Irish town in Tennessee, and Marty Robbins’ “A White Sport Coat (And a Pink Carnation”), just to name a few.
Singing and traveling together since 1988, Daniel, Mary, the band and the vocalists like to relax together during their time off, and as the group gathers center stage, Daniel invites the audience to join the party. The fun begins with the beautiful “My Father’s House,” written by the band’s multi-talented guitar and mandolin player, Kevin Sheerin.
Mary Duff performs “Dear God,” and accordionist Ronnie Kennedy is on deck next with a polka favorite, “Beer Barrel Polka (Roll Out the Barrel”), “Silver Wings,” performed by vocalists Leon McCrum, Rionagh Allen and Nigel Connell and “It’s Hard to Be Humble,” a funny tune sung by Daniel and guitarist John Staunton, keep the audience going, and the band ends the set with the crowd-pleaser “Blaze of Glory.”
Inviting the audience to join him as they have for the past 12 years, Daniel performs a reprise of “Stand Beside Me” as the audience rises to their feet and sings with him.
When he asks the audience if they’re ready, fans recognize the question as the introduction to the resounding “Rivers of Babylon” and know that the end of the concert is near. It concludes with Daniel’s signature hymn of praise, “How Great Thou Art.”