John McCormack, the most famous Irish tenor of all time, was born on June 14, 1884 in Athlone, Ireland.
Shortly after making his first recordings for the Edison Bell label in 1904, McCormack made his operatic debut in Italy. He studied briefly in Italy under Sabatini and returned to London in the fall of 1906 seeking opportunities to sing professionally. It took him less than a year, for in the fall of 1907 he made his debut at Covent Garden, at age 23 the youngest principal tenor ever to sing there. It was in 1910 that he became an American sensation and by 1915 was so popular he abandoned opera to concentrate on his solo concert performances.
With over 70 top ten hits, McCormack was largely responsible for establishing the importance and value of commercial recordings in the United States. Along with Irish ballads, McCormack had #1 hits with the recordings of Im Falling in Love With Someone (1911), Mother Machree (1911), Its a Long, Long Way to Tipperary (1915), Somewhere a Voice is Calling (1916), The Sunshine of Your Smile (1916), The Star Spangled Banner (1917), Send Me Away With a Smile (1917) and All Alone (1925).
John McCormack died on August 16, 1945 at the age of 61.