I was born Margaret Catherine O Donnell on February 6th 1951 in Donegal Hospital, Donegal Town the second eldest of five children- John Bosco, myself, Kathleen, James and Daniel born to Julia and Francis O’Donnell.
My infant years were divided between Acres, Burtonport, Co. Donegal my father’s home, Owey Island my mother’s home, Forfar, Scotland and finally Kincasslagh, Co. Donegal.
I went to school at Belcruit national school, Dungloe national school and finally Loughanure technical school all in my native Donegal.
At a young age while still at school my brother John and myself spent our school holidays picking potatoes in Ayrshire and Renfrewshire, Scotland like many young people did from Donegal, Mayo and Kerry and other rural counties in Ireland.
I always sang as a young girl in our church choir and concert’s in our local halls.
In 1964 I was approached by the “Keynotes” Showband a local group of lads from home to sing with them, with my parents concent and strict orders from my dad to look out for me– I joined them and would sing locally at weekends and school holidays, and then we ventured to Scotland.
I never intended it to be my full time occupation, I always wanted to be a nurse, work at that for awhile, get married to a nice man, settle down and have three or four children–Not to be.
I recorded my first album “Bonny Irish Boy”/”Dear God” in 1968 with the Keynotes. The week of its release my dad passed away suddenly on August 16th and so my life would never be the same again, you see for me my dad hung the moon.
Being the second eldest the scene was set I wanted to help my mother and after our record was released Margo and the Keynotes were in great demand.
We recorded our second single “Road by the River” and “Eyes of a Child” the following year 1969 and it was a huge success. I was approached by a Dublin promoter in 1969 and was offered a secure age and a good future, I talked it over with my mother and we decided to take the offer. It broke my heart but I left the “Keynotes” in late 1969 and Margo and the Country Folk were born It was explosive that is the only way I could describe it, It was very hard to understand but it was a wonderful era.
My list of achievements are many and are listed on another page on our web site.
Life is full of ups and downs and believe me l’ve had my share of both but I am still here forty years on.
On September 25th 2004 I celebrate forty years in the show business in Donegal where it all started, the “Keynotes are reforming especially for the night and I will have a few special guests.
On that night I will bring the final curtain down on my touring and one night shows–I will record and I will never use the word “retire”. It has been good–bad–wonderful and very special–I have met and worked with some wonderful people all of which are mentioned somewhere on my web site, but the best of all have been you my fans an friends.
Thanks a million for all the memories and keep me in your memories.
P.S. As I was writing this a million things that have crossed my path of life came flooding back to me– who knows down the road maybe I will put it all in a book and hope that my experiences with benefit someone some day