For over 40 years, Walt Conley was a presence on the Denver and national folk and Irish music scene. After college graduation, Walt made the decision to follow his musical muse instead of answering the schoolhouse bell and entering the teaching profession. Walt”s first big splash in the music business came with his headlining of the Folk Song Festival at Exodus, recorded in 1959 at Denver”s Exodus Folk Club; second on the bill was Judy Collins. From sharing his house with a young Bob Dylan to first booking the Smothers Brothers into Denver”s Satire Lounge, for years Walt played a roll in promoting folk music in Denver. After years of performing on the road and appearing in several movies, Walt “retired” to his hometown of Denver and opened Conley”s Nostalgia”a folk and Irish music club. With the closing of his club, Walt continued performing Irish music on a regular basis with his band Conley and Company at The Sheabeen Pub until his untimely death from complications of diabetes in November 2003. According to his bio on Ocatch.com, he once responded to the question of “What made a black man become a singer of Irish rebel songs”? with the profound answer, “If the band U2 from Ireland can sing American blues, then I sure as hell can sing Irish folk songs!” As far as Walt is concerned, singing Irish songs is just another phase in his long and successful folk singing career. Each year on the anniversary of his death, Walt”s former band mates and friends gather at the Sheabeen Irish Pub, 2300 S. Chambers, Aurora, CO, to pay tribute to a great friend and raise money for the American Diabetes Association. This year they will gather Friday, November 19, 8:pm. Music will be performed by Juice O”The Barley, Michael Collins Pipe Band pipers, and unannounced guests. (Information from Bill O”Donnell, one of Walt”s former bandmates, and Ocatch.com)

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