Aug. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Tommy Makem, the musician, singer and master storyteller who teamed with the Clancy Brothers to popularize traditional Irish folk music around the world, has died. He was 74.
Makem died in New Hampshire yesterday from lung cancer, according to a posting on his Web site.
Playing banjo, tin whistle and singing in a deep baritone, Makem was known as the ``Godfather of Irish music'' for bringing Irish culture to mass audiences. His original songs, such as ``Four Green Fields'' and ``Gentle Annie,'' have become Irish folk music standards.
``He was a great entertainer,'' his lifelong collaborator Liam Clancy told RTE state radio, ``He had a knack of making an audience laugh and cry, holding them in the palm of his hand.''
Working with the Clancy Brothers -- Liam, Tom and Paddy -- Makem shot to fame in the late 1950s and early 1960s, playing to sold-out audiences at New York's Carnegie Hall and London's Royal Albert Hall. They appeared on the ``Ed Sullivan Show,'' ``The Tonight Show'' and every U.S. television network, making them at one time ``the four most famous Irishmen in the world,'' according to Makem's Web site.