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Dana!
DANA
Billy and Dana
Billy and Dana again

 

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DANA (Rosemary Brown)


Dana: 25 Years Of All Kinds Of Everything Special : The true and
inspiring story of one woman’s lasting spirit, from the frenzied crush
which greeted her triumphant return to her home town of Derry in
war-torn Northern Ireland, to her eventual rise to stardom. Dana shares
the successes and heartaches, the enormous changes in her life, and the
terrifying and sudden illness that brought her singing career to an
abrupt halt, and the fight to find her voice again. 

The little Northern Ireland town of Derry was founded in the sixth
century when the great Irish saint Colmcille/Columba (521-597) built a
Christian Monastary. This started the tradition of praising God. Music
was also a large part of the culture of Derry. During the day and the
night the air was full of old Irish folk songs. 




























When Rosemary Brown (Dana’s birth name) was born, music and the love of
God surrounded her in her family and in the Derry community. Her family
taught her songs long before she knew the true meaning of the words. At
six, she won her first competition at St. Columb’s Hall in Derry singing
an Irish lullaby that she had learned from her grandmother. Dana’s
parents taught their family that God was an essential part of life, and
daily prayer was very important. Praying the Rosary together and
attending Sunday Mass was a natural family event.

Dana remembers from a early age that God was real a person. "I recall
the time I realized the significance of the Crucifixion. I was about
seven or eight, attending the Good Friday celebrations. Behind the altar
was a beautiful stained glass window depicting the Crucifixion, and as I
knelt staring at it, I suddenly realized that this man had really died a
terrible death for me. Tears were streaming down my face, but somehow it
didn’t matter that people could see my crying. I felt heartbroken." 

One of Dana’s best friends who had a tremendous impact on her life was
Sister Imelda, her music teacher. She helped teach Dana "faith is a gift
from God and that our life was bought for us by the death of His Son. He
only asks for our love in return - and our lives laid down for Him to
bring His life to others."

As Dana became noticed for her voice and dancing talents in Europe, she
felt the name "Rosemary Brown" was too long to use. After a number of
suggestions, the name, "Dana" won as the favorite. The name, Dana is an
old Gaelic word meaning "bold" or "mischievous." Later it was discovered
that Dana was a queen of a ancient Irish tribe which had been dedicated
to music, poetry, and dance. True to the name, Dana made her way into
the world of television shows and record albums. In 1969, she was asked
to represent Ireland by singing "Look Around" in the Eurovision Song
Contest. She won second place. Dana thought that was her chance at
making it big. At Christmas time of that year, she was asked to
participate in the next competition in March of 1970. Upon accepting
this invitation, little did Dana know what was about to occur.



















The Eurovision Song Contest was to be on March 21, 1970. A nervous Dana,
along with her mother, and grandmother received a blessing from the
Bishop of Derry before their departure to Amsterdam. This was a big
event and in those days winning EUROVISION carried with it enormous
prestige within the music industry, not to mention the potential to sell
millions of records. That same year Mary Hopkins sang the British entry
and the fact that she recorded for APPLE, the record company owned by
THE BEATLES, was well publicized. In addition to this competition, the
Spanish entry was sung by Julio Iglesias. Dana was still in school and
looked as if she had shown up to take part in a local Irish dancing
contest and was completely at variance with the carefully preened
competitors from the other leading countries. Against all odds this
unknown girl from Derry sang ‘All Kinds Of Everything,’ with charm and
panache. This unknown individual would was forever to be known as Dana,
became the winner of the song contest. After a night of interviews from
the press to see who this mystery winner was, Dana finally escaped the
madness to go to Mass. The shock of fame hit Dana on her return trip
home. Approximately 5,000 people where waiting at the airport to get a
glance at their beloved new Irish singing sensation.

"All Kinds Of Everything" became a massive international hit, topping
the chart in Great Britain and the Hit Parades throughout Europe for
several weeks. The Eurovision song contest proved to be a major
springboard to even greater success for the Irish songstress. It opened
up many new and exciting opportunities for Dana around Europe and
eventually around the world.

In a short time Dana emerged as one of Britain’s most popular singing
stars, clocking up record success with a string of hit singles ",Who Put
The Lights Out" "Please Tell Him That I Said Hello," "It's Gonna Be A
Cold Cold Christmas," "Never Gonna Fall In Love Again," "Something's
Cooking In The Kitchen," "Fairytale," and albums such as, "All Kinds Of
Everything," "The World Of Dana," "The Girl Is Back," "Have A Nice Day,"
"Love Songs and Fairytales," and "Everything is Beautiful." During this
time she was voted "The Most Popular Girl On Television" by a top
selling British television magazine.











Against the norm of the secular music industry, Dana made appearances on
Christian programmes for radio and television, even if it wasn’t the
"in" thing to do. It was her soon to be her husband, Damien Scallon, who
helped her get over the fear of Dana speaking in public about her faith.
Damien had been "Baptized in the Holy Spirit" and was involved in the
Charismatic renewal movement that had been established in the Church. As
he told Dana about this renewal of faith, she was still not sure of
God’s plan for her. It took a scare that she had cancer of her vocal
cords before she knew her life must change, and she must take a stand
for her faith. 

Dana and Damien were married on October 5, 1978. On their honeymoon,
they wrote their first song together, "Praise the Lord." At the end of
the 70’s, Dana was preforming at Charismatic conferences. Dana and
Damien found that their relationship as a couple began to grow as they
wrote songs for Christ. In 1979 inspired by the Holy Father’s visit to
Ireland, they wrote a song to Pope John Paul II’s motto " Totus Tuus..
Totally Yours." In December of that year, the song hit the charts in
Ireland and made it way to the number one spot. 

In the first weeks of January 1980, Dana’s song "Totus Tuus" was still
at the number one slot in Ireland and won an silver disc for 25,000
sales. Now the whole idea of a Christian album was becoming possible.
They found out in the summer of that year,that Dana was pregnant with
their first child. They prayed everyday for the Lord would protect their
child and for it to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Words came naturally
for the song "Little Baby."

‘Little baby yet unborn 
In my womb so safe and warm;
living with me.
Who will you be? 
Living with me.
I wish I could see. 
My little baby yet unborn. 
In my womb so safe and warm…
If you laugh or if you cry 
I’m gonna love you till I die.’

Further record singles successes followed with "Dream Lover," "I Feel
Love Coming On," "You Never Gave Me Your Love," "Little Things Mean A
Lot," and albums such as, "If I Give My Heart To You," "Let There Be
Light," " and "Dana’s Ireland." During this time, Dana had also had
songs featured on many compilation Albums. In November 1985, Dana broke
new ground in her career when her first book "Dana - An Autobiography"
was published by Hodder & Stoughton.

Through a Charismatic Renewal conference in New Orleans, Dana made
friends with Sister Bridge Mckenna, a internationally renown speaker on
Healing, who in-turn introduced her the Father Harold Cohen. Father
Cohen was producing a new religious television series and asked Dana to
record some Christian music for him. Dana sang the theme song for "A
Closer Walk" and appeared on the series performing two of her own songs.
The American audience loved Dana. The show was shown on Eternal Word
Television Network, a Catholic network that had just launched into a 24
hour time slot.

During Pope John Paul II's 1987 visit to the United States, Dana was
invited to sing "Totus Tuus" at a Youth Rally held in the New Orleans
Superdome. "About 80,000 young people gathered to meet him, and I had
been allocated a whole half hour with them before his arrival to teach
them my song and share my faith.......Around the stadium the young
people were on their feet, cheering and singing and there was a
tremendous sense of unity and love. At last the Pope rose to give the
final blessing and his closing word repeated the challange to say yes to
God, for only in laying down our lives for him, promised the Pope, would
we find real freedom. Then suddenly I relized he was stepping down from
his stage and coming to take my hand. It was a gesture of much grace and
humility, and I was deeply moved."




























At this time, Dana and Damien decided it was time to move to the United
States. Dana’s sister, Susan had moved to the U.S. after her marriage to
an American serviceman, and had been begging them to move for years.
Damien was offered and accepted a job at EWTN. They also together joined
Society for the Protection Of the Unborn Child (SPUC). "It's a cause
close to our hearts, feeling as we do that children are a gift from God,
as is life itself. We feel that society has a duty to defend it's most
defenseless member, the unborn, remembering always that there are two
victims of abortion. My work gives me a platform from with I can voice
the protest against this inhumanity to man, and although I am not a
political person I an not afraid to use my position to oppose moral and
spiritual violations of God's law."

In 1988, 1989, and 1991 Dana appeaed in the Children's "Royal Variety
Show," and became a headlining star of concerts, cabaret and pantomimes,
culminating in a successful Christmas Season London West End run of
''Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs." UK Summer season, too, has played an
important part in Dana's career and she has enjoyed success at major
holiday centres throughout England.

The 90’s began with Dana recording music and performing at many
conferences. 

In 1992 Dana recorded a television series "SAY YES" which broadcasts on
EWTN, the Catholic Cable Network and EWTN’s shortwave radio arm, WEWN.

Each programme contains a specific topic of discussion such as family
life, marriage, or vocation with an accompany musical guests. Those who
have appeared on "Say Yes" include pianist, Kurt Kaiser; guitarist, Phil
Keagy; singer/guitarist, Tony Melendez; Irish tenor, Mark Forrest; award
winning, Bruce Carroll and many others. The series did so well that
Mother Angelica, foundress of EWTN asked Dana to continue the series. 

Dana’s biggest joy in her career was at World Youth Day ‘93 in Denver,
CO. Dana was in charge of leading 120,000 young people sing to His
Holiness, Pope John Paul II the theme song, "We Are One Body" which Dana
wrote. Her performance was fed LIVE by satellite to millions in the
United States and around the world.

The year, 1995 opened with a nationwide concert tour of UK and Ireland.
As Dana possesses one of the best known faces in the country, it
inevitably brings with it a host of promotional appearances for
television and radio, plus a clutch of newspaper and magazine
interviews. Under the stress of promotional appearances, Dana deals with
each occurrence with poise and grace. Dana celebrated her silver
anniversary of the Eurovision song contest win. Ireland hosted the 1995
contest and Dana, who has never understated her gratitude to the song
contest for launching her career, did a television documentary which
celebrated her 25 years in the music industry.

When the Holy Father came to the Northeast United States in October
1995, Dana did a reprise of singing for him in Central Park along side
Placido Domingo. Dana was also asked to sing at a Mass during that
visit. During the same week, Dana had an engagement to sing for the
President of the U.S. and then to England to sing for the Queen.










Over the last two years, Dana has been in New York’s St. Patrick’s day
Parade, and consequently was the host for the television coverage last
year. John Cardinal O’Conner has petitioned Dana to sing "Lady of Knock"
during the St. Patrick’s Day Mass, before the parade begins. "Lady of
Knock" is a song explaining the appearances of the Blessed Mother’s in
Knock, Ireland. This well-known Irish folk song is loved by all.

She recently began taping a new series entitled "We Are One Body". 
During this taping she felt called to run for Ireland's presidency. Dana ran 
for Ireland's President, as a non-party candidate, relating traditional Christian
values and morals. ''Some media intellectuals make fun of my candidacy,
but I hope, in all humility, that the ordinary God-fearing people of
Ireland will not,'' Dana said. ''I am for real.'' Dana was the clear
winner in the debates with other candidates. She came in a strong 3rd in
the election on Oct. 31st.

Dana and Damien have four children: Grace, Ruth, John James, and Robert.

It is a perfect recognition for the school girl, who despite growing up
in public, has become a woman of poise and elegance, not to mention one
of the best loved entertainers in Ireland, Britain, and now the United
States.