Towards the end of the 1950's four young Irishmen, who had emigrated to North America to pursue fame and fortune in the theatre, formed a singing group. Intending only to play the small taverns and clubs of Greenwich Village, two 'Lucky breaks' propelled them to stardom. A fortuitous guest spot on the Sullivan Show turned into 19 minutes, live, to 80 million people.
The rest, as they say, is history. By the 1960's they were the best-known Irishmen in the world, playing to packed houses from Sydney to San Francisco. Ten years later, after 40 profitable record albums, countless TV appearances and sell-out concerts, they broke up, each wanting to pursue their individual interests. Now, nearly twenty years later we look back on their phenomenon and the times. We visit the Clancys' and Makem's Irish roots, the Greenwich Village pubs they started in, and even catch a glimpse of the Ed Sullivan Show that changed their careers. Interviews with Bob Dylan (his first on film in many years), Mary Travers and New York Mayor Ed Koch, among others, illustrate the pronounced influence The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem have had. Interwoven with this look back is their sold-out reunion concert at Lincoln Center. That night, as so many in the past, the audience was a cross-section of humanity, reveling in the 'Irishness' of us all.