John married Lily Foley in 1906 and the couple had two children Cyril and Gwen. Fundraising enabled his voice to be trained under Sabbatini in Italy. In 1907 John McCormack made his first important operatic appearance at Covent Garden in Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana. By 1912 he began to turn his attention to the concert stage, where his voice quality and charisma ensured that he became the greatest lyric tenor of his day. He made numerous recordings, the first on phonograph cylinder in 1904. His most commercially successful series of records were those for the Victor Talking Machine Company in the 1910s and 1920s.
He was the first artist to record It's a Long Way to Tipperary, in 1914. He also regularly broadcast on the radio and appeared in a number of sound films. In 1917 he became a naturalized citizen of the United States. To many people the highlight of McCormack's Irish career was his singing of César Franck's Panis Angelicus to the thousands who thronged Dublin's Phoenix Park for the 1932 Eucharistic Congress. He was much honoured and decorated for his services to the world of music. His greatest honour came in 1928, when he received the title Count from Pope Pius XI in recognition of his work for Catholic charities. Although he often came to be referred to as "Count John McCormack" in his professional life, this title was officially recognised within only the Catholic Church ever. McCormack retired in 1944, and died the following year at his home in Glena, Booterstown, Dublin. Read more on Last.fm.
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