Irish American dream set to hit the road

More on Tara and videos of her performing

Tara O'Grady
Tara O’Grady

Irish American singer Tara O’Grady is being given the chance to relive an epic trip her grandmother made across America more than 50 years ago.

As Tara explained in her article on Irish Music Forever a few weeks ago, her granny left Waterford in Ireland in search of the American dream.

In 1957, she and her family set off in a Chevrolet Bel Aire in search of adventure across the USA.

To celebrate that fantastic journey, and to celebrate Chevrolet’s 100th anniversary, Tara decided it would be fun to recreate the journey made by her gran.

Chevrolet has agreed to provide a car

Now, following her article on Irish Music Forever and her YouTube video, Chevrolet have agreed to provide a car.

Tara, who sings traditional Irish songs in a jazz style, takes up the story: “Chevy headquarters in Detroit is giving me 3 weeks to do my trip in September, and a choice to take a 2012 Chevy convertible Camaro or drop that off in Chicago and take a Chevy Silverado truck out west.


Now I have to create my blog, learn how to edit video on my laptop, and we’re set. Once I get the blog up, please forward to all your friends to follow this exciting journey that will be well documented.

Original trip was in a Bel Aire

My path is chosen based on my Aunt Peg’s notes and recollections of their 1957 journey in their Chevy Bel Aire. I will not be sleeping in the car as they did, but if the Silverado is big enough…

If you know anyone who lives in any of these places, please let me know as I am looking for a friendly couch. Or if you have any advice about some places along the way,

Press and media coverage is also welcomed, especially with the Irish immigrant angle and following your dreams. I will be interviewing Americans across the country about their dreams and searching for the spirit of America, as well as chasing my granny’s spirit.

Tara’s American dream itinerary

  • New York
  • Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Dayton, Ohio (to take a personal tour of a Duramax diesel plant)
  • Chicago
  • Dubuque, Iowa
  • Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  • Badlands, Mt Rushmore, etc in Dakota
  • Cody, Wyoming (visit western art museum where my granny stopped)
  • Yellowstone area
  • Butte, Montana
  • Coeur d’Alene, Idaho (to drink a milkshake where my family had their first ever shake)
  • Spokane, Washington (to visit church where my grand-uncle was a priest, the purpose of their original trek)
  • Seattle

then turn around and come back…over 6000 miles.”

This is Tara’s original video that got the story rolling.

More on Tara and videos of her performing

By Patrick Kehoe

Pat Kehoe is a writer for Irish Music Daily. His favourite Irish music bands are the Dubliners and Planxty.