Alphie McCourt needs to be heard

Pulitzer-Prize winner Frank McCourt famously said of his youngest sibling: “Alphie is the poet in the family.”

Now almost three years after Alphie McCourt’s passing, his family and friends have paid the ultimate tribute to that talent with 3.5 hours’ recording for “The Soulswimmer,” which also includes stories and songs.

Preeminent on this Blackstone Publishing/Hachette Audio production is New York City-based musician Joe Hurley who already is a two-time Audie Award-winning narrator on Audiobook Of The Year for Keith Richards’s “Life,” which he did in collaboration with Johnny Depp.

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Hurley said: “I hope that Alphie's wonderful legacy will be further celebrated with these ‘SoulSwimmer’ recordings, [and] that Alphie’s unique voice, his gift of observation, and huge heart will continue to shine a light, to move and touch all who enter his world.

“And what a world it was. Made kinder by the compassion and off-kilter humor he offered all­­ - the sympathetic entertainer. In his own self-deprecating, humble way, I know he'd be secretly delighted to have another piece of his magnificent soul bared for all to hear. He wasn't afraid of vulnerability. He embraced it. And in doing so, he made us all feel connected, and utterly uplifted at all times. I was blessed to call him my friend.”

In addition to Hurley and McCourt himself, his widow Lynn, brother Malachy, Marta Szabo, Frank’s widow Ellen McCourt and Jack O’Connell are involved.

Said O’Connell: “These poems and prose are first rate – never losing any of the acerbic wit and timely grace that is Alphie. His soft voice guides us through these stories.”

Ellen McCourt said: “With a keen and compassionate eye, Alphie McCourt ennobles the small, personal, observation and makes it a universal truth. He has warmth, humor and a big heart.”