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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:28 pm 
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Does anyone have a line on where I might find this Viva Voce collection, preferably on CD? (although it's the liner notes I'm really after). Also "fluters of Old Erin."

I think I'd buy the whole Viva Voce catalog if it was available


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:24 am 
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I don't think these are available anymore. I am not even sure they were even available on CD, ever. The Coleman one was the only one to come out on CD, as far as I remember.

The fluters: I had the cassette when it was new but half remember giving it away, to a friend for her birthday. I may have made a copy but , at that time it would have been without the notes. I had a load of Morrison's on various lps and a friend with a major collection of 78rpms who, at the time, fed me endless streams of tapes with them throughout the eighties. I never got 'The Professor' at the time for that reason. Morrison was always great at the duets, especially the Mike Carney recordings are superb. Not of much help here but I do have a dub of the McKenna one, without the notes, and also have the Mullally cassette, both of which have been surpassed by more recent re-issues of the same material. That stuff offers a crackling peak into a different world.

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The local library has both titles you're looking for, if you really get stuck for them.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 4:10 am 
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If by the local library you mean the library of Congress, the largest library in the world! It’s just much easier to study these things at your leisure.

It is a fascinating world, and Harry Bradshaw’s research is fantastic. Looking at Irish American newspapers, like the NY Advocate, shows dozens of dancehalls and clubs and associations organized around Irish dance music. I have the McKenna set coming from Custy’s. Just read an excellent MA thesis on piano accompaniment on those early US 78s.

Morrison was a very significant figure


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:05 am 
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If by the local library you mean the library of Congress,


I meant my own local library.

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Morrison was a very significant figure



One of the 'big three' of the fiddle of the time, Coleman, Killoran and Morrison. Their influence still felt today. Just as McKenna and Morrison were for the flute and Mullaly for the concertina. Reference points.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:32 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
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If by the local library you mean the library of Congress,


I meant my own local library.

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Morrison was a very significant figure



One of the 'big three' of the fiddle of the time, Coleman, Killoran and Morrison. Their influence still felt today. Just as McKenna and Morrison were for the flute and Mullaly for the concertina. Reference points.



Yes that I know, but he was also a very pivotal figure in the Irish American community, as a teacher and as a performer/arranger. And this is in a period when O'Neill is lamenting the death of irish music. O'Neill doesn't talk much , that I've seen, about all those 78s, even though he himself was a pioneer in using mechanical recording to capture Irish music. The US is more regionally distinctive than people realize--I think Chicago and NYC were very different in this period. O'Neill also might have felt that the piano was an abomination and not appropriate. And on some of those recordings it IS an abomination!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:05 am 
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O'Neill also might have felt that the piano was an abomination and not appropriate. And on some of those recordings it IS an abomination!


I was digitising some of Ciaran Macmathúna's radio programmes a few days ago, on the back of the bodhran threads etc. In the episode dealing with his collecting in the US during the fifties he mentions that American players used piano accompaniment almost all the time and notes this was probably not 'approved of to any great extend, at home' at the time.

New York did develop a specific sound. Someone on the forum referred to it as 'the American girl sound' (sorry Steve). But if you listen to the recordings from Coleman on to Lad O Byrne, Louis Quinn, Larry Redican, and all the people around them, and people feeding into that you clearly see that sound emerging resulting in Andy McGann and all the people he taught and influenced. It's also interesting to see people from Ireland going over spending time in NY and falling into that style for a few years, most notably Paddy Cronin and Denis Murphy and then reverting to their original styles again later.

If you look at the accompaniment angle you will probably have to look at Jack McKenna playing 'the electric guitar' with Killoran and the band, a friend used to call a few of those 78rpms the 'Hot Club de France' recordings :D

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Last edited by Mr.Gumby on Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:49 am 
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I haven't looked at Killoran much yet, but I read that MA thesis by Aileen Dillane, now at the U of Limerick, and she also argues there is a distinctive style emerging in those records, that it isn't just a case of record companies forcing Coleman to use a clueless piano player. The banjos in some of those Killoran records are straight out of the minstrel show.

Philadelphia, my hometown, has a tradition called the "Mummer's Parade" every new year's day. It's quite an amazing thing, with local clubs working all year to parade up Broad street in astonishing costumes. It originated among Irish and german immigrants in the early 19th century, and most of the leading string band clubs were irish-American. "Duffy" and "Durning" are still active.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mummers_Parade

The traditional mummer's parade songs are drawn right from minstrel shows, and that banjo style is very similar to what you hear on those Killoran Records or the Shamrock band out of Boston


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:03 am 
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A lot of musicians would maintain of those three Killoran had the upper hand when it came to the bowing.

I am not too familiar with his band work, I know a bit but always avoided it slightly. I have some though, especially the late recording (one of the earliest lps of Irish music) but am more familiar with his solo recordings, the duets with Paddy Sweeney and non commercial recordings with various people. I think he was the one who most extensively came back to Ireland and spent a lot of time with musicians here. Killoran was married to the sister in law of a very dear late friend of mine, who I played with for years. Killoran spent a lot of time around this place and I have had loads of first hand accounts from people who met and played with him on those visits, as well as recordings he made during those visits and sent back. My friend often sang 'the Lovely Hills of Shanaway' that her sister in law wrote and recorded with Killoran's band.

He was asked (with the band) to play at the Eucharistic Congress of 1932 and spent three months over, playing in London and Liverpool as well as Ireland. He made extensive trips until the early sixties. Over here he played with Seamus Ennis, Willie Clancy, Mrs Crotty, Junior Crehan and the local musicians here.

I was listening to a bunch of early sixties recordings he made in Radio Eireann yesterday, so he's fresh on my mind, as it were.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:36 am 
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Thank you--I was vaguely aware that Killoran went back often, unlike most. I had mostly avoided his band recordings too because to be honest they at first seemed to me to be exactly the kind of inauthentic and vulgar American Irish thing I dislike. Now I'm kind of rethinking them.

The minstrel piece reflects the complicated history of Irish and African Americans. The unofficial theme song of the Philadelphia Mummers is "O Dem Golden Slippers," written by James A. Bland, an African American composer of distinction who wrote many songs for the minstrel show. I've got somewhere in my notes accounts of musicians in Ireland learning "Golden Slippers:" It might be Junior Crehan or maybe Mike Rafferty? It's somewhere in my notes. It's a catchy song and the verse to my ears clearly shows the influence of Irish music. O'Neill and Henry Mercer have a fair amount of back and forth about which minstrel songs are Irish and how Irish they might be.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:51 am 
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I had mostly avoided his band recordings too because to be honest they at first seemed to me to be exactly the kind of inauthentic and vulgar American Irish thing I dislike.


I wouldn't call it that, some of the songs are a bit mawkish but the band stuff, well, it's band stuff but fine in its own right.

Didn't Morrison play/record Dem Golden Slippers? I sort of hear Goodby Pat, Goodbye Mick with it but that may just be brainfog. I don't recall Junior playing that sort of thing but people would lift stuff off those 78rpms just because it was there and they heard it. FWIW, I have a recording of Johnny Doherty playing Colonel Bogey at a gig, just as an indication people just played stuff, whatever it was, because it was catchy and/or popular. Or Willie Clancy playing 'Champagne Charlie' and more than a few pipers taking it up without knowing what it was.

But that banjo/music hall stuff was ofcourse particularly strong with the Flanagans, and some of McKenna and Gaffney stuff. (see also Bradshaw and Small on McKenna)

Some of those stories about players like Killoran really bring them to life and I always got a great buzz out of meeting people who had first hand accounts. There was one occasion taht I wrote about here when it happened, where I walked into Michael Gleeson's shop in Kilrush and found a box of old-ish stock nickel Feadógs on the counter (it was the start of the schoolyear). I tried a few (and bought one) but while I was doing that Michael started talking to me, once he placed me (I played for the sets in his brother's pub every week, first in the band with Junior and the old crowd, later, as they increasingly fell away, with Jackie Daly and whoever turned up) and came out with all these stories about Killoran's first visit to the area in 1948. Killoran bringing two wire recorders to record people with, plugging in one and, it not being built for the local 220 V, blew it up, and then doing the same to the next one. Michael explained how they eventually improvised a workaround improvised transformer that got the machines working again (the recordings were lost somehow, despite thorough research. They included Junior and Josie Hayes in their prime and the first recordings of Willie Clancy, fairly new to the pipes). That was only one of them, but it was great just to walk into a shop and coming out again with all that.

I don't know how much of the minstrel stuff made it to Ireland. It definitely made to London :wink: :

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Last edited by Mr.Gumby on Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:39 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:39 am 
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Yes I think he did--somebody did, maybe Killoran? I haven't systematized this stuff yet in my head or my notes. I think you're right that people played what was current and people in the early days of recordings especially tended to buy what was available more than picking and choosing.

There are a few articles that mention blackface performance in Dublin and cork early on, like the 1840s.

A good history of the relationship between irish and black musical and dance styles remains to be written. It'd be kind of a political minefield, but interesting. There are hints of it all over the place.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:42 am 
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the relationship between irish and black musical and dance styles remains to be written.


I've seen Kieran Jordan and Kevin Doyle do some interesting presentations, and performances, around the links between Irish dance and tapdancing. Don't know if they've written up anything.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:47 pm 
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John Carty has a set of "James Morrison's Two-Steps" on I Will If I Can that includes "Dem Golden Slippers" and then (yes) "Goodby Pat, Goodbye Mick".

Oh (just thought to consult my MP3s) it looks like it's the same tunes as a track on The Professor: Wreck Of The 99 / Dem Golden Slippers / Goodbye Mick Goodbye Pat.

Edited to add: I have a vague memory that Carty actually got one of the tunes wrong, so he's not playing the exact same set as Morrison. Can't be bothered to check carefully at the moment. (Though I am starting to feel an urge to learn all these two-steps on accordion...)

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 2:35 pm 
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I'd never heard goodby mick and goodby pat--there's clearly a strong similarity


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:44 am 
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Leaving Tipperary Classic. :wink:

I am afraid it is also today's earworm. :tomato:

I have, over time, wondered which was the earlier one, the tune of the song. I learned the reel(-ish) version of it from John Kelly's recording donkey's years ago. He said he got it off O'Riada who said he had found it in West Cork.

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