For all our readers and researchers eager to learn of new resources in Irish music, we continue a series of blog posts featuring audio from the Joe Lamont collection. The open-reel analog audiotapes in Joe Lamont Irish Music Recordings are a mix of live instrumental music—much of it from New York City’s Irish music clubs of the 1950s and 1960s—along with dubs of both published and unpublished 78-rpm discs. Compiled by fiddle player Joe Lamont (1905-1974), the collection is now digitized and is part of Burns Library’s Irish Music Archives.
This blog post presents the entire content of reel 6, side 2 in eleven digital audio clips. The corresponding portion of Lamont’s typed tracklist appears below each audio clip.
Reel 6, side 2, audio clip 1 (00:00 to 03:22)
- James Morrison, fiddle and Jack Eldridge, piano
- Kitty’s Wedding (aka The Ships in Full Sail); Father Hanley (aka The Rambler) (jigs) (Gennett 5445)
Reel 6, side 2, audio clip 2 (03:22 to 06:25)
- Dan Sullivan’s Shamrock Band
- Cavan Lasses (aka The Cat that Ate the Candle) (reel) (Columbia 33172 F)
Reel 6, side 2, audio clip 3 (06:25 to 08:43)
- Tom Cawley, fiddle
- Maid of Mt. Kisko (aka The Maids of Mt. Kisco); Down the Broom (reels)
Reel 6, side 2, audio clip 4 (08:43 to 11:22)
- Paddy Killoran, fiddle and probably Jack McKenna, guitar
- Joe Collie’s (aka Cooley’s); Garabaldy (aka Martin Feeny’s Favorite, Flowers of Ballymote) (hornpipes)
Reel 6, side 2, audio clip 5 (11:22 to 15:52)
- John McKenna, flute and Michael Gaffney, banjo mandolin
- Dublin Lasses (aka Maids of Galway); Four Courts (aka Over the Moor to Peggy) (reels) (Columbia 33075-F)
- John McKenna, whistle, Michael Gaffney, banjo mandolin, and Paddy Muldoon, piano
- Fisherman’s Widow (aka Roland’s Return, The Rambling Pitchfork); Top of the Heather (aka Irishman’s Hearts to the Ladies) (jigs) (Columbia 33075-F)
Reel 6, side 2, audio clip 6 (15:52 to 16:33)
- Pat Gaffney, fiddle and probably Susan Peters, piano
- Duke of Leinster (reel)
Reel 6, side 2, audio clip 7 (16:33 to 20:16)
- John McKenna, flute and unidentified musician, piano
- Down the Meadow; Miss Thornton (aka House on a Hill) (reels) (Columbia 33254-F)
- John McKenna, flute and unidentified musician, piano
- Merry Maiden (aka Gallant Boys of Tipperary); Butcher’s March (aka Three Little Drummers) (jigs) (Columbia 33254-F)
Reel 6, side 2, audio clip 8 (20:16 to 23:02)
- James Morrison, fiddle, John McKenna, flute, and unidentified musician, piano
- Nellie’s Night Out (aka Tailor’s Thimble); Red Haired Lass (reels) (Columbia 33393-F)
Reel 6, side 2, audio clip 9 (23:02 to 24:23)
- Brian O’Donnell, fiddle and unidentified musician, piano
- Paddy O’Carroll (jig)
Reel 6, side 2, audio clip 10 (24:23 to 29:21)
- Paddy Killoran, fiddle
- Humours of Westport (aka Milestone at the Garden) (reel)
- Paddy Killoran, spoken remarks
- Paddy Killoran, fiddle, Mike Flynn, flute, Andy Conroy, flute, possibly with Bob Conroy and/or H. Wicklow
- The Dairymaid; The Wexford Lasses (aka Killoran’s); Nellie’s Night Out (aka The Tailor’s Thimble) (reels)
Remarks by Paddy Killoran begin at the one-minute mark:
“You had asked me to make a few records. And, we have the great help here of Andy Conroy, Bob Conroy, and our good friend Mike Flynn. But nobody give[s] any help to the announcer who is doing all the announcing. Of course you know him anyway, Martin Feeney, our president of the club. And he has said so much about us that well Rob Conroy and Mike Flynn said, somebody has to say a word about Martin. So, we’ll just say a few words. Now we wish to dedicate those numbers to your good mother who is out here and hope that she will like them when she goes to Ireland to play them for some of those great old Kerry friends and lovers of Irish music over there. Thank you.”
Reel 6, side 2, audio clip 11 (29:21 to 30:58)
- Unidentified musician, accordion
- Unidentified tune (jig)
- Unidentified tune (reel)
About the Joe Lamont Collection
Each audio clip in this blog post is from Audio file 99567_0001 (reel 6), Joe Lamont Irish music recordings, IM.M145.2005, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.
The eleven audio clips above represent reel 6, side 2 from beginning to end. The side is 30 minutes and 58 seconds long and contains both published and unpublished music. The library-assigned reel number (in this case, “6”) is in the upper right corner of the tracklist.
Listeners may notice anomalies that originated on the tape: abrupt beginnings and endings, variation in sound quality and volume, and tempo/pitch alterations.
An emigrant from Co. Derry, Lamont began working for the New York City Transit Authority in 1927. As a fiddle player he was actively involved in establishing clubs for Irish musicians in his adopted city. He brought his reel-to-reel tape recorder to live events; he also used it to dub sound discs onto reels. His personal collection of 60 open-reel tapes was donated to Burns Library’s Irish Music Archives by his nephew James Lowney. Boston College Libraries digitized and described the collection as part of a 2018 Recordings at Risk digitization grant project.
As we continue to learn about this collection we are grateful for input from a number of musicians, including Jeff Ksiazek and Séamus Connolly. Further details about the collection can be viewed by downloading the collection’s finding aid and viewing the latest blog posts about the Joe Lamont collection. If you have questions, comments, or additional information to share with us, we invite you to contact the Library.
— Elizabeth Sweeney, Irish Music Librarian, Burns Library
- “Andy Conroy.” Na Píobairí Uilleann. https://pipers.ie/about/patrons/andy-conroy/. Accessed October 5, 2020.
- Henrik Norbek’s ABC Tunes
- Irish Traditional Music Archive
- Irish Traditional Music Tune Index
- “Joe Cooley’s, Martin Feeny’s Favorite.” Internet Archive. https://archive.org/details/PaddyKilloranJoeCooleysMartinFeenysFavorite. Accessed October 5, 2020.
- John McKenna Society. The Music and Life of John McKenna. Liner notes. Drumkeeran, Co. Leitrim: John McKenna Society, 2014.
- “Mike Flynn.” Mid-Atlantic CCÉ Hall of Fame. https://cce-ma.com/mike-flynn. Accessed October 5, 2020.
- Morrison, James and Paddy Killoran. From Ballymote to Brooklyn. Gurteen, Co. Sligo: Coleman Heritage Centre, 2002.
- The Session
- Spottswood, Richard K. Ethnic Music on Records: A Discography of Ethnic Recordings Produced in the United States, 1893-1942. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1990.