Dan Sullivan’s Shamrock Band 78s, 1920s–1930s

Dan Sullivan’s Shamrock Band 78s, 1920s–1930s

Now playing: The morning star, reel ; Rakish Paddy, reel / Dan Sullivan’s Shamrock Band, instrumental group
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  1. The morning star, reel ; Rakish Paddy, reel / Dan Sullivan’s Shamrock Band, instrumental group
  2. Jackson’s fancy, jig ; Apples in winter, jig / Dan Sullivan’s Shamrock Band, instrumental group
  3. Top o’ Cork Road, jig ; Gallant Tipperary boys, jig / Dan Sullivan’s Shamrock Band
  4. Boil the kettle early, reel / Dan Sullivan’s Shamrock Band, instrumental group
  5. Ships a’ sailing, reel / Dan Sullivan’s Shamrock Band, instrumental group
  6. Tenpenny bit, jig ; Maid on the green, jig / Dan Sullivan’s Shamrock Band, instrumental group
  7. My love is in America, reel / Dan Sullivan’s Shamrock Band, instrumental group
  8. Tie the ribbon, reel / Dan Sullivan’s Shamrock Band, instrumental group
  9. Top of the malt, jig / Dan Sullivan’s Shamrock Band, instrumental group
  10. The cat that ate the candle, reel / Dan Sullivan’s Shamrock Band, instrumental group
  11. Connaught man’s rambles, jig ; A trip to the cottage, jig / Dan Sullivan’s Shamrock Band
  12. Blackberry blossom, reel ; Bonnie Kate, reel / Dan Sullivan’s Shamrock Band, instrumental group
  13. Green grow the rushes o’, barndance / Sullivan’s Shamrock Band, [Murty Rabbett], lilting
  14. O’Connells reel ; The morning star, reel / Dan Sullivan’s Shamrock Band, instrumental group
  15. The boys of Wexford, march ; God save Ireland, march / Dan Sullivan’s Shamrock Band
  16. The girl I left behind me, march ; The rakes of Mallow, march / Dan Sullivan’s Shamrock Band
  17. Bold Jack Donohue, waltz ; Eileen Alannah, waltz / Dan Sullivan’s Shamrock Band, instrumental group
  18. Maid of the sweet brown knowe, waltz ; Believe me, if all those endearing charms, waltz
  19. Sailor on the rock, hornpipe ; Dan Sullivan’s favourite, hornpipe / Dan Sullivan’s Shamrock Band
  20. Paddy Whack, jig ; Saddle the pony, jig / Dan Sullivan’s Shamrock Band, instrumental group
  21. Londonderry hornpipe / Dan Sullivan’s Shamrock Band, instrumental group
  22. An Irishman’s gift to the ladies, jig ; Tatter Jack Welch, jig / Dan Sullivan’s Shamrock Band
  23. Stanton’s hornpipe ; The little stack of wheat, hornpipe / Dan Sullivan’s Shamrock Band
  24. Johnny will you marry me?, song / Dan Sullivan’s Shamrock Band ; Murty Rabbett, singing in English
  25. Miss Monaghan, reel ; The peeler’s jacket, reel / Dan Sullivan’s Shamrock Band, instrumental group
  26. When the kettle boils over, jig ; Donnybrook fair, jig / Dan Sullivan’s Shamrock Band
  27. Johnnie in the glen, reel ; O’Connell’s reel / Dan Sullivan’s Shamrock Band, instrumental group
  28. Rory O’ More, jig ; Bridal jig / Dan Sullivan’s Shamrock Band, instrumental group
  29. Heathery breeze, reel / Dan Sullivan’s Shamrock Band, instrumental group
  30. The mouse in the cupboard, jig / Dan Sullivan’s Shamrock Band, instrumental group
  31. Fire in the mountain, jig / Dan Sullivan’s Shamrock Band, instrumental group
  32. Paddy Ryan’s dream, reel ; Star of Munster, reel / Dan Sullivan’s Shamrock Band
  33. Old man Dillon, jig ; Walls of Liscara, jig / Dan Sullivan’s Shamrock Band, instrumental group

Dan Sullivan’s Shamrock Band 78s, 1920s–1930s

A successful dance-hall, gramophone and radio band in Boston from the mid-1920s, Dan Sullivan’s Shamrock Band specialised in the playing of Irish traditional music and popular songs. Known as Sullivan’s Shamrock Band on its earliest discs, it recorded extensively in New York and Boston for the Columbia, Victor and Decca companies, from 1926 to 1934.

Dan Sullivan was a classically trained piano player, the American-born son of a Cork-Kerry professional fiddle and flute player of the same name, and he worked for the Steinway Piano Corporation in Boston before himself becoming a full-time professional. The earliest lineups of his recording band featured a core of Kerry musicians: Michael C. Hanafin on fiddle, Daniel J. Murphy on uilleann pipes, and Daniel P. Moroney on whistle. Later lineups included Sligo, Galway and Irish-American musicians, and introduced flute, accordion and banjo.

All the Sullivan Band recordings held by the Irish Traditional Music Archive are presented here. While their music was recorded for dancing rather than for listening to, the band was one of the first Irish groups to benefit from the fidelity of electrical sound recording, which was introduced by the large American commercial companies from 1925, and its instruments can be distinctly heard in the best recordings. Some of the ITMA discs are quite worn and noisy or faint, but are presented here at the end of the sequence for the sake of interest.

With thanks to donors of discs Ciarán Dalton, Jim Carroll & Pat Mackenzie, Vincent Duffe, Gearóid Gallagher, Gearóid Jackson, John Loesberg, Dan Maher, Kevin O’Reilly, Kieran Owens, Gay McKeon, John Butler, John Brennan, John & James Kelly, Caoimhín Mac Aoidh, & Tom Munnelly. ITMA would welcome donations, or loans for copying, of any Sullivan Shamrock Band recordings not presented here, or of better copies of worn discs. The photograph is reproduced courtesy of the Tamiment Library / Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University. It is a Victor Talking Machine Co publicity photograph dating from 1928, and it is part of the Library's Archives of Irish America: Mick Moloney Irish American Music and Popular Culture Papers collection. Dan Sullivan is seated centre right; the fiddle player at top left is Michael C. Hanafin, at top right is Mike Mullin; the flute player is Murty Rabbett, the drummer Jim O'Brien, the banjo player Neil Nolan, and the accordion player Connie Hanafin (with thanks to Daniel Neely for identifications via Facebook).

NC & BD, 1 June 2014