Parlophone Irish 78s, 1929

Parlophone Irish 78s, 1929

Now playing: Banks of the Suir, air / Nelius O’Cronin, uilleann pipes
  1. Banks of the Suir, air / Nelius O’Cronin, uilleann pipes
  2. The hunt set, hornpipes / Nelius O’Cronin, uilleann pipes
  3. The coulin, air / Nelius O’Cronin, flute
  4. Harvest home, hornpipe ; Dunphy’s sweep, hornpipe / Nelius O’Cronin, piccolo
  5. Off to California, hornpipe ; Dunphy’s hornpipe / Miss O’Rourke, fiddle, and Mr. Neiland, flute
  6. Star of Munster, reel ; Down the meadows, reel / Miss O’Rourke, fiddle, & Mr. Neiland, flute
  7. Clonlara quadrilles / Sam Madden, accordion
  8. Tipperary flings / Sam Madden, accordion
  9. Over the moor to Maggie, reel ; and other reels / Halpin Trio, instrumental group
  10. An buachaill caol dubh = The dark slender boy, air / Treasa Ní Ailpín, fiddle
  11. Kerry and Clare jigs and reels / Billy Roberts, concertina
  12. The wedding of the painted doll, instrumental piece / Billy Roberts, concertina

Parlophone Irish 78s, 1929

The Parlophone record label, originally a German-Swedish label of the 1890s, was established in London in 1923. The earliest Irish recordings produced on the British label were reissues of 78s recorded in America, followed by 78s recorded by Irish artists in London. The Columbia Graphophone Company of the United Kingdom acquired control of Parlophone in 1927, and the label eventually became part of the EMI (Electrical and Musical Industries) group in 1931 when the Columbia and Gramophone companies merged.

In 1929 a Parlophone-Columbia recording unit came to Ireland for the first time. Based in Dublin, the unit recorded some 40 individuals and groups performing music (and speech) of several genres, including Irish traditional music. The recording trip resulted in thirty-eight 78s, issued in an E3000 series. Surviving copies are rare and are often, as here, badly worn.

The 1929 Parlophone performers of traditional music represented to date in the collections of the ITMA are the uilleann piper Nelius O’Cronin of Cork; the fiddle and flute duet of Miss O’Rourke and Mr Neiland of Limerick; the accordion player Sam Madden of Limerick; the Halpin Trio (fiddles & piano) and fiddle player Treasa Ní Ailpín of Limerick; and the concertina player Billy Roberts of Dublin (with Cyril Gibson on piano).

A second Parlophone-Columbia recording visit to Ireland was made in 1930 (see here).

Do you have other Parlophone traditional music recordings or less-worn copies of these recordings? ITMA would welcome their donation or the opportunity to copy them.

With thanks to record donors Ciarán Dalton, Vincent Duffe, Colm Ó Laoire, Kieran Owens, & John Touhey.

NC & DD, 1 February 2009