Parlophone Irish 78s, 1930

Parlophone Irish 78s, 1930

Now playing: Dwyer’s hornpipe / William Cummins, flute
  1. Dwyer’s hornpipe / William Cummins, flute
  2. Drowsy Maggie, reel ; and other reels / May Collins, instrumental group
  3. Heathery breeze, reel ; Miss McLeod’s reel / May Collins, instrumental group
  4. Frost is all over, jig ; untitled, jig / Richard Brennan, fiddle, & Thomas Hunt, flute
  5. Kiss the bride in the bed ; Lady in the island, reel / Richard Brennan, fiddle, & Thomas Hunt, flute
  6. The marksman, double jig / Joie O’Connor, accordion
  7. The swallow’s tail, reel / Michael Rooney, accordion
  8. Bonnie Kate, reel / William N. Andrews, uilleann pipes, & Joe Milton, banjo
  9. Speed the plough, reel ; and other reels / William N. Andrews, uilleann pipes, & Joe Milton, banjo
  10. The pipe on the hob, jig / Stephen Moloney, flute, & Tommy Whelan, flute
  11. The old bush, reel / Stephen Moloney, flute, & Tommy Whelan, flute
  12. The steampacket, reel ; and other reels / Ballinakill Traditional Band, instrumental group

Parlophone Irish 78s, 1930

The recording trip made to Ireland in 1929 by a Parlophone-Columbia recording unit (see here) was evidently successful in financial terms, because it was repeated and expanded in 1930. Again the recording unit was based in Dublin. Recording began at the end of June in Jury’s Hotel in Dame St, under the supervision of O.C. Preuss, Parlophone’s Chief Recording Director.

Over 40 individuals and groups from different parts of Ireland were recorded – a varied mix of solo singers, yodellers and comedians; solo instrumentalists in traditional, popular and classical genres; and a similar variety of small and large instrumental ensembles. Fifty-seven 78s from the trip were eventually issued, again in an E3000 series (of which some were reissued on other labels and in other series). They were marketed as ‘The Record that Studies the Irish’.

Of particular interest among the 1930 issues are early forms of the kind of traditional instrumental ensembles which would later became universally known as ‘ceili bands’: among them Dick Smith’s Ceilidhe Trio (Dublin), Batt Henry’s Traditional Quartet Orchestra (Sligo), the Siamsa Gaedheal Traditional Irish Band (Dublin), the Ballinakill (Co Galway) Traditional Band, May Collins’ Sligo Traditional Orchestra, and the Moate Irish Traditional Band (Westmeath).

Included in the ITMA collections are the flute player William Cummins of Roscrea, Co Tipperary; the fiddle and flute duet of Richard Brennan and Thomas Hunt of Ballymote, Co Sligo; the accordion players Joie O’Connor and Michael Rooney of Navan, Co Meath, and Ballinkillen, Bagenalstown, Co Carlow, respectively; the uilleann pipes and banjo duet of William Andrews and Joe Milton of Dublin; and the flute duet and also fiddle duet of Stephen Moloney and Tommy Whelan, the latter two also members of the Ballinakill (Co Galway) Traditional Band.

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

With thanks to Maura Maloney and to record donors Jim Brophy, Ciarán Dalton, & Ciaran Somers.

NC & DD, 1 April 2009