Singers & Ceili Bands on 1950s EPs

Singers & Ceili Bands on 1950s EPs

Now playing: The sash my father wore, song / Richard Hayward, singing in English
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  1. The sash my father wore, song / Richard Hayward, singing in English
  2. The battle of the Garvagh, song / Richard Hayward, singing in English
  3. The protestant boys, song / Richard Hayward, singing in English
  4. The Aghalee heroes, song / Richard Hayward, singing in English
  5. Dillon’s fancy, reel ; and other reels / Tulla Ceilí Band, instrumental group
  6. George White’s favourite, reel ; Copper plate, reel / Tulla Ceilí Band, instrumental group
  7. The lark on the strand, jig ; and other jigs / Tulla Ceilí Band, instrumental group
  8. Tim the turncoat, hornpipe ; Quarrelsome piper, hornpipe / Tulla Ceilí Band, instrumental group
  9. Blue hills of Antrim, song / Eileen Donaghy, singing in English
  10. Faughan side, song / Eileen Donaghy, singing in English
  11. The bard of Armagh, song / Eileen Donaghy, singing in English
  12. The little old mud cabin, song / Eileen Donaghy, singing in English
  13. Let Erin remember, march ; and other marches / Fred Hanna and his Band, instrumental group
  14. Mike MacCarthy’s wake, two step ; and other two steps / Fred Hanna and his Band, instrumental group
  15. Teddy O’Neill, waltz ; and other waltzes / Fred Hanna and his Band, instrumental group
  16. Waltz medley, waltzes / Fred Hanna and his Band, instrumental group

Singers & Ceili Bands on 1950s EPs

EP discs – ‘extended play’ microgroove recordings playing at 45 rpm – were introduced in the early 1950s by the American company RCA Victor to compete with the earlier LPs of the rival Columbia Records. The discs typically had two tracks on each side and ran for some 12–15 minutes. Material from previously issued 78s were issued on EPs, and also new recordings. Because of the relative costs involved, LPs were sometimes issued in installments on EPS. The discs were also used to break new performers who might not justify for a record company the expense of an LP. These considerations obtained also in Ireland.

Four Irish EPs of music of oral tradition are reproduced below from the collections of the Irish Traditional Music Archive. The singer, actor and writer Richard Hayward (1898–1964) of Belfast had recorded Ulster songs, many of the Orange tradition, on 78s from the 1930s, and was still well known in the microgroove era. Eileen Donaghy (1930–2008) of Coalisland, Co Tyrone, on the other hand only came to fame in the late 1950s. She was a popular singer who mixed occasional traditional songs into her repertory, but all of her best-known songs, whatever their classification, have entered oral tradition. Ceili bands, ensembles formed first in the late 1920s, were in their heyday in the 1950s. The Tulla Ceili Band, which began life in rural Co Clare in the mid-1940s, made its first 78s some ten years later. Fred Hanna’s Ceili Band of Portadown, Co Armagh, had an urban strict-tempo style and was influenced by similar Scottish ceili bands of the period.

With thanks to record donors Vincent Duffe, Mrs Walter Maguire,& John Paul McKenna.

NC & DD, 1 October 2012