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Charlie Mulvihill Collection

Threegenerationsmulvilhill
Three generations of the Mulvihill family [Tommy Mulvihill Jnr ; Tommy Mulvihill Snr ; Charlie Mulvihill] / Unidentified photographer

Initial contact between the Irish Traditional Music Archive and Tommy Mulvihill was made in November 2017. In correspondence about a different matter, Tommy related that he was in possession of a collection of reel-to-reel tapes and transcription discs which were created and/or compiled by his father, Charlie, between the late 1940s and the 1960s.

ITMA stayed in contact with Tommy over the following year, learning more details of his father's collection. The original plan was to visit Tommy in New York to collect and transport the collection back to Ireland for digitisation. This trip was arranged for April 2020 but was cancelled due to the onset of COVID-19 and its associated restrictions. ITMA then developed a plan with Tommy to seek the services of a digitisation vendor in the United States, to progress the preservation of this unique and invaluable collection consisting of 28 reel-to-reel tapes and 17 transcription discs. A variety of additional information was also preserved including any accompanying text, technical notes and images of the original boxes with descriptions in Charlie Mulvihill's handwriting.

Charlie was highly regarded as an accordion player and composer in post WWII New York and friends with leading players of the period including Paddy Sweeney, John McGrath and Paddy Killoran who features prominently in this collection, both in solo and duet playing with the flute player, Jim McGowan.

This is a unique taste of post-war Irish traditional music in New York, with leading players including Andy McGann, Paddy Reynolds and Larry Redican, concertina music from Charlie Mulvihill and family sessions with Charlie and his son Tommy (fiddle) and daughter Geraldine (piano).

Catherine Brennan-Grant

An exciting feature of the Mulvihill Collection are the recordings of the fiddle player, Catherine Brennan-Grant accompanied by a young Tommy Mulvihill on piano. It is clear from the exhibition that women feature more prominently in the revival and present-day periods than in the recording age or post-war period. Catherine was one of the exceptions. In the 1930s and 1940s she was a student and close friend of Michael Coleman and played with the all-female orchestra, the ''Maids of Erin''. More about Catherine Brennan-Grant

Now playing: Farewell to Ireland, reel / Catherine Brennan-Grant, fiddle ; Tommy Mulvihill, piano
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  1. Farewell to Ireland, reel / Catherine Brennan-Grant, fiddle ; Tommy Mulvihill, piano

    Farewell to Ireland, reel / Catherine Brennan-Grant, fiddle ; Tommy Mulvihill, piano

  2. The rambling pitchfork, jig / Catherine Brennan-Grant, fiddle ; Tommy Mulvihill, piano

    The rambling pitchfork, jig / Catherine Brennan-Grant, fiddle ; Tommy Mulvihill, piano

  3. The silver spire, reel / Catherine Brennan-Grant, fiddle ; Tommy Mulvihill, piano

    The silver spire, reel / Catherine Brennan-Grant, fiddle ; Tommy Mulvihill, piano

  4. Bill the weaver's, slide ; The frost is all over, jig / Catherine Brennan-Grant, fiddle ; Tommy Mulvihill, piano

    Bill the weaver's, slide ; The frost is all over, jig / Catherine Brennan-Grant, fiddle ; Tommy Mulvihill, piano

  5. The wheels of the world, reel / Catherine Brennan-Grant, fiddle ; Tommy Mulvihill, piano

    The wheels of the world, reel / Catherine Brennan-Grant, fiddle ; Tommy Mulvihill, piano

  6. Crowley's no. 2, reel ; The silver spire, reel / unidentified, piano

    Crowley's no. 2, reel ; The silver spire, reel / unidentified, piano

  7. Dowd's favourite, reel ; Maudabawn Chapel [comp. Ed Reavy], reel / unidentified, piano

    Dowd's favourite, reel ; Maudabawn Chapel [comp. Ed Reavy], reel / unidentified, piano

  8. The Tarbolton, reel ; Maudabawn Chapel, reel [comp. Ed Reavy] / unidentified, piano

    The Tarbolton, reel ; Maudabawn Chapel, reel [comp. Ed Reavy] / unidentified, piano

  9. Lad O'Beirne's [comp. Ed Reavy], hornpipe ; The high level [comp. James Hill], hornpipe / unidentified, piano

    Lad O'Beirne's [comp. Ed Reavy], hornpipe ; The high level [comp. James Hill], hornpipe / unidentified, piano

  10. The lads of Laois, reel / Charlie Mulvihill, concertina

    The lads of Laois, reel / Charlie Mulvihill, concertina

  11. Dave Collins', jig / Charlie Mulvihill, accordion ; Tommy Mulvihill, fiddle ; Geraldine Mulvihill, piano

    Dave Collins', jig / Charlie Mulvihill, accordion ; Tommy Mulvihill, fiddle ; Geraldine Mulvihill, piano

  12. The cashmere shawl, reel / Charlie Mulvihill, accordion ; Tommy Mulvihill, fiddle ; Geraldine Mulvihill, piano

    The cashmere shawl, reel / Charlie Mulvihill, accordion ; Tommy Mulvihill, fiddle ; Geraldine Mulvihill, piano

  13. Wade Hampton's hornpipe / Tommy Mulvihill, fiddle ; Geraldine Mulvihill, piano

    Wade Hampton's hornpipe / Tommy Mulvihill, fiddle ; Geraldine Mulvihill, piano

  14. Oliver's own, reel / Charlie Mulvihill, accordion ; Tommy Mulvihill, fiddle ; Geraldine Mulvihill, piano

    Oliver's own, reel / Charlie Mulvihill, accordion ; Tommy Mulvihill, fiddle ; Geraldine Mulvihill, piano

  15. The merry harriers, reel / Paddy Killoran, fiddle ; Jim McGowan, flute

    The merry harriers, reel / Paddy Killoran, fiddle ; Jim McGowan, flute

  16. Lucy Campbell, reel / Paddy Killoran, fiddle ; unidentified, piano

    Lucy Campbell, reel / Paddy Killoran, fiddle ; unidentified, piano

  17. The bucks of Oranmore, reel / Paddy Killoran, fiddle ; unidentified, piano

    The bucks of Oranmore, reel / Paddy Killoran, fiddle ; unidentified, piano

  18. The holy land, reel ; Sweeney's dream, reel / Paddy Killoran, fiddle ; unidentified, piano

    The holy land, reel ; Sweeney's dream, reel / Paddy Killoran, fiddle ; unidentified, piano

  19. Last night's fun, reel ; The Galway rambler, reel / Paddy Killoran, fiddle ; Harry Jeffries, piano

    Last night's fun, reel ; The Galway rambler, reel / Paddy Killoran, fiddle ; Harry Jeffries, piano

  20. The frog in the well, jig ; The Catlebar races, jig / Paddy Killoran, fiddle ; Jim McGowan, flute

    The frog in the well, jig ; The Catlebar races, jig / Paddy Killoran, fiddle ; Jim McGowan, flute

  21. Kiss the bride in bed, reel ; The gardener's daughter [The London lasses], reel / Paddy Killoran, fiddle ; Jim McGowan, flute

    Kiss the bride in bed, reel ; The gardener's daughter [The London lasses], reel / Paddy Killoran, fiddle ; Jim McGowan, flute

  22. Jackson's reel ; The Dublin reel / unidentified, speech ; Paddy Killoran, fiddle ; Harry Jeffries, piano

    Jackson's reel ; The Dublin reel / unidentified, speech ; Paddy Killoran, fiddle ; Harry Jeffries, piano

  23. Ostinelli's hornpipe [comp. Louis Ostinelli] / Larry Redican, fiddle ; James Lad O'Beirne, piano

    Ostinelli's hornpipe [comp. Louis Ostinelli] / Larry Redican, fiddle ; James Lad O'Beirne, piano

  24. Paddy Fahey's [comp. Paddy Fahey], reel / Andy McGann, fiddle

    Paddy Fahey's [comp. Paddy Fahey], reel / Andy McGann, fiddle

  25. The Irish American, reel / Andy McGann, fiddle

    The Irish American, reel / Andy McGann, fiddle

  26. Jenny's welcome to Charlie, reel / Andy McGann, fiddle

    Jenny's welcome to Charlie, reel / Andy McGann, fiddle

  27. The funny reel / Andy McGann, fiddle

    The funny reel / Andy McGann, fiddle

  28. The first month of summer, reel / Andy McGann, fiddle

    The first month of summer, reel / Andy McGann, fiddle

  29. Seán sa cheo, reel / Louis Quinn, fiddle

    Seán sa cheo, reel / Louis Quinn, fiddle

  30. The old maid at the spinning wheel, jig / Paddy Reynolds, fiddle

    The old maid at the spinning wheel, jig / Paddy Reynolds, fiddle

  31. Fly by night, hornpipe / Paddy Reynolds, fiddle

    Fly by night, hornpipe / Paddy Reynolds, fiddle

  32. Eileen Curran, reel / Paddy Reynolds, fiddle

    Eileen Curran, reel / Paddy Reynolds, fiddle

  33. The tramp's reel [The reel of Bogie] / Paddy Reynolds, fiddle

    The tramp's reel [The reel of Bogie] / Paddy Reynolds, fiddle

  34. Untitled, reel / Louis Quinn, fiddle ; unidentified, accordion

    Untitled, reel / Louis Quinn, fiddle ; unidentified, accordion

  35. The Victoria, hornpipe ; Seán McGuire's reel [comp. Bert Murray] / Louis Quinn, fiddle

    The Victoria, hornpipe ; Seán McGuire's reel [comp. Bert Murray] / Louis Quinn, fiddle

  36. The banks, hornpipe / Seán McGuire, fiddle ; James Lad O'Beirne, piano

    The banks, hornpipe / Seán McGuire, fiddle ; James Lad O'Beirne, piano

  37. The maids of Castlebar, reel / Seán McGuire, fiddle ; James Lad O'Beirne, piano

    The maids of Castlebar, reel / Seán McGuire, fiddle ; James Lad O'Beirne, piano

  38. Roaring Mary, reel / Seán McGuire, fiddle

    Roaring Mary, reel / Seán McGuire, fiddle

  39. The flax in bloom, reel / Seán McGuire, fiddle

    The flax in bloom, reel / Seán McGuire, fiddle

  40. The beeswing [comp. James Hill], hornpipe / Seán McGuire, fiddle

    The beeswing [comp. James Hill], hornpipe / Seán McGuire, fiddle