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Louis Quinn Collection

Ladobeirnelouisquinn
Louis Quinn and Lad O'Beirne / Unidentified photographer

Louis E. Quinn came to New York from south Armagh in 1931. In a 1977 interview with musician and scholar Mick Moloney, Quinn provided an interesting look back at his life in New York: “I started to play traditional music immediately, during the Depression, as a means of getting something to keep alive, to eat with.” He formed a close friendship with James Lad O’Beirne, who joined him in late 1933 at a recording session by “Louis E. Quinn and his Shamrock Minstrels.” They only made three discs, but the band was busy with dance gigs for county associations and other functions and on live radio broadcasts. Louis married in 1945 and raised a musical family of seven children.

Along with his close friend, Lad O'Beirne, Louis was a vital link to the older players from the 'Golden Age' of recording. His involvement in Irish traditional music in New York traversed a period of six decades up to his passing in March 1991 and he was a driving force behind the amalgamation of various traditional music Clubs and Associations with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann in the early 1970s. What sets him apart from his contemporaries was not only the regularity of his visits home to Ireland, but also the rich collection of private recordings he made in the post-war period, both in New York and Ireland.

See also Louis Quinn, 1904–1991 // Louis Quinn Image Gallery

Now playing: Lad O'Beirne's hornpipe [comp. Ed Reavy] / Louis Quinn, fiddle ; Sean Quinn, fiddle
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  1. Lad O'Beirne's hornpipe [comp. Ed Reavy] / Louis Quinn, fiddle ; Sean Quinn, fiddle

    Lad O'Beirne's hornpipe [comp. Ed Reavy] / Louis Quinn, fiddle ; Sean Quinn, fiddle

  2. Quinn from Armagh [comp. Ed Reavy], hornpipe / Mary Lou Quinn ; Louis Quinn

    Quinn from Armagh [comp. Ed Reavy], hornpipe / Mary Lou Quinn ; Louis Quinn

  3. Untitled, slow air / unidentified, fiddle

    Untitled, slow air / unidentified, fiddle

  4. Untitled, hornpipe / Mary Lou Quinn, speech ; Louis Quinn, fiddle

    Untitled, hornpipe / Mary Lou Quinn, speech ; Louis Quinn, fiddle

  5. Unidentified, hornpipe / Louis Quinn, fiddle ; Sean Quinn, fiddle

    Unidentified, hornpipe / Louis Quinn, fiddle ; Sean Quinn, fiddle

  6. The boys of the lough, reel / Seán McGuire, fiddle ; James Lad O'Beirne, piano

    The boys of the lough, reel / Seán McGuire, fiddle ; James Lad O'Beirne, piano

  7. The Laird of Drumblair [comp. James Scott Skinner], strathspey ; Seán McGuire's reel [comp. Bert Murray] / Seán McGuire, fiddle ; James Lad O'Beirne, piano

    The Laird of Drumblair [comp. James Scott Skinner], strathspey ; Seán McGuire's reel [comp. Bert Murray] / Seán McGuire, fiddle ; James Lad O'Beirne, piano

  8. The mason's apron, reel / Seán McGuire, fiddle ; James Lad O'Beirne, piano

    The mason's apron, reel / Seán McGuire, fiddle ; James Lad O'Beirne, piano

  9. The mathematician [comp. James Scott Skinner], hornpipe / Seán McGuire, fiddle ; James Lad O'Beirne, piano

    The mathematician [comp. James Scott Skinner], hornpipe / Seán McGuire, fiddle ; James Lad O'Beirne, piano

  10. The bonnie lass of Bon Accord [comp. James Scott Skinner], march / Seán McGuire, fiddle ; James Lad O'Beirne, piano

    The bonnie lass of Bon Accord [comp. James Scott Skinner], march / Seán McGuire, fiddle ; James Lad O'Beirne, piano

  11. The international reel ; The skylark, reel / Seán McGuire, fiddle ; James Lad O'Beirne, piano

    The international reel ; The skylark, reel / Seán McGuire, fiddle ; James Lad O'Beirne, piano

    "The International reel may have been a Sean McGuire original as it was not recorded or included in printed collections before he recorded it." - Don Meade