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Paddy Killoran in the Post-War Years

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Paddy Killoran, fiddle ; Paddy Sweeney, fiddle ; Harry Carroll, accordion / Unidentified photographer. New York, 1950s. Image courtesy Richard Piggott

Sligo fiddle great Paddy Killoran was still going strong in the late 1940s and through the 1950s. His dance band was so busy that he could not take all the proffered bookings. And if major labels weren’t interested anymore, there were smaller companies that still served the niche market for Irish traditional tunes. Killoran’s 78s from the 1950s included solo sides with backing from guitarist Jack McKenna, duets with his old bandmate Paul Ryan on viola, and with Sligo-born flute player Mike Flynn. To make sure there would continue to be an outlet for traditional music, Killoran co-founded the Dublin Records label in 1956. The Manhattan bar/restaurant Killoran had taken over from James Clark did not survive the war but in the late 1940s he opened a new “cabaret” with Clare man Jim Cleary on Willis Avenue in the South Bronx.

Much of the best Irish music heard in New York in the post-war era was not played in public but at private gatherings. Rare home-made acetate discs and reel-to-reel tapes recorded at house parties preserve some of this music. One particularly remarkable recording of Killoran and friends, including Sligo flute player Jim McGowan, was made on the eve of the fiddler’s visit to Ireland in 1959-60. Killoran took the recordings, including greetings to relations at home, with him on the trip.

See here for more information on Paddy Killoran in the Recording Age.

Now playing: The frog in the well, jig ; The Catlebar races, jig / Paddy Killoran, fiddle ; Jim McGowan, flute
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  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. unidentified, speech ; The moving bog, reel ; Miss Thornton's, reel / Paddy Killoran, fiddle ; Harry Jeffries, piano

    unidentified, speech ; The moving bog, reel ; Miss Thornton's, reel / Paddy Killoran, fiddle ; Harry Jeffries, piano

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Turlough O'Carolan Irish music club / Unidentified photographer
The Turlough O'Carolan Irish music club / Unidentified photographer
The Turlough O'Carolan Irish music club [Back row, 3rd from left: Andy Conroy, flute ; Middle row, extreme right: Louis Quinn, fiddle ; Front row: Martin Wynne, fiddle ; unidentified, fiddle ; Vincent Harrison, fiddle ; unidentified, fiddle ; Paddy Reynolds, fiddle ; unidentified, fiddle, Sean Quinn, fiddle ; unidentified, fiddle ; Paddy Killoran, fiddle ; unidentified, fiddle ; James Lad O'Beirne, piano] / Unidentified photographer. New York, 1958. Image courtesy Sean Quinn
 
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The Turlough O'Carolan Irish music club / Unidentified photographer

The Turlough O'Carolan Irish music club / Unidentified photographer

The Turlough O'Carolan Irish music club / Unidentified photographer

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