Research help request

Research help request

Hello,

I am a trad flute player and currently doing research for Ph.D. in History at University College Cork, Ireland. I’m looking for some help with my research – it is on post-World War II emigration from Ireland and traditional music and I have been interviewing a number of musicians, but my personal contacts are limited and I would love to speak with many more. I would like to talk to traditional musicians, sean-nós singers, dancers or anyone with an interest in traditional music who emigrated from Ireland to the US or Britain between 1945 and 1970. I would also be happy to talk to others native to the US or Britain who were involved in the Irish music scene during that time period. I am interested in hearing their life stories and experiences relating to migration and music.

From my reading of discussions here, I think there may be a few people on TheSession.org that fit this description and some of you may know of others. It would be really helpful is if anyone could put me in contact with some of these people who might be willing to tell me about their experiences via letter, email, phone or in person (location allowing – I am based in Cork but will be traveling to Chicago, New York, New Orleans, and maybe a few cities in Britain). Please send me a message through this board if you are willing to help and I will provide my contact information to pass on (if you know someone who would contact me) or send their contact information if they wouldn’t mind a call from me. I think it is really important that musicians’ stories and experiences are heard and recorded and I would really appreciate any help with this. Feel free to ask any questions about the project/research as well. Thank you!

Best wishes,

Sara

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Re: Research help request

Damn, why didn’t I think of that one.

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What SS? researching scottish insanity using the session .org as a base ?
Dont think that would work 😉

Re: Research help request

Perhaps contacting CCE in the USA (Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann Mid-Atlantic Region, for one example) and the local branches might also be helpful?

Lotsa old folks.
Some with fiddles.
😉

Good Luck.

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Anything that would have involved funding to sit in sessions would have been handy. Unfortunately it seems as if getting ratarsed at sessions in Skye still does not count as Highland insanity. :( Nor, apparently, does abseiling of Sgurr nan Gillean in the dark. I keep trying.

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On a more serious note, it might be worth coming to the Jimmy McHugh MemorialWeekend in Glasgow on January 14th. It is a concert and then party and sessions afterwards till silly’o’clock, dedicated to guy who was instrumental in promoting Irish music in Glasgow during the time period you’re looking at. It’s organised by his son Benny, a fine fiddle player in his own right. Lots of people associated with the Glasgow-Irish community turn out for this. Plus, you might be able to get your uni to fund a weekend of playing a lot of tunes and drinking a lot.

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Thanks everyone for the suggestions! I’ve sent an email to Comhaltas so hopefully they’ll get back to me. The weekend in Glasgow sounds great as well, but I’d probably have to arrange a few interviews there before I make plans to go over if I’m going to get the uni to pay for it. I’ll try and get onto a couple people there anyways. The IAF also sounds like a great resource and the Untold Stories site is brilliant, I hadn’t come across that before. Great stuff!

Thanks again! Keep the ideas coming!

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Re: Research help request

Hi, Sara,

For London I think you really need to get hold of a copy of Reg Hall’s thesis ‘Irish Music and Dance in London, 1890-1970: A Socio-Cultural History’ (University of Sussex, 1994).

The London Irish Centre in Camden Town (http://www.londonirishcentre.org/) and The Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith (http://www.irishculturalcentre.co.uk/) would also both be well worth contacting.

Karen Ryan (who organises the Return to Camden Town festival) has a huge number of contacts and can herself be contacted via london.lasses@virgin.net.

Sadly, there are few musicians who emigrated to London prior to 1970 still alive. Those who are so include Brian Rooney (Karen will have his details), Liam Farrell and John Bowe (Alan O’Leary at Copperplate should have their details - http://www.copperplatemailorder.com/), and Danny Meehan who is now back in Donegal. Please contact me for Danny’s telephone number.

It might also be worth talking to the children of some musicians who might be able to provide you with some contacts in London such as John Carty or his brother James (http://www.johncartymusic.com/) and Jacqueline McCarthy (http://www.tommykeane.com/).

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You could try contacting ‘Free Reed’ on this site. I seem to recall he’s been down that road and would know a good many others who were in the same boat.

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They probably didn’t get too far trying to go down a road in a boat.

sorry … please carry on.

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’ the same boat.
Ah WH, that bloody boat was ‘The Princess Maud’ the one with no stabilizers. I think travelling on that ship was some sort of punishment to dissuade us from travelling to England.
I have made contact with SaraG

Try

Southwark Irish pensioners group have regular meetings, point you in the right direction??? Your work is important, so if floorspace in London is needed, let me know

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Re: Research help request

Thanks again everyone for all the great suggestions 🙂 Much appreciated!

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