The All Star Ceili Band ~ who’s the whistle player?

The All Star Ceili Band ~ who’s the whistle player?

First the recording ~
"All Star Ceili Band: Traditional Irish Dance Music"

And the known musicians ~

Accordions - Joe Derrane & Jerry O’Brien
Banjo - George Derrane
Piano - Johnny Connors

And as described on the liner notes for this recording ~

"The All Star Ceili Band featuring ‘three’ Irish Americans from Boston: Joe Derrane (Accordion), George Derrane (Banjo), and John Connors (piaon), ( and then they add a fourth 😏 ) with a native Irishman: Jerry O’Brien (Accordion) from Co. Cork."

But, there’s whistling throughout this recording and no mention of a whistler at all. Does anyone have any history behind this?

While this recording no longer seems to be listed, while looking I discovered that Rego Records is clearing out a few choice items, that while not a great deal here, once the postage is added, is a damn nice score for North Americans. If you haven’t already got these two recordings, well, yes, they are recommended, heartily… If I were there I’d be purchasing these as gifts, while picking up one more of "The Wind Among the Reeds" for myself, having ‘loaned’ our only CD of it and never had it returned… Sigh! πŸ™

& Warehouse Close Outs for $4.99 ~ including:

"Sliabh Notes"
"Tommy Keane & Jacqueline McCarthy - The Wind Among The Reeds"

Re: The All Star Ceili Band ~ who’s the whistle player?

I’m guessing, if someone can help me connect to Joe Derrane, that he might be able to fill in some blanks in the membership and history of this little band ~ who, as I understand it, were very busy in their time…

Re: The All Star Ceili Band ~ who’s the whistle player?

Susan Gedutis’s book See You At the Hall might have the answer. I can only think of Owen or Gene Frain myself; or Dan Moroney, who played with Owen in the Dan Sullivan band. James Morrison’s brother Tom was up in Beantown as well.

That does sound like a bit of whistle in the back, doesn’t it? At first I thought it might be an audio artifact.

Here’s some peculiar whistling: Willie Kemp, Curly Mackay - My love she’s but a lassie yet = Willie does half the disc on jew’s harp, then switches to whistle for the Deil. In C?

Re: The All Star Ceili Band ~ who’s the whistle player?

Funny you should mention that book Kevin, I’m pretty sure it’s here somewhere behind my head. I’ll give it a once over. Thanks for the kick to wake me, appreciated. I should have thought of that right off the bat. I have instead been considering contacting Mick Moloney with the idea of getting in touch with Joe and getting a bit of the story direct from the source, fingers crossed.

And you’re a gem, whistle and jaw harp, very welcome, thanks…

Dear old Beltona…

Re: The All Star Ceili Band ~ who’s the whistle player?

I was the one who posted the "duplicate" entry (which I thought wasn’t really a duplicate because I was going off the original vinyl, which seems to have some different spellings as well as a different number of tracks than the cassette) and I don’t have an answer. However, I’ll throw out a couple of other whistle players who I think were in Boston at the time and who might have been involved: Myles O’Malley and Murty Rabbett.

I’d love to know the answer! If anyone finds it, post it here! Good luck on getting in touch with Derrane! If you’re unable, maybe see if you can track down Paddy Cronin – he would likely know the answer to this.

I all else fails, ask Earle Hitchner – he might know the answer to this as well.

Re: The All Star Ceili Band ~ who’s the whistle player?

Or Don Meade.

Forgot about Myles, I have an album of his 78s. Now, did I upload that ‘un? Should redub ‘em with my superior turntable, too. Some detective noticed he and John and Joe Fahey were in the studio the same day.

Murty was mostly piccolo, wasn’t he? Had 4 whistles and my Boosey & Co piccolo going at a sess yesterday. Hard to say which was more the wall of sound, that or the 3 sets of pipes…

"See You at the Hall: Boston’s Golden Era of Irish Music and Dance" ~ Susan Gedutis

With a forward by Mick Moloney

Yes, Kevin, when I was chasing this up in the past I remember going here. But while I’m back, let me sing the praises of Susan Gedutis. I wish that all that spoke from our passions had her consideration for sources, giving over a considerable amount of the content to them, letting them speak their own history. Too many get carried away with themselves and write about the activities of others with a detachment where they do all the talking and we never ever hear, or rarely, the voices of the people that are in focus. Another prized work that does this well is "The Northern Fiddler". If there was that kind of magic in the world I would want us all to have that blessing of learning directly from the source, or at least to have their words preserved for others to hear or, at the least, read, as they voiced them.

That gives me pleasure, and won Susan my respect, and that appreciation grew with her organization and consideration for her readers in being, for the size of the book and the size of the subject, considerate, thorough, organized, and, bless her, to have included appendices, a discography, a catalog of musicians and their instruments, notes, bibliography ~ AND an INDEX!!!

With so much sloppy writing out there, in the above regards, even if I’ve enjoyed the reads, Susan Gedutis has it as it should be, as such consideration is not only for the reader but also for her subject and her sources. Thanks Susan…

Well, enough of my praising good work, and that it is, our subject is more minute, though I’d love more of that history, and I’d love more pictures too, something else Susan included in this lovely book. But, back to our bit ~

Page 155: "The band (Joe Derrane’s All-Star Ceili Band) consisted of Joe (accordion) and George Derrane, Johnny Connors (piano), and Jerry O’Brien (accordion)."

This we already know, however, George Derrane’s talents weren’t limited to the banjo ~

Page 52: "George Derrane on banjo, guitar and saxophone" ~ from that it might not be a stretch that another talent was on other winds, such as the whistle. But, back then, as now, I can’t make that assumption without some kind of confirmation from a reliable source. My little bit of research into the dance traditions of Boston were to do with the 1800s, not Joe Derrane and the All-Star Ceili Bands time.

So, I’m still where I was then and now, seeking an answer, and sources. I wish I could do it on foot, something I’m much more comfortable with than what seems a little forward, chasing up email addresses and asking for directions. But, most folks in this area of interest tend to be patient and kind, willing to help or at least direct further. At least, that is the majority of my experiences here. Wish me luck!

There are other distractions slowing this process, which is why I brought it out here.

Upsetter ~ and not upset here, but the usual place for alternate pressings, track numbering and titles, etc., like alternate ways with a tune, are in the ‘comments’, gathering it all under one point, where that makes sense. I try to do this, but have done otherwise. When I discover I have, I, usually, move it all to the comments of the earlier submission and let Jeremy know, so he can delete mine. That’s happened a couple of times. However, sometimes the earlier submission is so screwed up I end up leaving mine, but I do let Jeremy know about it. He usually leaves both, unless the earlier submitter asks otherwise.

"superior turntable"! ~ ?

Thanks for the added sources.

Yes, piccolo! And you too Kevin? I’ve a couple in need of parts and no lathe ~ frustration ~ but they, like a fife, do tend to cut through and can make one self conscious and shy if you’re the one playing one… πŸ˜€

Re: The All Star Ceili Band ~ who’s the whistle player?

Half a dozen emails sent, fingers and toes crossed! πŸ˜‰

Re: The All Star Ceili Band ~ who’s the whistle player?

ceolachan, thanks for the follow up! As for the doubled entry: part of my background was in the cataloging of archival recordings. We always made a second entry if the two objects "in hand" were different. I’ll know better next time for the mustard board.

Kevin, yes, I do believe Murty played mostly piccolo (and flute, too, I think). I don’t know how involved with music he was after Sullivan’s band (I can’t think of anything) and it was a shot in the dark, really. But, since he was a crane operator by trade, I imagine he also knew how to drive a car and maybe even a bike! So, maybe not such a stretch.

We’ll know if Mick’s onto something if the tracks that have whistle lack a banjo (my turntable’s broken, so I can’t check). If they have both, we’re back to the drawing board. (Or to Don Meade.)

Watch, though. It’ll wind up being someone no one’s heard of.

Re: The All Star Ceili Band ~ who’s the whistle player?

Me too, I understand the ‘double entry’. Same true of the old card system, if there were three recordings, even if they were identical, there would be three cards. πŸ˜€

~ and three seperate numbers… πŸ˜‰

Re: The All Star Ceili Band ~ who’s the whistle player?

I asked Jack Conroy about this, and he asked Joe Derrane — they’re thinking it may have been Frankie Neylon.


Re: The All Star Ceili Band ~ who’s the whistle player?

Thanks Paul. I’ve not heard back from anyone as yet…

Now t o see what more I can find out about Frankie Neylon… πŸ˜‰

Re: The All Star Ceili Band ~ who’s the whistle player?

Thanks Paul, appreciated…

Re: The All Star Ceili Band ~ who’s the whistle player?

Hi all. I’m Frank Neylon’s son. If you have any questions, I might be able to help. I have all of his instruments, and there is a piccolo.

Re: The All Star Ceili Band ~ who’s the whistle player?

WOW! Yes!!! Sorry, I’ve been otherwise inclined, but I’ll be dropping you a line and looking forward to the correspondence. Thanks for the kind offer of information…