Irish melody 78 rpm records
So I recently inherited a lovely old Brooks Automatic Repeating Phonograph machine from my parents. It was around the house as long as I’ve been alive, to my knowledge. I put about 10 hours of work into cleaning it up, and getting it working again. As far as I remember, the turntable always worked, but the repeating function (where it detects the end of the record, lifts the arm, and places it back down at the beginning - assuming you have it set to repeat at least once) never worked. So I got that working. What a fantastic machine! It really makes you realize how ingenious people could design mechanical contraptions long before electricity ruled objects like that!
But the records that my folks had are mostly big band jazz or opera. So that got me thinking about the old Irish recordings. I did find a lot of about 80 Irish 78s on eBay and bought them, but they’re mostly songs - with just a few melody discs. I know that there were a plethora of Irish recordings of Coleman, Killoran, Morrison, Tom Ennis, etc., but looking around for them, I am not finding a lot. I did find some Coleman 78s that were selling at a minimum of about $100 each, which is pretty outrageous.
So a couple of questions. Why are they so expensive? Is it simply a supply and demand thing, where, in the big scheme of 78s produced, only a tiny percentage were Irish music? Or is it that they’re in demand more than other 78s of their age? (Or some combination of both).
And does anyone have any good sources for interesting Irish 78s that are for sale without needing to cash in my retirement savings? 😉