78rpm Disc of the Week: Frank Lee’s Tara Ceilidhe Band: The Cork Hornpipe

78rpm Disc of the Week: Frank Lee’s Tara Ceilidhe Band: The Cork Hornpipe

78rpm Disc 182: Frank Lee’s Tara Ceilidhe Band: The Cork Hornpipe

Track: https://soundcloud.com/ward-irish-music-archives/frank-lees-tara-ceilidhe-band-the-cork-hornpipe


This week’s 78rpm disc features a go at the well-known hornpipe, The Cork (aka the Harvest Home) by Frank Lee’s Tara Ceilidhe Band. The tune’s setting here has a lovely turn of phrase in the seventh measure of each section, and the arrangement takes time to feature solo vibraphone and saxophone. Hold on to the end to hear a flourish of vibraphone to close out the recording.

In "Irish Dance Music," Reg Hall provides the following information about London-born Frank Lee:

"Having played at Gaelic League, United Irish League, Irish-Self Determination League, Sinn Fein and Gaelic Athletic Association ceilidthe all over London during the 1920s and 1920s, he was by the early 1930s playing weekend ceilidh bookings for the Tara Football Club in Hammersmith. He took his band in Dublin in 1932 to compete at Aonach Tailteann, a week-long Gaelic festival, where it came second, narrowly missing first prize allegedly playing too fast. On the strength of that success, the band recorded for Zonophone and Frank embarked on a semi-professional career in recording, dance-band work and Irish dance-hall promotion in London."

Recorded in 1939 and released on the Regal Zonophone label (IZ 1043). From the Ted McGraw Collection, McGraw 78 00-666.

Re: 78rpm Disc of the Week: Frank Lee’s Tara Ceilidhe Band: The Cork Hornpipe

I wonder how they’s be received in a modern ceili band competition…

It is interesting to hear how they assimilated the popular styles of the day into their sound. It sounds to me more like light orchestral music with a tradition tune as the theme, rather than traditional music per se. But I wonder what the trad players of that time would have made of The Bothy Band, with their bold ‘rock’ chords – or any modern trad band.

Re: 78rpm Disc of the Week: Frank Lee’s Tara Ceilidhe Band: The Cork Hornpipe

"Take your partners for the Canadian Barn Dance!"

Re: 78rpm Disc of the Week: Frank Lee’s Tara Ceilidhe Band: The Cork Hornpipe

There is plainly a severe lack of xylophone players at sessions. Love it!!!