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50th anniversary CD release of first Gael Linn LP

Gael Linn is Ireland’s oldest recording company. Its first LP was issued in 1958 and to commemorate it we are now re-issuing the album on CD for the first time. Prior to issuing an LP, Gael Linn had been issuing gramophone records (78s) since 1957 where songs and music were featured on alternate sides.  The same order was followed for the first LP.

On the CD, Cork baritone Tomás Ó Súilleabháin sings eight well-known songs in Irish. Interestingly, the arrangement and piano accompaniment were by Seán Ó Riada, making this Ó Riada’s first commercial recording.

Ó Súilleabháin, who is now retired and living in Dublin, was a regular guest on radio programmes in the 1950s and 60s. During this time, he also toured the States with singers and musiciians who included the late Dermot Troy and Veronica Dunne. Tomás’s personal favourite on the album is Seán Ó Duibhir a’ Ghleanna.

The album contains Irish airs arranged by contemporary composers and played by the Raidió Éireann Light Orchestra,  under the direction of Éimear Ó Broin. The featured composers are: Ó Gallchobhair, Duff, Ó Frighil, Bodley, Ó Riada, Larchet, Fachtna Ó hAnnracháin and TC Kelly.

Many will recognise the theme tune for The Riordans (track 12) and the signature tune of  the Chivers sponsored radio programme (track 9).

Gael Linn CEO, Antoine Ó Coileáin, says of the album:  ‘Ceolta Éireann is a nostalgic tribute to a bygone era. The album’s music was known and loved by Radio Éireann listeners some fifty years ago.’

CEOLTA ÉIREANN  is now available in music stores or on-line from and costs €19.99

Permalink - Posted: September 14, 2009 at 10:53 am