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John McGettigan (1882-1958)

John McGettigan (1882-1958) from Glenree, Carrigart, County Donegal, emigrated to the USA in 1907. There he became one of the most celebrated musicians and singers of his day.  A classical scholar graduate, he taught Latin and Greek in Brooklyn and Pittsburgh. He formed a music group called ‘John McGettigan and his Irish Minstrels’ and such was their popularity that their recordings outsold those of the legendary Irish tenor John Mc Cormack. He built a successful business empire that included furniture stores, restaurants & hotels in Philadelphia, Atlantic City and New Jersey. He had a huge repertoire of Irish songs  and these included such perennial favourites such as ‘Cutting the Corn in Creeslough’, ‘Deep Sheephaven Bay’, ‘The Hills of Glenswilly’, ‘The Fanad Mare’, ‘Johnston’s Motor Car’ etc. He also established the McGettigan Travel Bureau which specialised in group and corporate business travel, charter flights and coach tours.   McGettigan is credited with having been a major influence on 20th century Irish song and his recordings introduced many ballads and rare highland dances to wider audiences. He was a household name at home in Ireland, especially among Irish-Americans and Irish  exiles around the world; any home lucky enough to possess a wind-up gramophone was sure to have a collection of his recordings. John used his splendid voice to aid many charitable causes in spite of his manifold business commitments.

Permalink - Posted: July 24, 2017 at 11:44 am

The Rose Sessions

Introducing the Rose Sessions, by Marty Moonshine McKernan and Don Banjo Smith(with a little help from their friends!)  This now popular Album on CD was the brainchild of Don Smith back in the ‘90’s, when he performed with Peggy Greene and Jeanie Cassels as “the Thorn Between the Roses”.  After almost 15 years of inactivity on the project, NY Metropolitan area musicians Marty “moonshine” McKernan and Don “banjo” Smith finally got back on it, and the results are impressive! Helped along by Jeanie Cassels, Peggy Greene, James Sattler, and Lynn Panico, this collection of Rose songs have been favorably critiqued around the world by reviewers such as Irish Music Magazine, Trad-Connect Dublin, The Irish Edition, and Folk World, Europe.  All acoustic, and recorded by Bob Both of Twain Recording(think James Brown), this album features guitars, banjos (of course!), concertinas, fiddles, whistles, flutes, porchboard bass, bass guitar, ukuleles, and accordions.  Blend this with their well-blended voices, and the result is a 14 Rose bouquet of sumptuous song. (more…)

Permalink - Posted: July 21, 2017 at 11:16 am