Reidy Johnson's (2)

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REIDY JOHNSON’S [2]. AKA and see "Drogheda Lass (1)," "Drogheda Lasses (1) (The)," “Hand Me Down the Tackle,” “Hielanman's Kneebuckle (The),” "Pure Drop (2) (The)," “Tom Steele." Irish, Reel. D Major. County Sligo/New York fiddler Michael Coleman [1] (1894-1947) recorded the reel on his first 78 rpm disc, c. April 1920 (according to Dick Spottswood's discography) for the Shannon label in a set called "Reidy Johnson's," on which “Lawson's Favorite” was the second tune. The pairing was repeated on record in 1924 by John McCormick, fiddler with Ed Lee's Four Provinces Orchestra, of Philadelphia, on one solo side he made with Lee at the piano. County Cavan/Philadelphia fiddler and composer Ed Reavy esteemed this tune, which, according to his son Ed, he called “the holy ground of that vein of tunes.”

Button accordion player Rose "Redie" Johnston, born in Co. Roscommon, was a daughter of New York Irish step dancing teacher Michael McLaughlin. According to a family tree on Ancestry.com, she married Herbert Johnston, a Tyrone immigrant, in New York City in 1913. Her half-sister Margaret was, according to a March 1, 1919 article in The Advocate (a New York Irish weekly), "the recognized world’s champion step dancer." The McLaughlins, often with dancer James Egan and his family, conducted Sunday night classes and performances starting in 1918 at Durkin's Hall (later called Cashel's Hall) at 100th Street and Third Avenue in Manhattan. Ads and editorial coverage in The Advocate show that Redie performed at that time in groups that included (among other New York Irish musicians) Michael Coleman, James Morrison, Tom Ennis and Patsy Tuohey. After 1921, her name vanished from performance listings in The Advocate. In 1923, however, she recorded a 78 rpm disc with pianist Harry Race, issued as Gennett 5284. The B side was labeled "Redie Johnston's Reels," which discographer and collector Philippe Varlet reports included "Reidy Johnson's (2)" paired with "Boys of the Lough (The)"). Earlier that year, she also recorded two sides with piper Tom Ennis and fiddler Tom Quigley (Gennett 5040). Redie long survived her husband and passed away in 1955 in Broad Channel, Queens, NYC. She also recorded some sides for Victor that were never released.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources:

Recorded sources: Avoca AV 139, Sean McGuire with the Four Star Quartet - "Music of Ireland" (196?). Shannon/Metro 142 (78 RPM), Michael Coleman (1921). Vocalion VOC 14943 (78 RPM), Four Provinces Orchestra (1924).

See also listing at:
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info [2]




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