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History, Tradition, Heritage As related to the subjects of piping, drumming and pipe bands.

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Old 09-27-2010, 08:16 AM   #41
Airborne92
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Default Re: Donegal Pipers, New York City

"lusty antiphony", eh?

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Old 10-01-2010, 03:17 PM   #42
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Default Re: Donegal Pipers, New York City

http://cgi.ebay.com/Donegal-Piper-Ne...item2a0a9475a6
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Old 04-19-2017, 05:18 PM   #43
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Default Re: Donegal Pipers, New York City

I don't know if anyone will read this far but here's a few answers and corrections:

1. The Donegal Pipe Band did exist. I was a member from about 1955 to 1960. They taught me to play the pipes and I still do.

2. The funeral pyre ending described above was almost as I heard it from Greg OBrien the ex pipe major. He said the band had (after he had left it) inadvertently played through the picket line of Moore McCormick tugboat line when the QE II docked and the next day the Donegal Association recalled the uniforms and burned them behind their building. Not the pipes...those were owned by the pipers.

3. OBrien was a wonderful pipe major. Young, energetic, stern and a very good piper. His picture can still be found on the web because he posed for a Kodak ad while decked out in the highland outfit of a band in Washington which despite being Scottish selected him for pipe major. Talent came to the fore no doubt.

4. The band had colorful characters. Mention is made of Big John O'Connor for example. He was a 6'4" lanky dumb looking ex sailor. Every punk in the Irish bar scene saw him as an easy target to be beaten up as a way to impress the girlfriend. However, O'Connor had been in hundreds of fights and though scarred really knew how to handle himself. I never knew him to pick a fight and I never knew him to lose one.

We had a couple of huge steelworkers named Kelly. A couple of Australian ex soldiers who despite being short decked a passel of toughs who picked on them for wearing kilts in the subway. A bass drummer who knew every rebel Irish song ever composed.........and so on.

5. The band was not the only colorful band. The Armagh band used, I was told, to carry hatchets. Their drummer hocked the bass drum before a parade.

6. I never met Neil Duddy but I doubt he was ever pipe major. OBrien would surely have mentioned it when I met him 10 years ago in Washington. OBrien has since gone to the massed band in the sky.

Got any questions, post them and I will answer.
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Old 04-19-2017, 07:12 PM   #44
Dave Gallagher
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Default Re: Donegal Pipers, New York City

I can't believe I am seeing this thread again. Duddy was the second worst piper I ever heard. I only heard his recordings but they are really bad in both tuning and playing. I have however heard one in person who is even worse than Duddy.
I thank everyone for posting only historical facts and questions. I thank the mods for seeing the historical value of the story being told of which politics were a major part of the story and letting the thread stay open.
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Old 04-20-2017, 04:20 AM   #45
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Default Re: Donegal Pipers, New York City

Being from Brooklyn, this has been a great thread. Anyone know how Clann Eireann pipe band is doing?
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Old 04-20-2017, 12:52 PM   #46
Ian Lawther
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Default Re: Donegal Pipers, New York City

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Gallagher View Post
I can't believe I am seeing this thread again. Duddy was the second worst piper I ever heard. I only heard his recordings but they are really bad in both tuning and playing.
Just so you don't have to take Dave's word for it......http://www.folkways.si.edu/neil-a-du...ck/smithsonian
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Old 04-20-2017, 01:02 PM   #47
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Default Re: Donegal Pipers, New York City

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Lawther View Post

Just so you don't have to take Dave's word for it.....]
I'd give credit for a big chanter du jour though. As far as being the worst?....I believe I've heard some who might exceed expectations.
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Old 04-21-2017, 06:04 AM   #48
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Default Re: Donegal Pipers, New York City

Agree with el gaitero...the sample is reminiscent of many recordings of the era...including some recordings of Regimental Pipe bands of high repute that I have ...recording techniques were poor in those days...something to keep in mind when evaluating 50 years later...just to add to the earlier thread discussion, I'm told by one of the Donegal band members that was present during the infamous QE II kerfuffle that Willie Joe Cunningham was the head of the County Donegal Association at the time and was the driving force behind the band uniforms being confiscated.
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Old 04-21-2017, 07:51 AM   #49
Dave Gallagher
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Default Re: Donegal Pipers, New York City

I like to think that I would know the difference between a poor quality recording of a piper playing poorly and using an out of tune set of pipes and
a poor quality recording of a piper playing well and using a set of well tuned pipes.
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Old 04-21-2017, 07:53 AM   #50
el gaitero
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Originally Posted by Dave Gallagher View Post
I like to think that I would know the difference between a poor quality recording of a piper playing poorly and using an out of tune set of pipes and
a poor quality recording of a piper playing well and using a set of well tuned pipes.
Yep...I'm with you ...we all do.
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