Patrick Fitzpatrick - Uilleann Piper

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Patrick Fitzpatrick: Uilleann Piper on Edison Diamond Disc Recording

By Jeff Ksiazek

Published July 26, 2017

Uilleann piper Patrick Fitzpatrick recorded this set of jigs for Thomas Edison's label on January 13, 1917. The tunes are The Comedy Maid (a version of the popular "Kesh Jig"), Rakes of Kildare, and Miss Daly's Jig.

Fitzpatrick was born in Co. Leitrim around 1860. He played the flute before immigrating to Scotland at age 16. While there he studied the highland pipes. After immigrating to New York in 1881, Fitzpatrick turned his attention to learning the uilleann pipes. Francis O'Neill notes in Irish Minstrels and Musicians that Fitzpatrick also built a center for the Irish called Celtic Hall in New York in 1892 before touring the United States in 1913.

He later made recordings for the Victor and Columbia labels.

Edison Diamond Discs

These tunes were released on an Edison Diamond Disc, Edison's answer to the 78 rpm flat disc format. The Diamond Discs were recorded and played back at 80 rpm with an up-and-down vertical motion rather than the standard lateral (side-to-side) movement used by other companies. Because of this vertical recording/playback motion, the discs are quite deep at 1/4 inch thickness -- much thicker than 78 rpm discs and modern vinyl records.

This Edison Diamond Disc is from the David Giovannoni Collection, object DG ED 00-001.

Patrick Fitzpatrick - Uilleann Pipes

Patrick Fitzpatrick, photo from Irish Minstrels and Musicians, p. 321

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