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Louis E. Quinn came to New York from south Armagh in 1931. In a 1977 interview with musician and scholar Mick Moloney, Quinn provided an interesting look back at his life in New York: “I started to play traditional music immediately, during the Depression, as a means of getting something to keep alive, to eat with.” He formed a close friendship with Lad O’Beirne, who joined him in late 1933 at a recording session by “Louis E. Quinn and his Shamrock Minstrels.” They only made three discs, but the band was busy with dance gigs for county associations and other functions and on live radio broadcasts. Louis married in 1945 and raised a musical family of seven children.

Along with his close friend, James Lad O’Beirne, Louis was a vital link to the older players from the ‘Golden Age’ of recording. His involvement in Irish traditional music in New York spanned a period of six decades up to his passing in March 1991 and he was a driving force behind the amalgamation of various traditional music Associations with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann in the early 1970s. What sets him apart from his contemporaries were firstly the regularity of his visits home to Ireland but also the rich collection of private recordings he made in the post-war period, both in New York and Ireland.

See also Louis Quinn Collection

  • Quinn from Armagh [comp. Ed Reavy], hornpipe / Mary Lou Quinn ; Louis Quinn

  • Untitled, reel / Louis Quinn, fiddle ; unidentified, accordion

  • Lad O'Beirne's hornpipe [comp. Ed Reavy] / Louis Quinn, fiddle ; Sean Quinn, fiddle

  • Unidentified, hornpipe / Louis Quinn, fiddle ; Sean Quinn, fiddle

  • Fly by night, hornpipe ; The high level, hornpipe ; The Newcastle hornpipe / Louis Quinn ; James 'Lad' O'Beirne

  • The Victoria, hornpipe ; Seán McGuire's reel [comp. Bert Murray] / Louis Quinn, fiddle

  • Untitled, hornpipe / Mary Lou Quinn, speech ; Louis Quinn, fiddle

  • Seán sa cheo, reel / Louis Quinn, fiddle