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Fiddler Johnny Cronin (1934–1991) was in his time the most prominent County Kerry musician in New York. Born in Reaboy, Gneeveguilla in the heart of the musical Sliabh Luachra district, Johnny was strongly influenced by the legendary Padraig O’Keeffe, who taught the fiddle to Johnny’s older brother Paddy. He also took up the button accordion but mostly gave that instrument up after an injury to his right hand. In 1956 he emigrated to Boston, where his brother Paddy was already established, before going on to Chicago and, finally, New York, where he spent the remainder of a too-short life. He played often at the Bunratty Bar in the Bronx and Tom O’Reilly’s in Manhattan and formed a musical partnership with Kilkenny native Joe “Banjo” Burke that yielded a 1977 Shanachie LP. Johnny was reunited with his brother Paddy at a 1990 Boston College fiddle festival which yielded the live recording The Green Fields of America.

  • Drag her around the road, reel ; Martin Wynne's reel / Johnny Cronin, banjo ; Joe Burke, accordion ; Jerry Wallace, piano