Treasures from the attic: Viva Voce Records

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During the second decade of this century, a dance craze swept North America and led to the development of an urban dance culture which was to last until the Depression, and to continue in a smaller sense until the beginning of the second world war. In New York City alone during the 1920s, some 28 Irish dance halls were in operation — often named for specific counties in Ireland — which featured Irish and American dance music. The emergence of radio and the birth of the ‘ethnic’ or ‘race’ recording industry at this time also contributed to the unique set of circumstances which was to lead to an explosion of Irish music recording during the 1920s. Many of the original Irish-American recordings of this era have recently been re-issued by former RTE producer Harry Bradshaw on his label Viva Voce Records in Dublin. The era, musicians and recordings are profiled here.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-314
JournalJournal of American Folklore
Issue number449
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2000


  • Irish
  • United States
  • musicians
  • sound recording industry
  • 1920s
  • 1930s


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