Edward Herborn and James Wheeler: The Rambler's Jig

The Edward Herborn and James Wheeler accordion/banjo duo were the first musicians that Ellen O'Byrne offered up to Columbia to record Irish dance tunes. Since the deal required O'Byrne to buy 500 to 1,000 copies in advance to sell through the O'Byrne Dewitt store, she went door-to-door in the Irish neighborhoods to announce the impending release of the recording. The disc sold out in no time and proved there was a market for Irish music in America.

We're not positive if this recording was that first big release, but it was the first chronologically. It was recorded on September 15, 1916 in New York and features "The Rambler's Jig." It's a lovely version of "The Kesh" jig that is still popular today.

From the David Giovannoni Collection, item DG 78 00-022.

More information: tcjournal.org/drupal/print/vol3/oconnell?page=8

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