Archival Tune of the Month: Angus Chisolm

2014 Nov

For November’s archival tune, we return to the fiddle. This month features Angus Chisolm playing in Mabou in June 1952. Born in Margaree Forks, Cape Breton in 1908, Chisolm was one of the first fiddlers from the island to record albums. He played in the Cape Breton Symphony along with Wilfrid Gillis, Jerry Holland, Winston “Scotty” Fitzgerald and others. He passed away in 1979.

The set of tunes he plays here starts with an unknown tune, followed by Blue Bonnets over the Border; Memories of Dan Beaton; Miss Edmonston; Jabe Meadow; an unknown tune that is perhaps a New England or ‘Old Time’ tune; Cease Your Funning; and, lastly, Mrs. Menzies of Menzies. It isn’t specified who is accompanying him on the piano, but the announcer is believed to be Joseph Beaton of Medford, Massachussetts, who was the publisher of the 1940 Cape Breton Collection. Once again, thanks to Paul Cranford for identifying the tunes and the announcer.

(The quality of the recording is not excellent at first, but it gets better).


This recording was part of the collection of reel-to-reel tapes donated by Father MacPhail and can be found on Small Reel 3, Side 2.

Thanks to Donald Joseph MacPhee for his help in getting the tunes identified.

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