Just read your blog post on Pat O’Callaghan (my late husband). A wonderful tribute to a great man whose name lives on. All I can do is echo your closing line: “I miss him to this day.” I do too, Brian, I do too…..

Joan O’Callaghan

He left his mark, Joan. Thanks for getting in touch.

I loved Clyde Gilmour! We would always hear his program when we arrived home from Church on Sundays. This would be anywhere from Noon to 12:30, sometimes later. So sometimes we would hear the whole show with its familiar opening theme by the composer Fela Sowande, titled Akinla to its closing theme Pavane. Later, a jazz piece, which I believe was titled Saturday Night was used. I loved diversity of the selections. You never knew what you might get. You might hear an early recording of a Beethoven Symphony by the NBC Orchestra in the 1920s. Or you might hear a comedy sketch from the 50s. You might also hear tracks from a spoken word record, solo Ukulele, a Kazoo concerto, or even the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. There was no end to the variety!

Shows like this, on both TV and on radio, are a rarity. Today everything is specialized. We have channels for every genre and sub-genre. But in an era where the public had only comparatively few TV and radio channels, programs like this were numerous. They are greatly missed today. They required an openness from the listener and in return they offered education and enlightenment. And the time the recordings heard on Gilmour’s albums spanned the entire history of recording itself, from the earliest days of recorded sound to (although perhaps rarely) a very recent item.

The essayist here noted that Gilmour was not a “trained broadcaster”. This was most certainly true, but somehow that really worked for him and gave him a very natural style.


Thanks for your comment, Peter. They tried to replace Gilmour after he retired, but you can’t replace someone as unique as he was.

Hi Brian,
Great story of your musical journey in Canada with Shay Duffin. Our family knew him from Dublin, through his time in Toronto while my parents were there (plus where I was born) then to So. California. He went too soon! Such a shame. Please contact me about your latest book. Thanks.

Lorraine Chambers

Thanks for stopping by, Lorraine. What can I tell you about my book? It’s for sale on Amazon if you’re interested in getting a copy. Shay figures prominently in one chapter.

Hello Brian I have to say I had no idea of you or Shay or the the Dublin Rogues but I do now after a visit to nova scotia this summer I inherited a record collection and took a real liking to “Off to Dublin in the Green” it is an excellent album. I am from Newfoundland originally living in Calgary now my wife’s family is in Sydney Nova Scotia where the record collection came from her grandparents. Her grandmother has passed grandfather still kicking at 95 they had a collection of Irish, Newfoundland and Country music which they were happy to give to me as they knew I would enjoy and I do. It is so great to hear you are in Calgary sad to hear that Shay has passed on but sounds like you would have some stories to tell. Take care and all the best I will keep enjoying this record you and Shay recorded as my wife’s grandmother did often.

Peter Maher

I hope your copy of “Off to Dublin in the Green” is in better shape than my scratched-up old version from 42 years ago. We recorded the album in a Vancouver studio as an independent venture, and were pleasantly surprised when RCA said they would like to issue it on their Camden label. Glad you’ve enjoyed listening to it. It was a real labour of love for us. And, yes, I have plenty of good stories about Shay that I will be including in my memoirs, scheduled for publication by RMB (Rocky Mountain Books) in the fall of 2011.

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