From County Cork to the Bright Lights of Broadway and Chicago (#833)

This episode spotlights two Irish families from Bantry, West Cork: Francis O'Neill, who preserved Irish music in Chicago, and the Keohanes, ancestors of Broadway composer George M. Cohan.

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From County Cork to the Bright Lights of Broadway and Chicago (#833)

In this episode we tell the story of not one, but two, Irish families that came from County Cork out of the area surrounding the town of Bantry in West Cork, Ireland.

The first story shares the story of Francis O’Neill who emigrated to the USA and Chicago – eventually becoming a chief of police. More importantly, he became an avid collector and preserver of traditional Irish music. The healthy state of Irish traditional music today owes a lot to the efforts of this one man.

We then follow the Keohane family who left the area in the early 1800s. On arrival in the USA, their name changed to “Cohan” and their grandson is the broadway composer we know today as “George M. Cohan”.

We also have lots of wonderful Irish songs and music to help us along the way – so do enjoy!

You can listen to the show on your computer/smartphone by clicking on the play button above (the triangle with the circle around it). You can also download the show onto your computer by clicking on the download symbol. Enjoy!

Letters Featured in This Episode:

Music Featured in This Episode:

  • “Chief O’Neill’s Favourite Hornpipe” performed by Willie Clancy.
  • “City of Chicago” performed by Christy Moore.
  • “Yankee Doodle Dandy” performed by Jimmy Cagney and Bob Hope.

The Letter from Ireland Show is a weekly podcast that goes out each Thursday from our cottage in County Cork. Tune in to this episode – and dive straight in to a bit of Irish caint, ceóil agus craic (conversation, music and craic!).

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This Episode is Brought to You by:

The Green Room! The Green Room is run by Irish people, out of Ireland – and focused on people of Irish ancestry all over the world. We know Irish culture, history, the language – and many of the issues people have with understanding complex Irish Heritage and Ancestry. While genealogy record sites bring you part of the way – we’ll bring you all the way home! So, break down those Irish Ancestry Brick Walls when you join today – see all about the Green Room here.

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Slán for now, Mike and Carina.

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