See You at the Hall: Boston's Golden Era of Irish Music and Dance
From the 1940s to the mid-1960s, on several evenings a week, thousands of Irish and Irish Americans flocked from miles around to the huge, bustling dance halls -- the Intercolonial, the Hibernian, Winslow Hall, the Dudley Street Opera House, the Rose Croix -- that dotted Boston's Dudley Square. For the city's Irish population, the Roxbury neighborhood, with its ballrooms and thriving shopping district, was a vital center of social and cultural life, as well as a bridge from the old world to the new.
See You at the Hall brings to life the rich history of the "American capitol of Galway" through the eyes of those who gathered and performed there. In this engaging look back at Boston's golden era of Irish traditional music, Susan J. Gedutis deftly weaves together engaging narrative with spirited personal reminiscences to trace the colorful dance hall period from its beginnings in 1940s Roxbury, when masses of young Irish flooded Boston following World War II, through its peak years in the 1950s, to its decline in the 1960s, when reduced immigration, urban social upheaval, and a shift in neighborhood demographics brought an end to the heyday of Irish dance hall music in Boston. After the last dance hall closed, Dudley Square musicians moved from the big ballrooms to pubs, social clubs, and private parties, preserving the music and passing it on to younger generations of Irish performers.
Today, Irish traditional music is experiencing a major revival, and Boston still boasts a lively Irish music scene. This vivid portrait of the enduring and vibrant heritage of the dance hall era will rekindle memories of the good times in Dudley Square, and it will fascinate the legion of fans around the globe interested in the roots of the Irish music they hear today in concert halls, pubs, and clubs. The book also recounts an important period, as yet unchronicled, in the history of Irish music in America, and of the Irish in the diaspora.
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Map of the Dudley Street area Roxbury
My Fathers Band I
If Youre Irish Never Mind the Parlor Come into the Kitchen I
Kitchen racket breakdown
The Tara Ceilidte Band St Patrick s Day 1959
Johnny Powell and His Band I
The Musician Crowd
At My Fathers Knee
The Hucklebuck and Blue Suede Shoes
John Foley and the Diplomats at the New State Ballroom
Cardinal Gushing does the highland fling
And the Band Played
accordion player American Ballroom banjo Billy Caples Boston dance Boston Irish Brendan Tonra brother Ceil1 Band ceilf club crowd dance halls dancers Derrane's Dick Senier Dudley Square Dudley Street Dudley Street dance Dudley Street Opera father fiddle floor Frank Storer Galway guys Hibernian Hall interview with Susan Ireland Irish dance Irish dance halls Irish immigrants Irish music Irish traditional music Irish-American Jerry O'Brien jigs Joe Derrane Joe Joyce Johnny Connors Johnny Powell kitchen rackets Larry Reynolds lived Mass Mick Moloney Mickey Connolly Mike mother Music of Ireland musicians night O'Byrne DeWitt Orchestra Paddy Cronin performed piano play popular radio recalls reels repertoire Roxbury saxophone says scene showbands Siege of Ennis songs started Street dance halls Street Opera House style Sunday Susan Gedutis Taped interview Terry Landers thing Tommy Tommy Shields traditional Irish tunes Untaped waltzes wanted weddings Winslow Hall young