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date: 19 November 2019

McNulty Familylocked

  • Ted McGraw

Extract

The McNulty Family was the most popular Irish entertainment group in the United States from the 1930s through the 50s. Based in New York City, the group was led by Ann “Ma” McNulty (b Kilteevan, County Roscommon, Ireland, 2 Dec 1887; d New York, NY, 1970) who played Irish button accordion. Her husband, John McNulty, died in 1928. By this time their American born children, Peter (b Dobbs Ferry, NY, 28 April 1917; d New York, NY, 1960), who played violin, piano, danced and sang, and Eileen (b Attleboro, MA, 25 Feb 1915; d Milwaukee, WI, 22 Sept 1989) who danced and sang, were already accomplished entertainers. “Ma” organized this lively, energetic trio as a means of supporting her family.

Their style was an Irish form of vaudeville in which acting and dancing were part of the delivery of a song. Their act included comic skits as well as songs, and even a short play, ...

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Journal of the Society for American Music