Fiddler on the Road-1972

A lovely documentary made by Ulster Television in 1972 about the legendary fiddler and tinsmith from Ardara in County Donegal, Johnny Doherty. The film is a real gem, describing the lives of the traveling families of Donegal in the early part of the century, their trade, their music, and particularly the Doherty family's place in the musical traditions of the countryside. It describes Doherty's life as a young man earning money playing traditional Irish music and American jazz until forced to return to his occupation of tinsmith as the music of the big bands grew in popularity. Not only does the film shine a welcome spotlight on a great fiddler and fascinating character, but offers a glimpse into a world that has all but disappeared in the four decades since it was made, and shows aspects of Donegal life that are all but memories. We see Doherty at his trade, working a sheet of tin as he talks of his occupation and his music; there are great sc of old-style dancing - even by Doherty as he plays - and of course, there is an abundance of priceless footage of the great man's brilliant playing, which has made him such a legendary figure in the world of Irish music.

This video and its writing were sourced from the Ceolalainn archives, a wonderful source of historical news, videos and articles.


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