- 29 Sep 23
Real to Reel: Garech Browne & Claddagh Records by James Morrissey is available for purchase now.
The longstanding, legendary Dublin record label Claddagh Records has released its new book about founder Garech Browne.
Titled Real to Reel: Garech Browne & Claddagh Records by James Morrissey, the book depicts the life of the Guinness heir and his commitment to preserving Ireland’s musical and spoken-word heritage in establishing Claddagh Records. It also features many previously unpublished photographs, giving readers a glimpse into his extraordinary world.
📣ANNOUNCMENT📣 REAL TO REEL : Garech Browne & Claddagh Records - the Incredible new Book & Vinyl Boxset, chronicling the life and time of the Claddagh Records founder is now available for Pre-Order Now!
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— Claddagh Records (@CladdaghRecords) August 15, 2023
Lauded as an "unprecedented insight into the life of one of Ireland's most intriguing features", the book was written in collaboration with those who knew Browne best. It features contributions from Garech’s housekeeper Margaret Traynor, his librarian Mary Hayes, and his friends Anthony Palliser, Tara MacGowran and Mary Finnegan, along with some of Ireland's biggest figures, including President Michael D. Higgins and Bono.
Browne was no stranger to the celebrity lifestyle: the wealthy eccentric was known to throw lavish parties that would see the likes of Mick Jagger, Brendan Behan, Kofi Annan, Brian Jones, Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan, Seamus Ennis, Picasso, Samuel Beckett, Anita Pallenberg and Lucian Freud.
But in what is perhaps his most meaningful contribution to Irish culture, Browne was committed to preserving Irish music and spoken word and has been called "one of the greatest archivists of Irish culture of all time." He founded the influential Claddagh Records in 1959, with the intention of preserving Ireland's musical and spoken-word culture as the international music scene took off.
"Garech Browne knew what he wanted to achieve with Claddagh, namely, the preservation of Irish traditional music, song and spoken word," writes author and Claddagh chairman James Morrissey. "Garech's life was a journey of discovery and learning, far from the mundanity of the daily grind of most peoples’ lives. He thrived on a combination of chaos, conflict, and creativity. He could be as erratic as he was eccentric. Claddagh Records was a precarious project which defied business norms. And Garech loved it all the more for that.”
Along with the book, Claddagh Records has released Masters of Their Craft, a Claddagh Collection 12" vinyl LP that includes 17 remastered tracks from the Claddagh archives, including a never-before-heard poem from the award-winning Irish poet Paul Muldoon.
In celebration of the book's release, Claddagh also released a short animated film called 'One Night in Luggala', animated by Cian Hughes and Barbara Olivera. You can watch the video below.
You can order a copy of the book here!