Introduction …

Due to CBTM's popularity in the 60's, coupled with being signed to a major American record label (Columbia) for eight years, most Clancy/Makem recordings are easy to find. That having been said, there are still quite a few hard to very hard-to-find items. It is hoped that the information on the following pages will help outline some of these more collectable items, and help collectors in their endeavors.

These pages will include, the rarest of the rare, the rare, the valuable, the odd, and so on. In addition, information on how to date LP releases by label.

I won't be trying to assess a monetary value to these items. However, many of the recordings listed (on these pages) just don't come up that often for sale — and it may be a long time before you see another one.

Condition is the most important aspect in the actual value of these records. Most (reputable) dealers and collectors adhere to the same basic standards. The page I am including is "The Goldmine Grading System".

Finally, much of this information has come to light via the Liam Clancy message board, and I would thank my fellow Clancy/Makem friends and fans in making it possible to compile this information.

Tradition Recordings

Patrick Clancy, with the assistance of brothers Tom and Liam and the financial support of Diane Hamilton, a member of the Guggenheim family, initiated Tradition Records in 1956 in New York City.The Clancys sold the company to Bernard Solomon at Everest Records in 1966.

Tradition recordings involving The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem and Clancy family members were originally released between 1956-1961(?).

For more information on Tradition Records visit the Tradition discography and the reissues [1] [2] and compilations pages.

Dating Tradition Recordings

This is a somewhat difficult task due to the lack reliable and detailed information available. In addition, some of this information is contradictory.

Liam Clancy states in his book, The Mountain of the Women, "the first three albums to be released on Tradition were The Lark in the Morning, The Rising of the Moon, and The Countess Cathleen." However, using Bill Jantz' Tradition discography, and based on the catalog numbers — The Lark in the Morning was the third release, and The Rising of the Moon was at least the fifth release. In addition, The Countess Cathleen is the only Tradition release with the numerical prefix "500". Subsequent releases were numbered 1000. Therefore, I'm not sure when it was released chronologically speaking. It could be argued that this is nit-picking; but it does muddy the waters.

1 Tradition record labels

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[2] When the re-recorded version of The Rising of the Moon was first released (in 1959) it didn't include the group name, "The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem" on the front cover. I have a copy of this recording (sans the group name), with the above Red, White and Yellow label, which I assuming is original. Additionally, it does mention other Clancy/Makem releases: The Lark In The Morning and Come Fill Your Glass With Us, on the back sleeve. Therefore, Come Fill Your Glass With Us was more than likely released earlier in 1959 than The Rising of the Moon re-record.

The re-recorded version of The Rising of the Moon was again released, this time including the group name, "The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem" on the front cover, also with the Red, White and Yellow label; probably around 1961.

Tradition/Everest Label

image The Clancys sold Tradition to Bernard Solomon at Everest Records in 1966. The Tradition/Everest releases feature this orange label (right) — and similar a green label . Additionally, any Clancy/Makem Tradition "Stereo" (electronically enhanced stereo***) release, is a Tradition/Everest release.

These are clearly the least valuable, and least sought-after CBTM releases. All of the original CBTM, Tommy Makem and Bobby Clancy Tradition recordings have been reissued by Tradition/Everest on vinyl LP, at least through the mid 1980's — and have continue to be issued on CD by Rykodisc and other companies.


*** … in the context of Clancy/Makem releases. Tradition did release Odetta at the Gate of Horn — STLP 201, in "stereophonic". This is the only true "Tradition" stereo release, to my knowledge.

2 Just to complicate matters, Everest did release LPs with the original cover and the "Red, White and Yellow label" — with the addition of a small Everest credit at the bottom of the back cover.

Emerald Label

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image Emerald (Gem) Releases

There were two "Emerald" labels (relevant in this context), "Emerald Gem" an Irish label, with the prefixes GEM and GES, and the Emerald company which operated in London during the 1960s, these releases had the prefix MLD. "Belfast Promotor Mervyn Solomon was closely associated with both Emerald and Emerald Gem."

Source: Irish Music Review

I don't believe that Mervyn Solomon was related to Bernard Solomom, of Everest Records — but they could be — it's an interesting coincidence.


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Other UK reissues
There were a few other Tradition recordings reissued in Ireland and the UK — on the following labels: Emerald Gem, Ember and Hallmark

Once again, as far as reissues and compilations are concerned, I find these more desirable — as they are somewhat harder to find.

The Rising of the Moon

There are two versions of this record — the first, recorded in 1956, with only harmonica accompaniment by Paddy Clancy. According to Liam Clancy's book, "The Mountain of the Women", this version (of which about 200 copies were released) was deemed unsuitable and the same songs were re- recorded, this time with guitar, harp, tin whistle and drum accompaniment — and reissued in 1959.

The original 1956 release …


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The Rising of the Moon: The 1959 & 1961 "re-recorded" releases