Mr. and Mrs. Ted McGraw


I have known Ted and Bridget McGraw of Rochester, New York, since the 1980s. I have great memories of playing with Ted in The Village Coachhouse, in Brookline, Massachusetts, a veritable musical institution that was owned by the Varian family of Cork. Here Ted recounts how he came to have a tune written for him and Bridgie by Jimmy Shand, Jr., renowned Scottish accordionist, composer, and accordion tuner: 'We were in Scotland in '86 heading out of Auchtermuchty looking for Jimmy Shand's house when I spotted Jimmy Jr. standing by his gate across the road. He was instantly recognizable from his record jackets. His famous father was adjudicating somewhere up the country so Jimmy Jr. graciously invited us in for a chat. When I saw his shop I immediately asked if he could convert an old Hohner Club Morino to Irish tuning. The bargain was made and even at that time, it was difficult to match the quality of 'Artiste' reeds, so about a year later the box came back to me in Rochester with the tune enclosed, dated Oct. '87. The tone quality of the box, by the way, was beautiful!' The jig is played here for us by Josephine Keegan on fiddle and piano.


Séamus Connolly
Boston College Libraries
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Keegan, Josephine (fiddle, piano) and Shand, Jimmy, Jr. (composer), “Mr. and Mrs. Ted McGraw,” The Séamus Connolly Collection of Irish Music, accessed July 14, 2024,