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O'Malley, Myles


Biographical Note

Myles O'Malley (1910-2000) was born in Everett, Massachusetts to Irish emigrants Michael and Mary O'Malley. He studied music from a young age, becoming a talented clarinetist and saxophonist. While a saxophonist in the Truman Carew Big Band in Boston, O'Malley taught himself to play the whistle. His performances of Irish melodies on whistle led to his doing regular commercial radio broadcast work. Decca Records invited him to New York City in the mid 1930s to record Irish melodies for the Decca label. His renditions of traditional Irish melodies were extremely popular, earning him the nickname of "Tin Whistle King." After four years in the U.S. Navy, O'Malley returned to Boston in 1947 to resume his music career, playing jazz regularly and Irish music on Thursdays.


Gedutis, Susan. See You at the Hall. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 2004.

Quinlin, Michael. Irish Boston. 2nd ed. Guilford, Conn.: Globe Pequot Press, 2013.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Myles O'Malley papers


This collection documents highlights in the public career of saxophonist and whistle player Myles O'Malley, who was known as the "Tin Whistle King." The collection consists primarily of photographs. It also includes audio recordings, correspondence, fliers, graphic materials, musical instruments, music manuscripts, news clippings, and royalty statements from Decca Records.

Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research. 78-rpm recordings and unpublished sound cassettes are restricted for playback purposes; request digital use copies instead.

Dates: circa 1925-1996 (bulk 1930-1953)