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Sullivan, Tommy (Thomas F. Sullivan), 1916-1958



  • Existence: 1916 - 1958

Biographical Note

Thomas F. "Tommy" Sullivan was born in 1916, and raised in Springfield, Massachusetts. He attended Cathedral High School, served in the U.S. Army in North Africa during World War II, and then worked for the U.S. Postal Service as a mail carrier in Springfield for eleven years. He married Alyce Houlihan and they had three children. Sullivan played accordion and specialized in traditional Irish music. His band included Chick Borelli (banjo) and Johnny Kane (fiddle), and he was a close friend of accordionist Joe Derrane. His son Jeff also became an accordion player, and played at the age of ten in a fundraiser for his father, who was suffering from colon cancer. The Testimonial Dance in Sullivan's honor was held on June 20, 1958 at the American Legion Post 430 in Springfield, where he was a member. It featured the Irish music bands of Dave Keough, Chris Tabb, Jack Fitzgerald, and Johnny Kane, as well as accordionists Joe Derrane, Jerry O'Brien, and Johnny Powell. Sullivan died at the age of 42 in 1958 in Springfield.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Tommy Sullivan papers


These papers contain sheet music, photographs, audio recordings, and news clippings documenting the music of Tommy Sullivan, an Irish traditional musician from Springfield, Massachusetts.

Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research. 78-rpm recordings and reel-to-reel audio tapes are restricted and may not be used for playback purposes; request digital use copies instead. Digital use copies for some items may not be immediately available.

Dates: circa 1900-1995