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Myles O'Malley papers

Collection IM-M069-2000: Myles O'Malley papers


  • Creation: circa 1925-1996 (bulk 1930-1953)

Scope and Contents

The Myles O'Malley papers document career highlights of Myles O'Malley, including his rise to fame as a tin whistle player in the 1930s and his career in the U.S. Navy.

The collection consists primarily of photographs. It also includes advertisements, audio materials, correspondence, fliers, musical instruments, music manuscript books, 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Collection is open for research. 78-rpm recordings and unpublished sound cassettes are restricted for playback purposes; request digital use copies instead.

Copyright restrictions

These materials are made available for use in research, teaching and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. The original authors may retain copyright to the materials.

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.


4.5 Linear Feet (5 containers)

Language of Materials



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.


This collection is arranged alphabetically. Folders include advertisements; audio materials; correspondence; essay; fliers; musical instruments; music manuscript books; news clippings and business card; photographs; and royalty statements.


Gift of Rosemary Coltin, 2000.



Myles O'Malley Papers
circa 1925-1996 (bulk 1930-1953)
Elizabeth Sweeney
December 2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the John J. Burns Library Repository

John J. Burns Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill MA 02467 United States