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Traditional Music >> Performers >> Fiddlers >> Jimmy Johnstone

Jimmy Johnstone


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I don't know a lot about this Orcadian fiddler except that he recorded during the 78rpm era, and composed tunes, some of which are still played in Orkney today. James S C ("Jimmy") Johnstone lived at Mirland, Deerness, Orkney and probably died in the 1960s, and he is buried in St Ninian's Church (commonly called the Old Church). He recorded an unknown quantity of records for the Parlophone label, including the tunes Orkney Isles Hornpipe, Scapa Flow and Tor Reid Hornpipe, all of which he composed himself.

My Parlophone 78rpm record has the title given above "Tor Reid Hornpipe", but I have been told by Allan Jackson that it should be "Toe Reid's Hornpipe" after Thomas "Toe" Reid. Nothing more about this person is known at this time.

Other Jimmy Johnstone compositions include The Mirlands Polka, The Deerness Jig (both sent to me by Allan Jackson), and The Road to Orkney on the LP "Orkney Fiddle Music" by the Orkney Strathspey and Reel Society (1976). (The Deerness Jig, Scapa Flow and Mirland's Polka can also be found on that recording, while Scapa Flow can also be found on the LP "Going to an Orkney Barn Dance" by the Hamnavoe Scottish Dance Band (1973))

Jimmy Johnstone Material

This list of material associated with Jimmy Johnstone is compiled from the sources listed below. I would be very interested to hear of any other material relating to Thomas Shaw (email me). A more detailed list of material which includes labels, matrix numbers, catalogue numbers etc can be found here. In addition, some of JJ's compositions can be seen in standard notation on this site. Click on the [STD] links beside the tune names below.

Code Description
78 78rpm records in my collection
pAJ Sheet Music: photocopied sheet music sent to me by Allan Jackson of Orkney, October 2002.
vOF 12" vinyl record: Orkney Fiddle Music
The Orkney Strathspey & Reel Society, 1976.
vHV 12" vinyl record: Going to an Orkney Barn Dance
The Hamnavoe Scottish Dance Band, 1973.

Title Code
Orkney Violin Medley
Scapa Flow; Balfour Castle; The Wind That Shakes the Barley
Hornpipe Medley
Orkney Isles Hornpipe; High Level Hornpipe; Tor Reid Hornpipe
Orkney Isles Hornpipe (James S C Johnstone) pAJ
Toe Reid's Hornpipe (James S C Johnstone) pAJ   [STD]
The Mirlands Polka (James S C Johnstone) pAJ   vOF
The Deerness Jig (James S C Johnstone) pAJ   vOF   [STD]
Scapa Flow (James S C Johnstone) pAJ   vOF   vHV   [STD]
The Road to Orkney (James S C Johnstone) vOF

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