Saturday, September 09, 2006



Just learning to play this little jewel. I can thank Kate Johnson for the inspiration to get one.

This is called the Mellow Dog, which is a tweaked version of the Walton Mellow D Irish Whistle. It's in the key of D. Also have one in the key of C. This one is tweaked (made better) by Jerry Freeman who is the only professional whistle tweaker in the world. I also have a Walton Sweetone whistle tweaked by Jerry. The Mellow Dog, so far, is my favorite.

The penny whistle (tin whistle) of modern era got renewed about 25 years ago with the interest in folk music. The first one dates back some 25,000 years with a bone made flute. Around 1875 the penny whistle as we know it today came into being. The instrument is well known in England, Scotland, Ireland and beginning in America.

Did they ever cost a penny? The first ones sold were 1/4 cents each (two pence each) by Whistling Billing (another interesting story). He paid 3 pence for 12 of them! In some places it was custom to give a penny to a child playing them in the street. Thus the name stuck.

Today, pennywhistles sell for as little as $3.00 up to over $400, depending on the make.

6 comments:

Teri C said...

How fun and interesting Donn. Now if we only had audible blogs! :)

Lin said...

WONDERFUL WONDERFUL,Donn!!!! I left a message on the online site! But these are truly well done, my friend!! SO GLAD to have you sketching again!

Karen said...

So what sort of tunes as you playing on it?
It looks like fun!

Bonny said...

What a neat drawing! And I like the little history lesson, too. It always makes a work of art that much more interesting when there is a 'story' to go with it.

bakya said...

Ditto to all above....
Always enjoy little history.
My grandfather was virtuoso on his hand made instrument.
I have vivid memory, following him trough the woods searching for that perfect piece of wood to make one for me.I remember, even today, what wood is best to make good instrument!!
Thanks for the memories

Jana Bouc said...

What a charming drawing/painting. It has such spirit!