Have some “tracks" of your music, poetry or anything original in audio that you'd like on iTunes? All I need is an audio track, a short text blurb about what we are hearing, and if possible a jpeg picture to go along with it.
Recorded live on 6/7/16 at the Women's Institute Hall in
Stanley Bridge, P.E.I. with Michael Pendergast Vocals, Accordion, Piano –
“Uncle” Tom McSwiggan Vocals, Accordion, Harmonica - Shane Pendergast Vocals,
Guitar- Nathan Condon Vocals, Bass Guitar, Fiddle, Step Dancer. Tom McSwiggan
and Michael Pendergast have hosted one of Prince Edward Island's longest
Recorded live on 6/7/16 at the Women's Institute Hall in Stanley Bridge, P.E.I.
Michael Pendergast Vocals, Accordion, Piano
“Uncle” Tom McSwiggan Vocals, Accordion, Harmonica
Shane Pendergast Vocals, Guitar
Nathan Condon Vocals, Bass Guitar, Fiddle,
Veronica Murray Step Dancer
Tom McSwiggan and Michael Pendergast have hosted one of Prince Edward Island's longest running ceilidhs.
JT: I was born in Nevada. Near Reno, Nevada in 1917. Let’s see, I went to an art
school in Los Angeles and I was always interested in art and I thought maybe
if I went to art school I would learn more about what they did, how they did
it and so forth.
MK: Did you have an interest in art when you were a child? Or did the art
JT: A little later, I guess, yes. Perhaps when I was in high school.
MK: When did you start working with Walt Disney?
JT: At Disney? Oh, that was…I guess…let’s see…You know it was after Disney
that I went to art school ‘cause I never had a chance to go to art school.
Didn’t have any money actually, but anyway, I went to school…. Yeah…after I
worked at Disney. A friend of my brother knew a friend who had a friend who
worked at Disney. They were looking for artists so I went for an interview
and I got the job.
MK: I recall a Donald Duck orange juice can. Was that one of your creations?
JT: It could have been. It’s been so long ago now, I can’t remember too many
things, but I guess it was one of the things that I worked on.
MK: What made you decide to leave Walt Disney?
JT: I retired actually. When I was 60 years old I retired from
Disney and started doing some freelance work.
MK: I believe you had a jazz series at the Turning Point in Piermont, New
York many years ago.
JT: That was the first time I had a chance to meet with people who were in
that field. You know, selling posters and original paintings. That’s the
first contact I had, was right there and it was a very exciting period for
MK: I remember a collage that you created where you’re playing the
trumpet. Are you also a musician?
JT: No I’m not. I did have a painting like that?
MK: It was a collage and in the middle of the collage you’re holding a trumpet.
JT: I've always been interested in jazz since I was in high school I guess. I didn’t play any
instruments and I wasn’t in with a jazz group but I loved jazz and always
went to jazz shows in New York, in the Village. And there I got to know the
feeling of what jazz was about and I really enjoyed it.
MK:‘Stomping at the Savoy’, was that a series that you painted?
JT: Yeah…Stomping at the…gosh…you remind me of so many things. Stomping at
the Savoy, I believe is a title of a song.
MK: Benny Goodman, it was a Benny Goodman piece.
JT: Yeah, right. Yes, I title, I guess, a lot of my paintings from popular
MK: Whenever I ride my bicycle up Clausland Mountain I'm
reminded of your woodcut of Clausland Mountain.
JT: Oh, you bring me back such memories. I vaguely remember that.
MK: You made this for a benefit.
JT: Oh yes. I know that I did some paintings for a benefit and I forget who
it was for or what.
MK: I think it was a project to preserve Clausland Mountain.
JT: Oh yeah, yeah. I remember that now, yes.
MK: A while back I recall watching a sitcom and finding one of your paintings in the set.
JT: Oh is that right? God! I remember…off and on I see my paintings in
the background of a program or something.
MK: Have you had the opportunity to do any painting recently?
JT: No ... very little. You know I’m 85 years old now and I haven’t done very
much. Though I’m thinking of going back to painting. The thing that I’m
interested in right now are abstract paintings. I found an old painting and
I was looking at it and I said you know it's pretty good. I think probably I'll go back to abstract painting.