Where else could you listen to Celtic groups like Lúnasa if it weren’t for public radio? The Thistle & Shamrock, a weekly Celtic music program available on over 380 public radio stations, has become the most listened-to Celtic music program in the world since it first aired over 30 years ago.
The show’s host, Scottish-native Fiona Ritchie, started the program in 1981 at WFAE, a public radio station in Charlotte, North Carolina. What began as a local-only program soon became so popular that it was picked up for national syndication in 1983. When listening to the show, you can expect to hear traditional reels, jigs, ballads and laments, but you will also discover the next generation of Celtic musicians.