Irene Kelley


Oral History Information

Interview Date
Job Title
Musician, Songwriter

Irene Kelley was raised in a culturally rich musical home. HXer father was a musician as was her older brother, who played guitar in the Chet Atkins style. Irene learned to play the guitar and began singing at an early age. She also developed her talents as a songwriter. She wrote a song that was a contender for a state song, “Pennsylvania Is My Home” (the diverse state has still not adopted a song), which really encouraged her to write. She was hired by a host of music publishing companies, including EMI, for whom she was often paired with co-writers, which was an important learning opportunity for her. Years later she formed her own publishing company and continues to write both alone and with others. She has also released several albums, four of which are set in the Bluegrass style.