Louis Irigaray Papers

 Collection — Box: BSQAP0026
Identifier: BAQ014

Scope and Contents

BSQAP 0026 1973-1979

-Copy of A Shepherd Grows by Louis Irigaray and Theodore Taylor.

-Clippings about Louis Michel Irigaray.


  • 1973-1979


Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site.

Biographical / Historical

Louis Michel Irigaray is a unique figure in Basque-American music as he was the only sheepherder who became a professional musician, recorded albums and became an icon of his time.

Louis Michel Irigaray is the son of Michel Irigaray and Marie Etcheverria, Basque immigrants in the United States. Both of his parents were from Esterenzubi, Nafarroa Beherea. He spent his boyhood in a sheep camp in Central California, where he sang to the animals. Louis was expected to follow in the footsteps of his father and become a sheepherder. As such, he learned how to herd the sheep in California's San Joaquin Valley. In 1951, he married Carolyn Jones.

He began to perform as a musician in amateur appearances around Lemoore, California. Louis performed on the Gary Moore TV show in New York. In 1971, his career as a professional musician was launched. He sang about the way of life in the mountains in both Basque and English. He went on to record several albums titled: The Basque Balladeer (1973) and A Shepherd Sings (1979).

In 1977, he published the book, A Shepherd Watches, a Shepherd Sings, co-authored with Theodore Taylor. The book illustrates the way of life of the Basque shepherds.



BASQUE MUSEUM. Louis Michel Irigaray. [Online] http://www.basquemuseum.com/content/louis-michel-irigaray [No longer available]

Source: IRIGARAY, Louis; TAYLOR, Theodore (1977). A shepherd watches, a shepherd sings. New York: Doubleday & Company.


0.5 Cubic Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



Clippings about Louis Irigaray. It also includes a copy of “A Shepherd Grows” by Louis Irigaray and Theodore Taylor.

Related Archival Materials

Questionnaire made to Louis Irigaray from when he was a shepherd, is located in Jon Bilbao papers, BAQ001. Jon Bilbao Basque Library, University Library, University of Nevada, Reno.

A Guide to the Papers of Louis Irigaray
In Progress
Irati Urkitza Ansoleaga
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nevada, Reno. Jon Bilbao Basque Library Repository

1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno Nevada 89557-0322 USA
775-682-5724 (Fax)