1981: Celebrating St. Patrick's Day with The Gordon Pipers

Posted at 5:30 AM, Mar 11, 2021
and last updated 2022-03-15 15:04:37-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The skirl of bagpipes from the Gordon Pipers is an unmistakable sound that has permeated central Indiana for decades. Whether at the Indianapolis 500, a Colts game, or the St. Patrick’s Day parade, the Gordon Pipers have been a Hoosier institution since 1962.

Former WRTV reporter Reid Duffy caught up with the windy organization outside of the Union Jack Pub in Speedway on St. Patrick’s Day in 1981.

The pipers were warming up their pipes and prepping for their annual tour of watering holes around central Indiana.

Founder Dr. Wallace “Doc” Gordon Diehl acknowledged that the sound of a bagpipe could be polarizing.

“It’s something that kind of gets in your blood. You’re either with it or you’re not. You’re either for it or you’re against it. There’s no in-between.”

The group played at 15 locations that year including stops at Murphy’s, Flanigan's, Houlihan’s and the Athletic Club, with Diehl’s daughter Soupy dancing along the way.

The Indianapolis 500 Gordon Pipers have a full day of appearances scheduled for St. Patrick's Day 2022.

The Indianapolis 500 Gordon Pipers have several appearances scheduled for St. Patrick's Day 2022.