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Irish Music on 78rpm Discs

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Patrick J. Gaffney: Mulligan Races (reel)

This week's 78rpm disc features fiddler Patrick J. Gaffney with a reel better known as the Mullingar Races. This was recorded in 1922 and released on the O'Key label (21011).

Gaffney was a Boston based musician and recorded a number of discs from 1922 to 1925. Unfortunately there were a number of Patrick J. Gaffney's alive in the area during this time, so it's difficult to discern biographical information about this particular Patrick J.

Newspapers of the times show that he did perform prolifically on radio broadcasts from at least 1923 through 1936. Gaffney also performed for various Irish gatherings, including a 1926 meeting of the Michael Davitt Council of the American Association for the Recognition of an Irish Republic (AARIR):

"Patrick J. Gaffney, the well-known fiddler, whose playing of old Irish melodies has delighted radio listeners, will be one of the principal attractions at the annual entertainment of Michael Davitt Council, AARIR, to be held in Franklin Union Hall, Berkeley st, tomorrow evening." (2/10/1926 edition of The Boston Globe).

The last engagement located (at least so far) is from May of 1937 for a St. Thomas Aquinas parish reunion in West Roxbury where "Old-time dancing will be in charge of Pat Gaffney."

An obituary for a Patrick J. Gaffney of 10/6/1947 appears in The Boston Globe the following day. There's also a rather sad appeal for the whereabouts of relatives of a Patrick J. Gaffney from the Gardner State Hospital in June of 1953.

From the Ted McGraw Collection, McGraw 78 01-206.

Performers: Patrick J. Gaffney
Record Label and Issue Number: O'Key 21011
Year: 1922
Collection: Ted McGraw Collection
WIMA ID: McGraw 78 01-206

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