I was lucky enough to be contacted by Jeff Ksiazek from the Ward Irish Music Archives in Milwaukee regarding an old recording that was in their archive.
It is a 78rpm recording of John Kelly Senior playing two reels, The Bunch of Keys / Lord McDonald’s. The information that Jeff had about the recording was that it was an attempt by Bill Stapleton to set up an Irish Music Label in the 1950s, the company was called the “Irish Recording Company”. He had sent some of these recordings over to the United States to find a distributor, but unbeknownst to him or to the artists, these recordings were published on American Labels.
The recording was made sometime between 1949 and 1955. A similar recording was done of Seamus Ennis in 1949. Jeff believes that the pianist was Eileen Lane, who was Bill Stapleton’s wife.
Image with thanks to to the Ward Irish Music Archives. Image of the 78rpm recording of John Kelly. It reads the following:
IRC, IOI2 B, Artist John Kelly, Clare, The Bunch of Keys, Lord Mc Donald’s Reel, Reels, IOI2 B
You can listen to the recording here: