Thanks Frank (and indirectly Izak) and Jerome for your time on this
question today. I also got some input directly from Kevin Burke today,
and from Brendan Dolan, who like Jerome also quoted from the Folkways
1977 LP notes (which are signed "Alan Podber, November, 1976").
The result: the recording session most likely happened in early-mid
March 1973, and I nominate March 11 and/or 18 as the most likely
date(s), with a mild leaning towards March 18.
The various pieces of evidence are:
- Kevin Burke is confident that he did not arrive in the US until
October 1972. (per e-mail from him to me today) This makes Izak's memory
of summer 1972 definitely impossible.
- Kevin's first guess (also in today's e-mail) of the recording date,
unbiased by other input, is: "early '73, Jan or Feb, maybe but it is
possible we did it in late 72."
- But when I responded by sharing those 1977 Folkways liner notes with
him which claim "spring 1973", he averred: "Yes, that looks about right.
Having thought about it some more, I bet early to mid March is more
likely than Jan/Feb. I do remember it was cold but my Irish version of
"cold" is not like the snow and ice of a NY winter!"
- If Kevin's published memory in his Nov. 2000 notes, of a "cold Sunday
morning," is accurate, that suggests March 4, 11, or 18 of 1973. When I
check historical weather records from the NWS for the Bronx, we see:
March 4: high of 55F and some rain (warmer than average)
March 11: high of 41 and a trace of moisture (colder than average)
March 18: high of 41 and a trace of moisture (colder than average)
March 25: high of 57 and some trace moisture (warmer than average)
This weather data does corroborate Kevin's memory of a "cold" day
(relatively speaking), and helps make a case for March 11 or 18 as the
recording date(s), and certainly for mid-March 1973 in general.
Looking even more closely (why not?) at the weather data, we see that
March 18 was colder than March 11, with a mean temp of 36F vs. 39F (the
usual means for those days are 41 and 43). So if we had to pick one
date, March 18 looks a stronger candidate. Now, does the fact that that
was the day after a New York St. Patrick's Day somehow influence our
choice one way or the other?
Alan Ng, PhD . Madison, Wisconsin, USA
[log in to unmask] . http://www.alan-ng.net