Andy Stewart Discography

EMI Recordings (1963-1964)

The demand for Andy Stewart recordings was at its peak during the mid-sixties, with his records being issued in Britain and Australia on His Master’s Voice, in Canada on Capitol, and in May 1963 Columbia subsidiary Epic Records acquired the rights to press Andy’s records for the United States.

I’ve Never Kissed A Bonnie Lass Before

I've Never Kissed a Bonnie Lass Before 45rpm

In May 1963 in preparation for Andy’s next visits abroad HMV released a new sound for the New Year on the A-side of this single. Over the next batch of recordings the orchestrations become increasingly interesting as Brian Fahey provides a more theatrical style of backing to Andy’s vocals. This Stewart-Grant original is very Lauder-ish in both sound and performance.

The Barren Rocks of Aden‘ pipe tune was inspired by the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders tour in the British Colony of Aden, the capital of Yemen. “It is one of the best-known pipe tunes of all time, and was a great favourite with my Uncle Frank. To please him, I wrote the words to celebrate the famous tune”. A unique sound is created on this song with the notes of a lone piper competing with Andy’s staunch vocal treatment.

‘I’ve Never Kissed a Bonnie Lass Before’ has only ever been released in mono, therefore it is unknown whether a stereo mix was prepared or not, but a stereo version of ‘The Barren Rocks of Aden’ can be found on the US LP ‘Tunes of Glory” (Epic 1964). However this stereo version of ‘Aden’ is a completely different one. The lone piper has gone, to be replaced with a softer fully orchestrated accompaniment and so has a very different feel.

Year of Release: 1963
Label: HMV
Catalogue Number: POP 1132 (Mono)

With Orchestra conducted by Brian Fahey.

With Orchestra conducted by Brian Fahey.

Andy Stewart Sings Songs Of Scotland

Songs of Scotland LP

Many new compositions were written specially for this record, and the lively, detailed arrangements provided, make for an improvement over his first LP (not that that was in any shape or form bad) and surely make ‘The Songs of Scotland’ a contender for the title of Andy’s best album as a whole and one would assume highly enjoyable for Andy himself to have recorded.

The Songs of Scotland‘ sets the up-beat mood for the album: “‘The Songs of Scotland’ is a tribute to all those songs of our homeland that have found their way across the world and are sung everywhere from Alaska to Auckland”. Next follows the couthy tale of ‘A Highland Gentleman‘, a song inspired by a local character Andy met whilst playing golf. ‘D’ye Mind Lang Syne‘ was a traditional song favoured by Sir Harry Lauder: “I first performed this song at the Gaiety Theatre, Ayr in 1961 and in the audience was Miss Greta Lauder, Sir Harry Lauder’s niece. Immediately after the show, she came backstage to congratulate me on the performance and to tell me that ‘D’ye Mind Lang Syne’ was almost the only song her late uncle featured which was not his own composition”. The song was actually composed by the Rev. Dr. George James Laurie of Monkland, Ayrshire (1797-1878). Dr. Laurie’s father and grandfather were great friends with Robert Burns and the Laurie family is referenced in some of the writing of Burns. The melody is the well known tune ‘(D’ye Ken) John Peel’ which was written in 1854 by John Woodcock Graves adapted from an old folk song ‘Bonnie Annie’. ‘Flat-Footed Jean‘ was another song which had also been performed by Lauder.

Mormond Braes‘ had its roots in the Strichen area of Aberdeenshire. The original authorship is uncertain; however local belief held that it was written by Dr Alexander Gavin of Strichen (1776-1841). It was later adapted by Willie Kemp. Lastly on side one Andy provided new lyrics to ‘The Cock O’ the North‘; originally a bagpipe tune named after Alexander Gordon, 4th Duke of Gordon of the infantry regiment The Gordon Highlanders.

Going Doon the Watter (Furr the Ferr)‘ is a song Andy first performed at the ‘Glasgow Fair’ and is given a brash “West-End-Musical” style arrangement on this record – with a touch of Jolson – and Andy gets to display a few vocal impressions into the bargain. The lyrics detail the Glasgow holiday exodus known as “Fair-Fortnight”, the two weeks when most Glasgow tradesmen took their annual holidays (The “Rothesay” mentioned in the song was a popular destination). Andy was often quoted that he did not have the vocal ability of his friend and colleague Kenneth McKellar, however his own vocal performance here is an undeniable “tour de force” and it would be hard to imagine anyone else performing this song with as much gusto.

I’m Going Courting‘ is another new Grant-Stewart original whilst ‘The Scottish Fiddler‘ was written by a fiddler himself, Jock Morgan. A native of Aberdeenshire Jock began to play the violin aged five, becoming a violin teacher then playing with the British band of the AEF under George Melachrino. Jock made a name for himself as a songwriter and as performer would appear often in Andy’s stage shows. ‘Let Us Travel Home‘ was written by the famous Scottish rugby union player turned politician, J.M. Bannerman, to a tune written by his father. Another Lauder favourite appears in the form of ‘The Wee Hoose ‘Mang the Heather‘ whilst the album ends on a high-note with one of the very best Grant-Stewart “classics”, benefitting from wonderful orchestration: ‘Lassie Come and Dance‘.

Andy’s first album to be available in the UK in both Mono and Stereo.

Year of Release: 1963
Label: HMV
Catalogue Number: CLP 1632 (Mono) / CSD 1486 (Stereo)

THE SONGS OF SCOTLAND (Grant-Stewart) / A HIGHLAND GENTLEMAN (Grant-Stewart) / D’YE MIND LANG SYNE (Trad.) / FLAT FOOTED JEAN (Adpt. Boothby) / MORMOND BRAES (Trad. – Last verse by Willie Kemp) / THE COCK O’ THE NORTH (Stewart) / GOING DOON THE WATTER (Fur the Ferr) (Grant-Stewart) / I’M GOING COURTING (Grant-Stewart) / THE SCOTTISH FIDDLER (Morgan) / LET US TRAVEL HOME (Bannerman) / THE BONNIE LASS THAT DIDN’T MARRY ME (Grant-Stewart) / THE WEE HOOSE ‘MANG THE HEATHER (Lauder-Wells-Elton-Lauder) / LASSIE COME AND DANCE (Grant-Stewart)

With Orchestra Conducted by Bernard Ebbinghouse, Brian Fahey and Ken Thorne

Andy Stewart Sings Songs Of Scotland


International Variants: ‘Andy Stewart Sings Songs of Scotland’ – Capitol Canada 1963 / ‘A Scottish Soldier – Andy Stewart Sings the Songs of Scotland’ – Epic USA 1963 (‘The Cock O’ The North’, ‘Let Us Travel Home’ and ‘The Bonnie Lass that Didn’t Marry Me’ have been removed and replaced with ‘A Scottish Soldier’ and ‘Donald, Where’s Your Troosers?’ on the Epic album)

North Of The Border

North of the Border 45rpm

North of the Border‘ a new Stewart-Grant A-side, is a gentle waltz in the style of ‘Dancing in Kyle’, whilst ‘Gallawa’ Hills‘, is a traditional song based on ‘The Braes of Galloway’ by William Nicholson, the wandering minstrel of Galloway, and is given a new Stewart-Grant arrangement to great effect featuring a layered male/female vocal backing. Two well recorded songs but very rarely heard.

Neither song has ever been issued in any form with a stereo mix, therefore it is unknown whether mixes were prepared or not.

Year of Release: 1963
Label: HMV
Catalogue Number: POP 1218 (Mono)

With The Michael Sammes Singers and Orchestra conducted by Brian Fahey.

GALLAWA’ HILLS (Adpt. & arr. by Stewart-Grant)
With The Michael Sammes Singers and Orchestra conducted by Brian Fahey.

North O’ The Border

North o' the Border LP

This HMV long-player again features regulars from The White Heather Club: Joe Gordon, Ian Powrie, Robert Wilson, James Urquhart, etc. Unfortunately there are no introductions or linking as there had been on ‘The White Heather Club Party’ album and Andy’s contribution is scant, amounting to only two tracks: a Grant-Stewart waltz ‘The Dance in the Old Village Hall‘ and the monologue ‘Juke Box Jury‘ – a tale of a local village version of the popular BBC TV record-reviewing programme.

A good cross-section of White Heather talent as featured in the show, but those looking strictly for Stewart will be quickly moving on.

Year of Release: 1963
Label: HMV
Catalogue Number: CSD 1497 (Stereo) CLP 1654 (Mono)

THE SCOT’S BONNET – BALCOMIE HOUSE – HARVEST TIME (Trad. Arr. Powrie) Ian Powrie and his Band / OH WHISTLE AND I’LL COME TAE YOU – MY HEART IS SAIR – I L’OE NAE A LADDIE – DEAREST MY OWN ONE – OH WHISTLE AND I’LL COME TAE YOU (Trad.) Anne and Laura Brand with Ian Powrie and his Band / THE BONNIE LAND OF AYR (Bell-Gourlay) Robert Wilson / PIGMIES POLKA (Heinzelmannchen) (Kokaly) Mickey Ainsworth and Jimmy Blue / GRANNIE FRASER’S FLITTIN’ (Trad. arr. J. Gordon) Joe Gordon Folk Four / THE DANCE IN THE OLD VILLAGE HALL (Grant-Stewart) Andy Stewart / THE QUEENS MARIES (Trad.) The Scottish Junior Singers, at the Piano H. Carmichael / ARGYLLSHIRE GATHERING – SHEPHERD’S CROOK – LOCH CARRON (Trad.-arr. Macdonald) Glasgow Police Pipe Band / THE FLOWERS OF EDINBURGH – WAVERLEY STEPS – LORD RANDALL’S BRIDE (Trad.-arr. Powrie) Ian Powrie and his Band / HUNTING TOWER (Trad.-arr. Gordon) Laura Brand and Joe Gordon with Ian Powrie and his Band / IT’S A BONNIE DAY (Corrie-Urquhart) James Urquhart with Ian Powrie and his Band / JUKE BOX JURY (Stewart) Andy Stewart / SKYE BOAT SONG (McLeod-Boulton-arr. Lawson) Scottish Junior Singers, at the Piano H. Carmichael / TARTAN BALL (Trad.-arr. Gordon) Joe Gordon Folk Four / HAPPY WE’VE BEEN ALL TOGETHER – SCOTLAND THE BRAVE (Trad.-arr. MacDonald) Glasgow Police Pipe Band

International Variants: ‘North O’ the Border’ – Capitol Canada 1964

Andy The Rhymer

Andy the Rhymer LP

According to Andy himself this album only received a pressing run of “about 10,000 copies”, which must make it one of the hardest to find today. It would also appear that no foreign pressings were made of this record either. Any copies found abroad are UK pressings usually re-labelled with EMI/Parlophone’s ‘Odeon’ labels (PCLP.1686) and marked as “imported direct from Europe”.

Containing no music, only stories told in his own inimitable style (with some added sound-effects), makes this album a unique entry in his back-catalogue. Although he would record more “Andylogues” on subsequent records these were usually limited to one or two per album.

A ‘Rhymer’ is “a teller of tales” or “a spinner of yarns” in verse and Andy fulfils this title admirably. First up is ‘Tobermory Treasure‘ a tale of woe, inspired by the legend of sunken Spanish gold in Tobermory Bay. Next comes the most famous, most requested and most performed of all “Andylogues”; ‘The Rumour‘. To Stewart fans this needs no introduction, showcasing Andy’s knack for accents as he takes us on a trip around Scotland. One of the most favourite of all Andy’s characterisations was that of the Angus ploughman. In ‘Ploughman Shopping‘ he waits patiently, for his wife who is busy doing what ladies do best: shopping. Three stories of the supernatural follow: ‘Hallow-e’en‘, in which Andy meets Auld Nick himself; ‘Loch Ness Monster‘, in which Andy encounters Nessie; and ‘The Snowman‘, in which Andy encounters a bottle of whisky – and a first-footer from the North Pole! ‘Ma Pair O’ Workin’ Buits‘ is the only track here not self-penned. The story of a farmer’s relationship with his treasured boots was written by Mrs. J. Turnbull, a 1961 newspaper competition winner for best rhyming story chosen by Andy himself.

Side Two opens with ‘The Fishing Competition‘ offering a new slant on the proverbial tale of “the one that got away” whilst Andy’s character of the old man – or “Auld Andra” – based loosely on Andy’s own grandfather tells us of the simple pleasure of ‘A Dauner Thro’ Toon‘. The Angus ploughman returns in ‘The Ploughman Sings‘ and William Angus from the Highlands decides to take ‘A Trip to London‘, a cautionary tale about the lure of the big city. ‘To a Girl Friend‘ reminds us of fleeting youth and beauty whilst ‘Summertime‘ provides the listener with an appreciation of a season probably best enjoyed in memories than in reality (especially if it’s a Scottish summer!). The album ends with ‘Thinking‘ – a reminder that it is better to enjoy life in the here-and-now, rather than miss opportunities that may all-too-quickly pass us by.

This album was only ever available in Mono.

Year of Release: 1963
Label: HMV
Catalogue Number: CLP 1686 (Mono)


Andy The Rhymer


Campbeltown Loch

Campbeltown Loch 45rpm

One of Andy’s “greatest hits”, the song ‘Campbeltown Loch‘ has long since passed into the great Scottish songbook; so much so that it has often been wrongly credited on recordings simply as ‘Traditional’, but in actual fact the composition is much more complicated. The actor Roddy McMillan found the original chorus of unknown origin “Campbeltown Loch I wish ye were whisky, I would drink ye dry” and wrote the first verse whilst Andy provided the rest of the verses. The song was finished during Andy’s 1963 “world-tour” and was premiered in Australia. The traditional bagpipe march ‘The Glendaruel Highlanders’ was the basis for the tune and this was arranged for recording by pianist and musical director for the White Heather Tours, Alan Cameron. The UK single was released on the 27th of December 1963.

Campbeltown, the largest town in Kintyre, had long associations with whisky distilling dating back to the 1600’s, and at one time it was considered the “whisky capital” of Scotland, however the historic origin of the couplet “Campbeltown Loch I wish ye were whisky, I would drink ye dry” is unclear. There are at least two possible stories; a lesser known one is told by Andy in his video ‘Andy Stewart’s Scotland’, regarding a fire in a distillery causing giant vats to burst sending gallons of whisky flowing into the loch. Another better known tale is that of casks of illicit whisky being routinely hidden from sight in the loch, but in less-than-watertight barrels!

Morag O’ Dunvegan‘ is a rarely heard Stewart song; a waltz based on the Gaelic air ‘Morag of Dunvegan’ with new words by Andy, and a lovely floral orchestration by Brian Fahey and is very reminiscent of ‘Dance in the Old Village Hall’ (as featured on the ‘North O’ the Border’ LP). Dunvegan is a village in Skye famous for its castle, the seat of the Chief of the Clan MacLeod.

Neither song has ever been released in true Stereo in the UK, however a true Stereo mix of ‘Campbeltown Loch’ was released on the albums ‘Tunes of Glory’ (US Epic 1964) and ‘Campbeltown Loch’ (Capitol Canada 1965).

Year of Release: 1963
Label: HMV
Catalogue Number: POP 1246 (Mono)

CAMPBELTOWN LOCH (Music: Trad./Words: MacMillan-Stewart)
With Orchestra conducted by Brian Fahey.

MORAG O’ DUNVEGAN (Hardie – Lyrics A. Stewart)
With Orchestra conducted by Brian Fahey.

The Scottish Soldier

The Scottish Soldier (Canada) LP

A Canadian release with no British equivalent, this compilation of A and B side single releases is notable for the inclusion of three tracks which were never released in the UK.

Rothesay Bay‘ is a lonely song of a female harvest worker, written in the late 1800’s by the authoress Dinah Mulock Craik, with music supplied by Alfred Scott-Gatty – author of ‘Ae Fond Kiss’.

Barbara Allen‘ is a traditional song regarding unrequited love, detailing the death of a young man from a broken heart and the subsequent death of the title character ridden with guilt. This song is mentioned in the diary entry for 2nd of January 1666 by Samuel Pepys of his hearing “the little Scotch song of Barbery Allen”. The location of the story is Annan in Dumfrieshire, the young man being one of the Grahams, a clan prominent in the 15th and 16th century Scottish-English Border fighting.

Star of Robbie Burns‘ is a song by James Thomson and James Booth being a favourite at Robert Burns celebration nights known as “Burns Suppers”.

Interestingly, the front sleeve picture is an alternative shot of Andy from the same session that provided the front of the 1961 EP ‘Andy Sings’. In the original of this shot, Andy is actually holding a whisky glass, but this has been “painted out” of the finished sleeve.

Year of Release: 1964
Label: Capitol
Catalogue Number: T6072 (Mono)


Surprisingly, this album was released in the UK on Compact Disc in 2012 on the budget label Hallmark (711492). Whilst not transferred from master-tapes (the transfer has been made from a vinyl record) the sound quality is good, and the CD cover is a reproduction of the original album art. This qualifies as the only “original” 1960’s album available on CD to date. It is available to buy at AmazoneBay and other online stores.

Tunes Of Glory

Tunes of Glory US LP

“Twelve Great Scottish Songs”

An American album of note chiefly for versions of songs never released in stereo in the UK. Also the stereo versions of ‘The Highland Twist‘ and ‘Cowboy Jock From Skye‘ are presented here in slightly different takes from the mono releases whilst ‘The Barren Rocks of Aden‘ is a completely different take with an orchestral backing rather than the “bagpipe” mono version.

The sleeve is notable too for its radical large typography and image of Andy in “ploughman” costume rather than his usual kilted attire.

Year of Release: 1964
Label: EPIC
Catalogue Number: BF 19031 (Stereo) LF 18031 (Mono)

TUNES OF GLORY (Stewart-Grant) / THE LADS O’ BONNIE SCOTLAND (Stewart-Grant) / CAMPBELTOWN LOCH (arr. MacMillan-Stewart) / SANDY’S HOLIDAY (Fyffe) / THE HIGHLAND TWIST (Stewart) / LET US TRAVEL HOME (Bannerman) / THE BATTLE’S O’ER (Trad. -words:Stewart arr:MacFadyen) / THE BARREN ROCKS OF ADEN (arr:Stewart-Grant) / THE BONNIE LASS THAT DIDN’T MARRY ME (Grant-Stewart) / COWBOY JOCK FROM SKYE (Stewart-Grant) / THE COCK O’ THE NORTH (arr:Stewart-Grant) / THE JOLLY PLOUGHBOYS (Grant-Stewart)

Heather Bells Will Bloom Again

Heather Bells Will Bloom Again 45rpm

November brings the final single offering of 1964 with ‘Heather Bells will Bloom Again‘ – a song with a familiar theme of longing for the homeland. Andy remembered: “Another traditional air ‘Craigmillar Castle’, which is played often by the Scottish pipe bands. Ian Powrie was the man who drew my attention to the lilting melody, which inspired me to write the lyrics.” The song proved popular and would be quickly revived in the New Year on a new EP ‘Heather Bells’.

The Stewart original ‘Donald Dhu‘ tells the story of “the man who first made whisky” and is very loosely based on the Tay valley regional folk song ‘Donal’ Don’ first collected in 1899 in Robert Ford’s ‘Vagabond Songs and Ballads of Scotland’ whilst the basis of the melody is the traditional ‘Rob Roy’s March’.

Both sides of this single would be included in Andy’s next album ‘Campbeltown Loch’ (1965).

Stereo mixes of both tracks would appear on the Canadian version of the ‘Campbeltown Loch’ LP (1965).

Year of Release: 1964
Label: HMV
Catalogue Number: POP 1376 (Mono)

With The Michael Sammes Singers with Orchestra conducted by Brian Fahey.

DONALD DHU (Stewart)
With Orchestra conducted by Brian Fahey.

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