Andy Stewart Rare Audio

A collection of salvaged, rediscovered and rarely heard audio recordings – some being unique and from the only existing source.

Always wanted: Rare audio and video recordings: television appearances, radio recordings, live concerts, interviews, etc. If you think you may have anything of interest, please contact me.

A New Year Party At The White Heather Club

A New Year Party at The White Heather Club

(Audio Soundtrack)

Originally broadcast BBC Television 1st January 1963

285 editions of The White Heather Club were produced, however only six remain in the BBC’s archives. All record of the other 279 White Heather Clubs were thought to be lost forever. However, newly found, the soundtrack of this New Year edition was retrieved from a 7″ domestic reel-to-reel audio tape recording of the live TV broadcast, a recording which, remarkably, had remained imprinted on the tape – untouched since its original transmission 60 years ago.

This edition is not known to exist in any form in the BBC’s or any other archive.

A GUID NEW YEAR Andy Stewart / THE DASHING WHITE SERGEANT Ian Powrie & His Band / O’HARA’S BARRA Roddy McMillan / THE LADS OF BONNIE SCOTLAND Andy Stewart / JIGS & REELS Ian Powrie & His Band / LOCH LOMOND Moira Anderson / BLUEBELL POLKA – HIGHLAND CRADLE SONG – MY LOVE IS BUT A LASSIE YET Jimmy Shand & His Band with Ian Powrie / THE PARSON’S CURE Bill Simpson / CAMPBELTOWN LOCH Roddy McMillan with Ian Powrie & His Band / SING ME A HEBRIDEAN SONG Duncan Macrae / SEONAID MHOR AND MAGGIE ANN Duncan Macrae / HO-RO MY NUT BROWN MAIDEN James Urquhart / JIGS & REELS Ian Powrie & His Band / YE CANNAE SHOVE YER GRANNY AFF A BUS (Medley) Andy Stewart / THE MUCKIN’ O’ GEORDIES BYRE Jimmy Shand & His Band / A HAPPY NEW YEAR John Grieve / JIGS & REELS Ian Powrie & His Band / YE BANKS & BRAES Moira Anderson & James Urquhart / GOING DOON THE WATTER (Fur the Ferr) Andy Stewart & Company / STANDING IN THE SINK Duncan Macrae / THE DIEL’S AWA The Aeolian Singers / THE WEE TOON CLERK Finlay Currie / 1963 MONOLOGUE Andy Stewart / D’YE MIND LANG SYNE Andy Stewart & Finlay Currie / PIPE BAND OF THE 277 (ARGYLE & SUTHERLAND HIGHLANDERS) PIPE-MAJOR JOHN C. WEATHERSTON, B.E.M / AULD LANG SYNE Company

A New Year Party At The White Heather Club

LISTEN (YOUTUBE)

Unreleased Recordings

1960s EMIdisc Acetate Recordings

In October 2012, three ten-inch one-sided 45rpm acetate discs came to auction, containing recordings made by Andy for EMI in the 1960s. Two of the three recordings were previously unknown; were never released and had remained unheard for over fifty years.

Acetate Discs

A 1960s acetate disc cutting machine (also known as a lathe)
A 1960s acetate disc cutting machine (also known as a lathe)

Acetate discs were the forerunners of modern blank recordable CDs. These “recordable records” comprised of a thin platter of aluminium sandwiched between two layers of nitrocellulose lacquer that, untouched, were smooth and blank in appearance, but when placed onto a “cutting” machine and an audio signal fed through the cutting “head”, grooves were carved out onto the blank surface rendering the disc playable on a conventional record player.

Acetates were unique items, cut in “real-time” (i.e. if the track was three-and-a-half minutes long, that’s how long it took to cut the disc) and were used in recording studios, so that personnel involved in the recordings – usually the artist or the producer – could take away the fruits of their labour for review at home. Many did not survive. They were seen as disposable and the discs physically did not stand up to repeated plays like their vinyl counterparts.

EMIdiscs were the standard acetates used by EMI with either handwritten labels or as the case with these particular ones written directly on the disc.

Restoring the Discs

Many acetates from the 1960s are now in a less than desirable state; however these particular discs have survived in reasonably good condition. Present around the rim of each disc is a white powder deposit that is a known problem with old acetate records. The adhesive that binds the acetate to the aluminium leaks out over time and dries into a hard “mould” that is very difficult to remove. If it is on the playing surface, the audio will be affected; however as these tracks were cut to a seven-inch dimension on a 10-inch disc the deposit doesn’t encroach onto the playing surface. With some gentle cleaning, 50 years worth of dirt and dust was removed and the tracks were transferred and digitally cleaned up.

Examining the Contents of the Discs

The actual discs contain three “finished” tracks – not demos or early versions – The Scottish FiddlerJock Cameron and The Hawk. The Scottish Fiddler is the same mono mix as heard on the 1963 LP Songs of Scotland whereas more excitingly Jock Cameron and The Hawk have never been released at all. Identifying the recording dates, the writers and the personnel involved in these recordings involves one part detective-work, and a larger part of guess-work.

Dating the recordings is reasonably straightforward. The Scottish Fiddler was released on the 1963 Songs of Scotland LP. Andy was in the studio in the latter half of 1962 recording tracks for this album and as these acetate discs physically share similar batch numbers it is easy to suggest that they were cut with tracks from recording sessions within this time-frame.

Identifying the conductors is more difficult. When listening to songs recorded around this time, the orchestration of these tracks bear more resemblance to those by Ken Thorne or Brian Fahey than those provided by Bernard Ebbinghouse. Adding more to the mix, in the original bunch of acetates in the same handwriting was one by the Frank Cordell Orchestra. Frank Cordell orchestrated Andy’s 1961 recording Tunes of Glory – did he have a hand in these? Without documentation this is pure guess-work.

Jock Cameron

Jock Cameron was written by Andy’s friend and colleague, the “Scottish Fiddler” himself, Jock Morgan. Indeed Andy eventually released a version of this song in one of his medleys on his Sing a Song of Scotland album in 1979. This 1962 version is a sheer delight with a strong arrangement and a highly infectious chorus.

The Hawk

The authorship of the other unreleased track, The Hawk, is more difficult to attribute.

The Hawk that Swoops on High is a retreat march arranged by Pipe Major John Mackay (1860-1925) of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and based on the Gaelic song Creag Ghuanach. Creag Ghuanach (meaning “stately rock”) is a small steep craggy hill rising above Creaguaineach Lodge at the head of Loch Treig in the region of Fort William.

The lyrics presented here bear no resemblance to the translated Gaelic original, and one would guess therefore that Andy has again employed his magic formula, and written new lyrics to the MacKay pipe-tune. There seems no reason not to suppose further that Iain MacFadyen may well have provided the arrangement, making this a hitherto unknown Stewart-Grant collaboration. The Michael Sammes Singers are present on this track and the song itself is probably the strongest of the selection here presenting the story of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Battle of Culloden in rousing fashion.

Why were these three tracks cut to acetate and for whom? The tracks themselves are excellent – were they being considered for single release? Why were two of the tracks never included on any release? We will probably never know, however, the chances of previously unknown, unheard and unreleased tracks surfacing over fifty years after their recording are slim to say the least, yet amazingly, they are presented here.

The Hawk Acetate Disc

The Hawk

Jock Cameron Acetate Disc

Jock Cameron

The White Heather Club

White Heather Club - 24th November 1959 Edition

(Audio Soundtrack)

Originally broadcast BBC Television 24th November 1959

A newly found soundtrack of a wiped edition of The White Heather Club retrieved from a 7″ domestic reel-to-reel audio tape recording of the live TV broadcast.

One of the earliest available records (if slightly incomplete at 40 minutes) of Andy presenting The White Heather Club and this particular edition was unusually one-hour long and screened 8PM-9PM on BBC Scotland covering the period that an English international football match was being screened on English BBC TV.

This edition is not known to exist in any form in the BBC’s or any other archive.

Your host, Andy Stewart introduces Laura Brand, James Urquhart, Bobby Watson, Hector McAndrew, The Joe Gordon Folk Four, The Scottish Junior Singers and Ian Powrie and his Band.

The White Heather Club: November 24th 1959

LISTEN (YOUTUBE)

The White Heather Club

White Heather Club - 10th January 1963 Edition

(Audio Soundtrack)

Originally broadcast BBC Television 10th January 1963

Another newly found soundtrack of a wiped edition of The White Heather Club retrieved from a 7″ domestic reel-to-reel audio tape recording of the live TV broadcast.

This edition is not known to exist in any form in the BBC’s or any other archive.

Your host, Andy Stewart introduces Ann and Laura Brand, James Urquhart, Dixie Ingram, Harry Carmichael, The White Heather Dancers and Ian Powrie and his Band.

The White Heather Club: January 10th 1963

LISTEN (YOUTUBE)

Live At The Caird Hall, Dundee, March 1993

Andy Stewart Outside Caird Hall

Although recorded in the same month as his Aberdeen Beach Ballroom concert as filmed for the video release ‘Andy’s Scottish Party’, this mini-set at the Caird Hall is a much livelier and more enjoyable performance.

DONALD, WHERE’S YOUR TROOSERS? / THE RUMOUR / A SCOTTISH SOLDIER / IT’S NICE TO BE A GRANDPA

Live At The Caird Hall, Dundee, March 1993

LISTEN (YOUTUBE)

Live at The Usher Hall, Edinburgh, 1988

Andy Stewart singing

Another mini-set from Andy, this time coming from Edinburgh.

COME IN, COME IN / ANDY’S PARTY / TAKE ME BACK / A SCOTTISH SOLDIER / CAMPBELTOWN LOCH / DONALD, WHERE’S YOUR TROOSERS? / SCOTLAND THE BRAVE / MARIE’S WEDDING / WE’RE NO AWA’ TAE BIDE AWA’

Live At The Usher Hall, Edinburgh, 1988

LISTEN (YOUTUBE)

Derek Jameson Talks To Andy Stewart, BBC Radio 2, December 1989

Andy Stewart listening to a portable radio

Christmas 1989, and a surprise reissue of Donald, Where’s Your Troosers? put Andy back in the media spotlight once again. The record had been re-discovered by BBC Radio One Disc Jockey Simon Mayo on a children’s favourites CD Hello Children Everywhere and after playing it in November on his breakfast show he began receiving requests from listeners to play it again.

The song caught the attention of Rod Buckle Managing Director of the UK division of the Swedish Sonet record label and promoter Neil Ferris who quickly negotiated a royalty deal from EMI to re-release the single and had the covers printed and singles pressed within a week.

During the Christmas period, Radio 2 broadcaster Derek Jameson took time to speak to Andy to get his reaction to the surprising success of his “revived 45”.

Derek Jameson Talks To Andy Stewart, BBC Radio 2, December 1989

LISTEN (YOUTUBE)

A Trip To London

Andy Stewart and Duncan Macrae

An Andylogue from the 1960s originally shown on BBC Television which also includes Andy’s friend and colleague actor Duncan Macrae as the character of William Angus.

A Trip To London

LISTEN (YOUTUBE)

Country Roads

Andy Stewart 1975

Andy talks briefly about his 1975 country music album ‘Country Boy’ and gives a live rendition of John Denver’s 1971 hit single ‘Country Roads’. Taken from a Scottish radio broadcast, circa 1976.

Country Roads

LISTEN (YOUTUBE)