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25th June 1936 saw the birth of Roy Williamson, Scottish folk musician and songwriter in Edinburgh.

Williamson was brought up in comfortable surroundings in Northumberland Street in Edinburgh, his father was a lawyer and they had servants in the house growing up but tragedy struck the household in 1944 when he took his own life, this was kept from the children and it was only to come to light decades later.

Roy and his older brother were then sent to Gordonstoun boarding school, increasingly their mother couldn’t cope with them and they spent much of their early years in or around the school, even on their school holidays.

Roy went on to The Edinburgh College of Art where he became friends with Bill Smith, and Ronnie Browne. Roy went on to become an art teacher at Liberton High School, where he taught a friend of my father’s. 

Roy founded the Corrie Folk Trio in 1962, alongside Ron Cruikshank and Bill Smith, they played their first gig in the famous Waverley Bar on St Mary Street, Cruikshank left the group within weeks of this due to illness which led to the arrival of Ronnie Browne, Irish singer Paddie Bell also joined the group who became the Corrie Folk Trio and Paddie Bell for the festival gigs that year.

Early tv appearances followed on the Hoot’nanny Show and later The White Heather Club. After a series of arguments Smith and Bell left the group and they became The Corries as we know and love.

It was Roy who wrote Flower of Scotland, a song he didn’t rate at the time he was always the main musician, bringing sensitivity and technique together to lay the foundations of the group’s characteristic interpretation and arrangement of their material. Ronnie’s booming tenor singing gave the Corries their main vocals.

Flower of Scotland was first sung at a sporting event in 1974 when the winger, Billy Steele, encouraged his team-mates to sing it on the victorious Lions tour of South Africa in 1974, since then it has been increasingly used as our unofficial national anthem and sung in many stadiums throughout the world. As well as Football and Rugby internationals perhaps some of you will remember the song being belted out before Scottish lightweight world champion, Jim Watt’s bouts.

Flower of Scotland was voted tops in an online poll of over 10,000 people to choose a national anthem in 2006.

To say that Roy and Ronnie as the Corries are a Scottish institution would not be a lie, I listen to Corries songs as regularly as any others and they will always have a place in my heart, I never got to see them live but my late mother and her friend did on several occasions. On August 12, 1990 we sadly lost Roy Williamson he died from a brain tumour aged just 54 in Forres.

I know you are all expecting Flower of Scotland but I have managed to dig up a couple of early videos, the first one here is of The Corrie Trio singing a great Irish song Rare Old Mountain Dew. The second song, on the link below, is James Hogg’s ‘Lock the Door, Lariston’ as The Corrie Folk Trio and Paddie Bell, although Paddie doesn’t sing in the video from 1962.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bY1yXQd_c3s

Theocritus Idyll XVIII, Chorus and Musicians (1913). Sir William Russell Flint (Scottish, 1880-1969). Watercolour with bodycolour over pencil.

This is a design for an illustration in ‘The Idylls of Theocritus’ published in 1922, depicting the line 'Then sang they all in harmony, beating time with woven paces, and the house rang round with the tidal song.’

Nature Boy
Angela McCluskey
Nature Boy

Angela McCluskey - Nature Boy

Angela McCluskey is a Scottish singer-songwriter[1] based in California. She performs as a solo artist and as a member of the folk rock group Wild Colonials. McCluskey has also provided vocals for Curio and recorded the European dance hit and US Mitsubishicommercial hit “Breathe” among other songs with Télépopmusik (on albums Genetic World and Angel Milk). Angela also sang “Beautiful Things” for American Express and more recently her voice can be heard on the Schick Quattro commercial singing “I’m Not the Girl”. Her songs have appeared on the soundtracks for the films Rachel Getting MarriedSherrybabyThe Beat That My Heart Skipped. Her music has also been featured in the TV series Grey’s Anatomy.

OriginGlasgow, ScotlandGenresAlternativepop rock, singer-songwriter, scottishOccupation(s)Singer-songwriterInstrumentsVocalsYears active1992–present

kalendraashtar  asked:

My fair ladies of Imagine, I love you all in a insane manner, but this one is for Gotham. I loved We Live for Love - there's something so unique about their relationship in that story. So, even respecting the fact you feel that it's done, I would love to have a glimpse of their future - perhaps their first big concert together and how to deal with fame? Or our couple receiving an award? I'll leave the rest up to your brilliant mind! Much love, Kal.

They Live For Love

By Marsali MacKimmie

Exclusive to the Wilmington Gazette

If you didn’t know anything about Claire and Jamie Fraser – the millions of albums sold, the thousands of concerts on six continents, the ups and downs that come with any long-lasting career in the music business – the one thing that’s immediately apparent is their unwavering love and commitment to each other. That much was clear throughout the several hours we spent chatting over whisky at the trendy, yet understated brewpub in downtown Wilmington, where the Frasers played three sold-out shows last week.

“My ancestors in Scotland distilled whisky on their farm,” Jamie, 58, told me as he rolled up his sleeves after the second round – showing two arms full of colorful tattoos. “And I grew up with my father making his own in the backyard. This place has the good stuff.”

“Oh hush,” Claire, 63 and with wrists full of silver bangles, turned to me with a raised eyebrow. Somehow I got the impression that this was a typical exchange in their household. “He’s full of shit. His grandfather proudly got arrested during Prohibition. And Jamie’s been known to make his own whisky – even get the girls involved from time to time.”

The girls would be the two Fraser daughters – 31-year-old Faith, who just finished her residency in pediatric medicine, and civil engineer Brianna, 28. Both grew up touring with their famous parents – but never dreamed of a musical career of their own. “It’s interesting to us how they both chose jobs that keep them close to home – which I guess makes sense, since we dragged them all over the country when they were growing up,” Jamie mused, oozing with pride as he scrolled through picture after smiling family picture on his phone. “But now that they’re both settled, it means the wife and I can tour more without feeling guilty about it.”

Touring is something that Claire and Jamie Fraser have done since just about the moment they met – she was a recently divorced cabaret singer with a big dream, he was a down-on-his-luck guitarist living gig to gig in what was then the rough and tumble Alphabet City neighborhood in New York. “I used to crawl over junkies on my way home – and now on that same corner is a high class wine bar!” he laments. They released their first album in 1981, and the first single – “We Live For Love” – rocketed to the top of the charts. Eventually it hit number one in fifteen countries, and turned Claire Fraser into an overnight superstar.

“We were so unprepared for fame,” Claire says quietly as she looks away, thinking. “We’d been rehearsing and performing, and that’s fine – you can deal with that. It’s amazing to play for 100,000 people, and so cool to travel to all the places in the world you’d only seen on TV. But being followed by photographers to restaurants and having reporters go through our garbage – ”

“Nothing can ever prepare you for that,” Jamie added. “Thank God we had each other – otherwise we would have gone nuts from the stress.”

“Not to mention that this was the early 80s – there weren’t many successful female rock singers, like there are today. The stories I could tell you about asshole program directors or chauvinistic record execs – it would just stun you.” I watched Claire reach for Jamie’s hand, and he automatically took it. Effortless. “I had to put up with so much bullshit, just because I was female. I know I had to work harder, sing harder, just to get taken seriously.”

When Jamie said, “It was all I could do to not knock their teeth in” – I couldn’t tell if he was joking, or was serious.

That Claire Fraser endured her fair share of difficulty is well-known – she’s spoken about it numerous times over the years – but all that hard work paid off. Eleven records released – including a collaboration with, of all things, traditional Scottish musicians. Twenty million albums sold. Five Grammy awards. An Emmy for a live performance that was one of the first to air on HBO.

And now a special 35th Anniversary Tour – celebrating the 35th anniversary of the release of their first album, “Outlander.”

“We get asked all the time – who is the Outlander?” Jamie smiled. “And we both have different answers.”

“I always say that it was me,” Claire insists, running her hand through her trademark curls – gone gray now, but still vibrant. “Because when we were making the record, I was a complete outlander in the studio – I didn’t know who I was or what I was doing, and I realized just how much I had to learn. About rock music, about how to make records, and about the whole industry.” Then she turns to her husband and raises one eyebrow, waiting.

He takes his cue. “And meanwhile, *I* say that it was *us* - the entire band. We had a very unique sound and nobody quite knew where to put us. We had to fight every damn radio station to put us in with the Rock rotation, rather than the Pop rotation. We had to fight to get photographers to take shots of Claire that weren’t gratuitous – that showed her off as the kick-ass singer that she is, not just some chick in tights.”

“Hey,” she playfully shoved him. “You happen to *like* the chick in tights.”

“I do,” he laughed. “I do, very much.”

So – how much of this tour is to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the album, or their 35th anniversary as a married couple? (Jamie and Claire married right before “Outlander”’s release).

“Oh, it’s definitely both,” Claire is quick to reply. “Because as far as we’re concerned, it’s one and the same.”

“The first single – ‘We Live For Love’ – that was the first song I wrote for her. We still play it every night – it’s the one song that everyone always wants to hear.” Jamie pauses, thinking. “And I find that so incredibly gratifying, because it was *our* song – and it still is – but now it’s *everyone’s* song. I had no clue that’s where I’d end up – that it’s where *we* would end up – when I wrote it in my shitty Alphabet City apartment, hoping and praying that Claire would feel the same way. And yet here we are.”

“Here we are,” Claire smiles at her husband – and suddenly I feel very much like an intruder. “Would you believe that he tells the crowd the same corny love story with that song, every night?”

“Yeah, but you love it,” he rolls his eyes.

“You know I do.”

And they know that we do.

Reference: Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo interview at SXSW, 2016

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Happy Birthday musician Alasdair Fraser who was born in Clackmannan on May 14th 1955. 

Alasdair Fraser is one of Scotland’s most influential tradition-rooted fiddlers. A two-time winner of the open competition of the Scottish National Fiddle Championship, Fraser continues to expand the musical traditions of his homeland with his expressive and virtuosic playing. In addition to performing more than 50 times on BBC radio and television shows (and, in the U.S., on A Prairie Home Companion), Fraser has been featured on the soundtracks of such films as Titanic, Braveheart, The Spitfire Grill and The Last of the Mohicans. Fraser’s 1996 album, Dawn Dance, which represented his first all-original recording, received a NAIRD award as best Celtic album of the year. The album’s success inspired Fraser to form a band, Skyedance.

Fraser and Skyedance released their first album as a band, Way Out to Hope Street, in 1997. The album included 13 group composed instrumentals and a reworking of a medley of traditional dance tunes that Fraser and Machlin recorded in 1986. Fraser has appeared as a guest during concerts by Los Angeles Master Chorale and the Waterboys.

This Skyedance composition uses the Sorley Maclean poem Skye Lines beautifully, the music sets the tone here for some stirring shots of Scotland…….

Skye Lines

Beyond the lochs of the blood of the children of men,
beyond the frailty of the plain and the labour of the mountain,
beyond poverty, consumption, fever, agony,
beyond hardship, wrong, tyranny, distress,
beyond misery, despair, hatred, treachery,
beyond guilt and defilement; watchful,
heroic, the Cuillin is seen
rising on the other side of sorrow.

Creative Inspiration with Wim Wenders, Marina Abramović, Jonas Mekas, Patti Smith, & More

From words on sustaining a personal artistic voice–Don’t do anything that somebody else, that you know deep in your heart, somebody else can do better, but do what nobody else can do except for you.–to others on how building your brand leads to a promising future–Be concerned with doing good work, and make the right choices, and protect your work. And if you build a good name, eventually that name will be its own currency.–artists of renown share their insights and “advice” to stir your creative inspiration in this collection of video interviews. These artists of film, performance, music, literature, and more show us that the artist’s spirit needs constant care and feeding; and across the board, they emphasize the importance of intuition and instinct for the successful artist while maintaining the cultivating nature of consistent hard work.

Louisianna Channel presents the series Advice to the Young through which any artist regardless of age can seek creative inspiration and guidance. Read, watch, learn, and absorb.

Do what you want, make the things you want to see, because more than likely you’re not going to have any material rewards, so you might as well not sell that part of yourself out. You might as well be true to what you want to do and not turn art into another day job…Find a lot of like-minded friends, make a community, and don’t wait for the art world to make it happen, make your own art world…If you’re doing something counter to the zeitgeist, that’s probably a good idea, you’re probably on the right path. - Fred Tomaselli (American artist)

I believe that advice shouldn’t come from other people, but that each person should gain a direction for oneself by overcoming difficulty, and a true direction will come from overcoming adversity. Everyone, think deeply, fight harder, and obtain splendid direction for your life. I wish for you to gain guidance from your deep thinking and spread your ideas all over the world in order to establish a wonderful life and world. - Yayoi Kusama (Japanese artist and writer)

Don’t listen to anybody’s advice, just do…When you go to film school, you meet others. Otherwise, I say, don’t go to film school, get a camera, because you don’t know what you really are all about, what you really want to make. “I want to make films.” But what kind of films? When you go and begin to do what you think you want to do, and you discover, “For what I’m doing, I have to know more about lighting.” Then you go and study lighting. “I have to know more about lenses.” Then you go and study lenses…Maybe you’ll never need everything for what you want to do. - Jonas Mekas (Lithuanian-American filmmaker, poet, and artist)

If you want to make something of yourself, you have to work for it. You must never give up. If there are day or weeks where you lose faith in yourself, you must go on believing that you can work. You must practice your words just like a musician practices his notes. Non-stop. Write, write, write. - Herbjørg Wassmo (Norwegian author)

Don’t do art unless you have to. You can be creative in any field. It’s not just a little ghetto called “art” that allows you to be creative–too many people think that…Try not to be too misled by other people’s views of what you’re doing and what you’re thinking. Be a little bit crazy in your thinking. Don’t just think that what you’re doing is upsetting. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, in other words, in art. - Susan Hiller (American artist)

Know that genius is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. - Umberto Eco (Italian semiotician, essayist, philosopher, literary critic, and novelist)

My advice to young artists would be to follow the path they themselves recognize as the right one. Chasing after false idols or role models is always a dead end. Even if the path they want to follow might seem strange or doesn’t seem to promise much success, stick to it. It’s the only way to deal with the things that need to be dealt with. You can’t do it according to a recipe or instructions from others. Art doesn’t necessarily have to make an artist famous. Art can be very successful if a person carries through what he has to do. - Hans-Peter Feldmann (German visual artist)

My advice to the young artist, to the young architect, is, first of all, does architecture, or art, sculpting, painting, drawing, is that what you really, really want to do more than anything else in the world and you would do anything to be able to do it, because it really fires you. If that’s the case, you made the right choice, and you go for it, and you immerse totally saturated, you live it, every living second of your life. If you don’t believe in it that much, then you have to find something that you believe in, something else. And it doesn’t really matter what it is because in life I think you’ll find that everything is creative. - Norman Foster (British architect)

I think the best advice I got really came from work experience. I can’t remember anybody telling me the secret formula or anything…If you’re lucky enough to be a dreamer and to imagine how things could be, then don’t wait. You can always educate yourself and provide yourself with new information as you go along, but I think it’s a mistake to wait and to take a long course with the view of coming out as a professional. I think the earlier the better. If you’re lucky enough to love something as a kid, then pursue it with full passion and start into it right away, man. - Daniel Lanois (Canadian record producer, guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter)

I think that if you want to become a poet, an artist, you can’t fight it. If you want to be that, you will. It’s not about desire, it’s about necessity. There’s no other way. You can not give advice here. It’s impossible. You have to trust your inner drive. For the disappointments and the efforts are so tough that you must have an inner conviction that this is what you want. - Lars Norén (Swedish playwright, novelist, and poet)

Be very patient. Even patient with chaos. You have this beginning, and that beginning, and that beginning, and you’re just worried and unhappy, but I wouldn’t worry too much. I think it is a little chaotic. It’s not neat. You don’t start something and finish it and there you go, and then start another thing and finish it. - Lydia Davis (American writer)

My advice to younger artists would be something like: to be very sensitive to where they are, in what times, in what part of the world, and how that constitutes their artistic practice, their artistic inquiry. There’s lots of smaller advice such as make sure you’re not commodified by the very strong market and it’s attractivity…Just because you think about a work of art, it is not necessarily a work of art because thinking about it and a work of art is really quite far apart. - Olafur Eliasson (Danish-Icelandic artist)

Painter, photographer, filmmaker, video artist, whatever you do, nobody else can do that better than you, and you have to find what you can do better than anybody else, and what you have in yourself that nobody else has in themselves. Don’t do anything that somebody else, that you know deep in your heart, somebody else can do better, but do what nobody else can do except for you. - Wim Wenders (German filmmaker, playwright, author, and photographer)

How do you know you’re an artist? That is the main question. To know you’re an artist or not is like breathing. You don’t question breathing. You have to breathe otherwise you just die so you breathe. So if you wake up in the morning and you have some ideas and you have to make them and this becomes an almost obsession and you have to create, you have the urge to create…I think a great artist has to be ready to fail, which not too many people do. Because when you have success in a certain way and the public accepts you in a certain way, you start somehow involuntarily producing the same images, the same type of work, and you’re not risking. The real artists always change their territories, and they go to the land they’ve never been. There is unknown territory, and then you can fail and you can risk…“Ready to fail,” that makes a great artist. If you wanted to, as a young one, you wanted to be famous and rich, then you just can forget even the idea of being an artist because the money and the success are not an aim, they’re just a side effect, and sometimes it happens in your lifetime and sometimes not, but it doesn’t keep you away from working. - Marina Abramović (Serbian performance artist)

The only advice I have is probably something young artists and musicians already know. Although some of them may have the ambition to be the next Jay-Z, the number of those artists are very small. And often the artists that are very successful that way, they don’t have much flexibility. In achieving success, they kind of lose a lot of their creative freedom…If the musician or artist values their freedom and their ability to be creative, then they have to maybe realize that they won’t be making hundreds of millions of dollars, they might be making less money, but they might have more artistic satisfaction. - David Byrne (Scottish-born American musician)

When I was really young, William Burroughs told me–and I was really struggling, we never had any money–the advice that William gave me was “Build a good name.” Keep your name clean. Don’t make compromises. Don’t worry about making a bunch of money or being successful. Be concerned with doing good work, and make the right choices, and protect your work. And if you build a good name, eventually that name will be its own currency. - Patti Smith (American singer-songwriter, poet, and visual artist)

Happy Birthday Scottish stand up comedian, musician and actor, Billy Connolly born in Glasgow 24th November 1942.


Well what can I say about “The Big Yin” he has been a part of our lives here in Scotland for so long.   He has received numerous awards and recognition for his work including an honorary Doctor of Letters, from the University of Glasgow.
He started off his career as a welder in the shipyards of Glasgow but soon became well-known as a folk singer. Later on he indulged himself into full fledged comedy and established himself as an ace comedian with passing time. He has a keen interest in football and is a patron of national association of bikers with disability.


I think my first real memory of him was on the Parkinson show in 1975, although he was making a name for himself well beforehand, he had sold out the Pavilion Theatre the year before, he was little known outside Scotland.  Michael Parkinson and Billy hit it off and their friendship exists to this day, Billy made an amazing 15 appearances on his chat show, more than any other guest.
Billy married his long term girlfriend Iris Pressagh in 1969 and after the success that came due to the Parkinson appearance the pair moved from Glasgow to a plush house in Drymen, Stirlingshire but both hit the bottle as Billy’s celebrity grew and he quit Scotland for London in 1981, divorcing Iris four years later. He married Pamela Stephenson in 1989 and has two children to Iris and three to Pamela. 


As well as his comedy Billy has had numerous acting roles to look back on, Down among the big boys being one of my faves, he has also played the famous character Deacon Brodie, The Big Man, Mrs Brown, The Last Samurai and Brave are but a few others. In the states he was in Head of the Class and the spin off aptly named Billy, he has also appeared in the popular shows 3rd Rock from the Sun, Columbo and House.
You have to also mention his songs, The Wellie boot song, the parody songs, In the Brownies and the number one hit D.I.V.O.R.C.E, as well as the theme tune to Supergran.
Billy was diagnosed with cancer and Parkinson’s disease on the same day in 2012 successfully overcoming cancer he continues to battle the latter and has cut his workload accordingly. I think anyone who watched his Tracks Across America will have noticed how the degenerative disorder has affected him.  Love him or hate him Billy has been a massive part in our lives for such a long time and at 74 perhaps he needs to take a back seat and enjoy his retirement.
I have met Billy a couple of times, the first was over 20 years ago on Princes Street Edinburgh where I asked him to sign some copies of the Big Issue for a seller I knew, the second was fleetingly on St Andrews Square after he had just been given a parking ticket.

The picture shows Billy when he was honoured with Special Recognition award at National Television Awards this year.