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*EMI (1960-1962)

Andy had three recording contracts with EMI. The first was inherited from the original Rank Organisation when EMI took over control of the Top Rank label, the second received mention in the US Billboard trade paper: "Sept 1st 1962 - In the UK Andy Stewart has signed a contract with EMI which will continue his association with HMV for at least five years", and the third took him up to 1973.

Image of Walter J. Ridley

Walter J. Ridley

Undoubtedly his best work was recorded during his years with EMI. His voice was at its strongest and most powerful, added to that were some wonderful orchestrations by the likes of Brian Fahey, Alan Roper, Ralph Dollimore and Bernard Ebbinghouse. In charge of production on these superb recordings was Walter J. (Wally) Ridley.

This section deals primarily with UK releases. International releases are listed in detail if they contain unique content or are of particular interest. Also mention is given to the mono/stereo mixes. Quite often in comparison, differences between mixes can be detected; ranging from a more detailed picture of the instrumentation, through to completely different "takes" of the same song.

The White Heather Club Party


Album sleeve imageCompiled and presented by Iain MacFadyen - "By arrangement with the B.B.C."

Andy's first recorded output appears on the 1960 album release 'The White Heather Club Party'. Designed to complement the popular BBC TV series this record endeavors to create the sense of a live recording, although quite obviously the tracks are studio recordings with added audience applause, etc. The artists and songs are introduced by both Andy and Robert Wilson who perform songs alongside regulars from 'The White Heather Club'. The show's first "theme-tune", Jimmy Shand's 'The 6.20 Two Step' is included here, and the entire company joins in on the familiar end song 'Haste Ye Back'.

For Stewart fans, this album is notable for the first recordings of Stewart-Grant partnership songs; 'Cock O' the North' and 'Back O' Reires Hill'.

Year of Release: 1960
Label: HMV
Catalogue Number: CSD 1313 (Stereo) CLP 1378 (Mono)

THE 6.20 TWO STEP (Shand) Jimmy Shand with instrumental accompaniment / SKYE BOAT SONG - ROTHESAY BAY - NORTHERN LIGHTS OF ABERDEEN (Lawson-Gatty-Mel & Mary Webb) Brand Sisters with Ian Powrie & his Band / COCK O' THE NORTH (Trad., additional lyrics Stewart arr. Grant) Andy Stewart, at the piano H. Carmichael / SOFT LOWLAND TONGUE OF THE BORDER (Trad.) James Urquhart with the Scottish Junior Singers / HIGHLAND LADDIE (REEL) Cairney Mount - Highland Laddie - Johhny Cope (Trad. arr. Diack - Trad. arr. Powrie - Trad. arr. Powrie) Ian Powrie & his Band / (WI MA BIG) KILLMARNOCH BUNNET (Trad. arr Gordon) Joe Gordon Folk Four / PARA HANDY (Gourley) Jimmy Shand with instrumental accompaniment / BONNIE WELLS O' WEARIE (Grieve-MacLagan) Robert Wilson with Orchestra / WILL YE NO COME BACK AGAIN? (Trad.) Laura Brand with Glasgow Police Male voice Choir / TRIP TO ABERDEEN (JIG) Braes of Elchies - Drummond Castle - Locheil's Welcome to Glasgow (C. Grant arr. Wiseman - Trad. arr. Wiseman - Trad. arr Powrie) Ian Powrie & his Band / YE BANKS AND BRAES (Burns arr. Diack) Scottish Junior Singers, pianist H. Carmichael / THE BUCHAN PLOO'MAN (Morris) Joe Gordon Folk Four / THE GLASGOW HIGHLANDERS (Trad. words by Robertson, arr. McCallum) Glasgow Police Male Voice Choir with Ian Powrie Orchestra / BALLOO BALEERIE (Trad.) Brand Sisters with Guitar accompaniment George Hill / BACK O' REIRES HILL (Stewart arr. Grant) Andy Stewart, at the piano H. Carmichael / BORDER BALLAD (Trad. arr. Maunder) Glasgow Police Male Voice Choir / BRAES OF BUSBY (STRATHSPEY) Irene Meldrum's Welcome to Bon Accord (Trad. arr. Powrie) Ian Powrie & his Band / WEE WEE HOOSIE BY THE SEA (Trad. arr. Wilson) Robert Wilson with Ian Powrie & his Band / I LOVE A LASSIE (Lauder-Grafton) Robert Wilson with Glasgow Police Male Voice Choir and Scottish Junior Singers / SAFTEST O' THE FAMILY (Lauder-Beaton) Andy Stewart with Glasgow Police Male Voice Choir and Scottish Junior Singers / JUST A WEE DEOCH & DORIS (Morrison-Cunliffe) Robert Wilson & Andy Stewart with Glasgow Police Male Voice Choir and Scottish Junior Singers / HASTE YE BACK (Sturdy-Wilson) Entire Company

Donald, Where's Your Troosers?


45 image It could be said that Andy's recording career truly begins here, with his iconic first single. The 45RPM release was fairly successful in Scotland and across the UK as a whole. It was regularly heard on the BBC's Light Programme and later became a frequent request on BBC Disc Jockey Ed Stewart's programme 'Junior Choice'.

The song was based on the Scottish tune 'Highland Donald', as Andy remembered: "It was recorded as a lark with the Robert Wilson band in London. I just went down to the studio as an onlooker but they asked me to do one of my impressions. The verse and chorus had been taught to me by Bobby McLeod and I sat down and wrote the Elvis Presley bit there and then." Two rumours surrounding 'Donald, Where's Your Troosers?' cannot be substantiated; one, that Andy finished off the lyrics whilst sitting in one of the recording studio's toilet cubicles, and two, that Elvis Presley heard the song and was impressed with Andy's impersonation of him.

It appears that no stereo mixes exist of either side of this single, although two electronically simulated mixes of 'Donald' were later created. One created in the UK and featured on many compilation albums is inferior when compared to the original mono mix, but a "Duophonic" mix created for the Canadian 'Best of' compilation in the late sixties is the closest to sounding like an actual stereo version.

Year of Release: 1960
Label: Top Rank
Catalogue Number: JAR-427 (Mono)

DONALD, WHERE'S YOUR TROOSERS? (Stewart-Grant)
With The White Heather Group directed by Robert Wilson.

DANCING IN KYLE (Arr. Annie Shand Scott)
With The White Heather Group directed by Robert Wilson.

Highest UK Chart position: 37

A Scottish Soldier


45 image The big one. The one that launched a worldwide career: "...I suppose the biggest thing that ever happened to me..." After the label of Top Rank was scrapped by EMI at the end of 1962, the single was re-pressed in the UK on HMV (POP 1115) due to its continuing popularity, and continued to sell all the way through the sixties. The 'Soldier' had a healthy life internationally too, paired with 'Donald' on oldies 45's in many countries and included on many compilations. Andy described its enduring appeal - and continuing sales (and therefore royalties) as: "a nice wee dripping roast".

The B-side, 'The Muckin' O' Geordies Byre', was already a "Bothy Ballad" favourite of Andy's before it was recorded, from the pen of the "King of the Cornkisters" Willie Kemp, it had been Andy's first performance on 'The White Heather Club'. The song remained in Andy's repertoire for the rest of his career.

It appears that no stereo mixes exist of either side of this single, although electronically simulated mixes of were later created. Mixes created in the UK and featured on compilation albums are inferior when compared to the original mono mixes, but a "Duophonic" mix of 'Soldier' created for the Canadian 'Best of' compilation in the late sixties is the closest to sounding like an actual stereo version.

Year of Release: 1960
Label: Top Rank
Catalogue Number: JAR-512 (Mono)

A SCOTTISH SOLDIER (Green Hills of Tyrol) (Stewart, Arr. Iain MacFadyen)
With The Michael Sammes Singers. Orchestra conducted by Bernard Ebbinghouse.

THE MUCKIN' O' GEORDIE'S BYRE (Words Adapted by Willie Kemp - Melody Traditional)
Orchestra conducted by Bernard Ebbinghouse.

Highest UK Chart position: 19

Andy Stewart Sings


45 image Andy's first two singles were paired together to form this extended play (EP) 45RPM record. At this point in time EPs were a popular format and had their own UK charts.

Year of Release: 1961
Label: Top Rank
Catalogue Number: JKP 3004 (Mono)

A SCOTTISH SOLDIER (Green Hills of Tyrol) (Stewart, Arr. Iain MacFadyen)
With The Michael Sammes Singers. Orchestra conducted by Bernard Ebbinghouse.

THE MUCKIN' O' GEORDIE'S BYRE (Words Adapted by Willie Kemp - Melody Traditional)
Orchestra conducted by Bernard Ebbinghouse.

DONALD, WHERE'S YOUR TROOSERS? (Stewart-Grant)
With The White Heather Group directed by Robert Wilson.

DANCING IN KYLE (Arr. Annie Shand Scott)
With The White Heather Group directed by Robert Wilson.

The Battle's O'er


45 image The pipe-tune 'The Battle is Over (Soldier Laddie)' was the basis for another hit single 'The Battle's O'er', which followed 'A Scottish Soldier' into the charts around the world. Coupled with 'Tunes of Glory' - based on 'The Black Bear' - both songs became firm favourites and appeared on several 'Best of' compilations. Two stirring songs performed with gusto and powerfully produced by Walter J. Ridley. 'Tunes of Glory' was the only one of Andy's tracks from 1961 that was orchestrated by another conductor apart from Bernard Ebbinghouse. For this track alone, Frank Cordell took up the baton. He held the post of Musical Director of the HMV label at this time.

Both tracks have true stereo mixes and, bizarrely, electronically created stereo mixes as well. 'The Battle's O'er' first appeared in the UK in true stereo on the 1974 EMI compilation 'The Very Best of Andy Stewart'. 'Tunes of Glory' has never been released in true stereo in the UK but can be found on the US LP 'Tunes of Glory' (Epic 1964).

Year of Release: 1961
Label: Top Rank
Catalogue Number: JAR-565 (Mono)

THE BATTLE'S O'ER (Trad. Words A. Stewart, Arr. Iain MacFadyen)
With The Michael Sammes Singers. Orchestra conducted by Bernard Ebbinghouse.

TUNES OF GLORY (Stewart-Grant)
With The Michael Sammes Singers. Orchestra conducted by Frank Cordell.

Highest UK Chart position: 28

Andy Sings


45 image Capitalising on the surprise success of 'A Scottish Soldier', EMI released this EP of songs featured in 'The White Heather Club' in the same month as 'The Battle's O'er' single.

From the opening 'Come In, Come In' - the alternative theme-tune to 'The White Heather Club' (the other being Jimmy Shand's '6.20 Two-Step'), every track is a stand-out track. Andy performs the riotously funny Thompson-Kemp composition 'McGinty's Meal and Ale' at break-neck speed, charms the listener with the understated 'O Come with Me' (a Stewart father and son composition) and strides with ease through 'Oh Kate!'. As popularised by Robert Wilson, 'Haste Ye Back' ends the EP in the same fashion as it would end every edition of 'The White Heather Club'.

A big selling EP, this was another example of public demand for this Top Rank release leading to an EMI re-pressing on HMV (7EG 8863).

Stereo mixes of these tracks were never released in the UK, although true stereo mixes of every track existed, and were released on one album: 'A Scottish Soldier' (US Warwick 1961).

Year of Release: 1961
Label: Top Rank
Catalogue Number: JKP 3009 (Mono)

COME IN, COME IN (Stewart-Grant)
With The Michael Sammes Singers. Orchestra conducted by Bernard Ebbinghouse.

McGINTY'S MEAL AND ALE (Trad. - Thompson - Arr. Kemp)
With Orchestra conducted by Bernard Ebbinghouse.

O COME WITH ME (Andy Stewart-Andrew Stewart)
With Orchestra conducted by Bernard Ebbinghouse.

OH KATE! (Stewart-Grant)
With Orchestra conducted by Bernard Ebbinghouse.

HASTE YE BACK (Sturdy-Wilson)
With Orchestra conducted by Bernard Ebbinghouse.

Take Me Back


45 image "This tune was written not by an exile longing for his homeland, but by a farmer who had moved from one farm to another, and was missing his former home. Mr. Willie Brewster, the composer, is a well-known figure in the Scottish Strathspey and Reel Society. I was in Perth, Australia, and feeling gye homesick when I wrote these words to the song".

The original melody for this song is 'The Meeting of the Waters', a traditional tune alleged to originate in the Borders and referring to the meeting of the Gala Water and the Tweed. The tune was extended from two to four parts by Pipe Major Donald MacLeod (1917-1982).

'Take Me Back' has never been issued in any form with a stereo mix, therefore it is unknown whether one was prepared or not. 'The Road and the Miles to Dundee' has been issued on several albums in stereo, initially on the US LP 'Andy Stewart's Scotland (Bonnie Ballads of the Highlands)' (Capitol 1962).

Year of Release: 1961
Label: Top Rank
Catalogue Number: JAR-594 (Mono)

TAKE ME BACK (Andy Stewart)
With Orchestra conducted by Bernard Ebbinghouse.

THE ROAD AND THE MILES TO DUNDEE (Trad.)
With Orchestra conducted by Bernard Ebbinghouse.

Andy Stewart


Album sleeve image Andy's first LP was recorded during the month of April 1961 and really opens up the Stewart-Grant songbook, beginning with a welcome in the form of his ploo'man character and his stage sketch catchphrase 'Nae Sae Bad', followed by a Stewart "classic", performed throughout his career, 'By the Lochside' (based on the tune 'Lochanside'). Another Stewart-Grant long-term favourite 'Kissin' in the Dark' is performed for the first time here and is followed with 'My Hameland' - the first song Andy ever wrote, to music supplied by his father. The listener is then taken travelling to Fyvie a small town with a historic castle in Aberdeenshire and the traditional 'Bonnie Lass O' Fyvie'. Andy ends the first side with a Gaelic waltz 'Cailin Mo Ruin Sa' another song Andy continued to perform live through the years.

'The Heart of Midlothian' opens side two. The song, referencing the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, was inspired following a 'White Heather Club' visit to the city. 'The Road and the Miles to Dundee' needs no introduction to Stewart fans, or to Scottish music fans in general, first collected and printed in 1908 the song's original authorship is impossible to credit, but became another Stewart perennial favourite. In 'That's the Reason Noo I Wear the Kilt' Andy revived a lesser-known Lauder song, but made it his own with scarce a nod to the originator. 'Maggie' - well known in Scotland and Canada - although appearing to be written looking back from an old man's point of view, was actually written by a young Canadian minister for his young wife who was dying. "On one of my visits to Canada, I was taken to the very spot outside Hamilton, Ontario where the song was written, and where the creaking old mill still turns", recalled Andy. 'The Bonnie Lassie O' Dundee' was written during a 1960 season in that same town "as a tribute, not only to the city of Dundee, but to the neighbouring county of Angus where I spent many of my boyhood days" and the radio series 'North Of the Border' theme-tune, 'The Summer Road' - another Stewart-Grant composition - rounds off the album in a familiar fashion.

An important album for Andy, not only because it was his first, and not only because at a time when few artists wrote their own songs, over half the album were Stewart or Stewart-Grant originals, but because it contained so much material he would continue to perform for the rest of his life.

A number of different tracks were lifted from this LP to make single records never released in the UK, e.g. 'The Summer Road/Nae Sae Bad' in Australia (AUS Top Rank TRX-136) and 'The Summer Road/The Bonnie Lassie O' Dundee' in New Zealand (NZ Top Rank JAR-403).

This album was never released in its entirety in stereo in the UK, although some tracks do appear on later compilations. However Capitol records in the US released the complete album in stereo in 1962 entitled 'Andy Stewart's Scotland (Bonnie Ballads of the Highlands)'. This stereo album also contains an alternative version of 'That's the reason Noo I wear the Kilt'. In mono Andy sings: "At night she used to pockle through ma pooches" whereas in stereo he sings "At night she used to ramble through ma pooches".

Year of Release: 1961
Label: Top Rank
Catalogue Number: 35-116 (Mono)

NAE SAE BAD (Stewart-Grant) / BY THE LOCHSIDE (Stewart arr. MacFadyen) with the Michael Sammes Singers / KISSIN' IN THE DARK (Stewart-Grant) / MY HAMELAND (A. Stewart jnr.-A. Stewart snr.) with the Michael Sammes singers / BONNIE LASS O' FYVIE (Traditional) / CAILIN MO RUIN-SA (The Maid I Adore) (Ross) / THE HEART OF MIDLOTHIAN (Stewart-Grant) / THE ROAD AND THE MILES TO DUNDEE (Traditional) / THAT'S THE REASON NOO I WEAR THE KILT (Lauder-Kendall) / WHEN YOU AND I WERE YOUNG, MAGGIE (Traditional) / THE BONNIE LASSIE O' DUNDEE (Stewart-Grant) / THE SUMMER ROAD (Stewart-Grant)

With Orchestra conducted by Bernard Ebbinghouse.

Highest UK Chart position: 13

Front cover Tartan courtesy of The Scotch House, Knightsbridge, S.W.1. Front cover photo: Loch Maree, Ross and Cromarty.



International Variants: 'A Scottish Soldier' - Warwick USA 1961 (includes stereo tracks from 'Andy Sings' EP) / 'A Scottish Soldier' - Top Rank Canada 1961 / 'Andy Stewart Sings Vol II' - Quality Canada 1962 / 'Andy Stewart's Scotland' - Capitol USA 1962 (complete 1st LP in stereo)

Album sleeve imageAlbum sleeve imageAlbum sleeve imageAlbum sleeve image

Cowboy Jock from Skye


45 image This delightful final offering on the Top Rank label is one of Andy's funniest compositions. "With heather growing from his chest, He was a legend of the West, The hombre known as Cowboy Jock from Skye".

"During my concert tours of Canada and the States, I have never met a Scottish cowboy. But I regularly meet a Scottish Indian! Whenever we appear at Lethbridge in Alberta, there's a full-blooded Red Indian in the audience - wearing a kilt. The Indian's name is MacDonald, and he travels 400 miles to see the shows. He even plays the bagpipes!".

'The Highland Twist' is another brilliant comedy song pitching the gentle 'The Bluebells of Scotland' against a rocking beat and documenting the effect that the new music of Rock 'N' Roll is having on Scotland:

"When the band starts playin' and the music blows I'll be steppin out in my winkle-toes, with my tartan jeans I really would feel gone, yes Donald Scott has his troosers on..."

"Well he lives in the land where you see them smile at the Geordie's Byre or the Dancing In Kyle, The jigs and reels are being twisted man, look who's swinging - it's Jimmy Shand..."

"The Scottish Soldier came home on leave, Whoa there now, what's this I see? I hear the Tunes of Glory rockin' and what is more, it sounds to me like The Battle's O'er!"

Neither song has ever been released in stereo in the UK, but stereo versions of both (in slightly different takes from the UK single) can be found on the US LP 'Tunes of Glory" (Epic 1964).

Year of Release: 1962
Label: Top Rank
Catalogue Number: JAR-616 (Mono)

COWBOY JOCK FROM SKYE (Stewart-Grant)
With Orchestra conducted by Bernard Ebbinghouse.

THE HIGHLAND TWIST (Stewart)
With Orchestra conducted by Bernard Ebbinghouse.

The Lads O' Bonnie Scotland


45 image Andy's first record on the HMV label. Although considered strong enough for release as a single this is one of Andy's lesser known songs, but a great performance nevertheless of a Stewart-Grant, rousing marching tune. This recording is one of the final orchestrations by Bernard Ebbinghouse who had provided the previous backing of Orchestra and Choir that had served on Andy's big hits.

The B-side is a real gem, performed with obvious delight, a cover of Will Fyffe's 'Sandy's Holiday' (Daft Sandy was one of Fyffe's popular stage characters) in which Andy utilises his vocal mimicry to great effect. This track marks the first appearance of Brian Fahey as conductor.

Neither song has ever been released in stereo in the UK, but stereo versions of both can be found on the US LP 'Tunes of Glory" (Epic 1964).

Year of Release: 1962
Label: HMV
Catalogue Number: POP 1048 (Mono)

THE LADS O' BONNIE SCOTLAND (Stewart-Grant)
With The Michael Sammes Singers and Orchestra, Conducted by Bernard Ebbinghouse.

SANDY'S HOLIDAY (Fyffe)
With Orchestra conducted by Brian Fahey.