Happy Birthday Harry!. Harry Lauder
Happy Birthday Harry!

Happy Birthday Harry!

  • Radio documentary
  • BBC Radio Scotland
  • 2020
  • 1 episode

Documentary celebrating Scottish singer and comedian, Harry Lauder. Also features Jamie MacDougall, Paul Maloney, Mairi Buchananan, Greta Lauder-Fraser, Bob Hope and more.

Key details

BBC Radio Scotland
Jamie MacDougall, Paul Maloney, Mairi Buchananan, Greta Lauder-Fraser, Harry Lauder, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Jimmy Logan

Who was the first recording artist to sell over one million copies in the world?

More famous than Charlie Chaplin, he was Scotland's first international superstar; the original A-list celebrity and yet today, Harry Lauder is largely forgotten.

On his 150th birthday anniversary, singer and entertainer Jamie MacDougall, a long-time admirer of Harry Lauder's, examines this charismatic and controversial figure and asks whether it is time for Scotland to celebrate him again.

Lauder was a music hall man through and through with his trademark exaggerated Highland regalia of kilt, nobbly stick and funny hat. As an entertainer he turned Scottish-ness into a commodity and his popularity spread across the globe
. Catchy tunes and sentimental songs - I Love a Lassie, Roamin' In The Gloamin, Just A Wee Deoch An' Doris - made him a household name on both sides of the Atlantic as well as in Australia and New Zealand, while Keep Right On The End Of The Road, written soon after the death of his only son in the trenches, is the definitive anthem of World War I troops.

Jamie retraces his steps from humble origins to discover more about the real Harry Lauder, before paying tribute to the man and his memory with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in a full orchestral arrangement of his greatest song.

Additional details

Archived songs sung by Harry Lauder, except for Hoot Mon sung by Bing Crosby & Bob Hope. End performance of Keep Right On To The End Of The Road sung by Jamie MacDougall and performed by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

Broadcast details

First broadcast
Friday 25th December 2020 at 1pm on BBC Radio Scotland
Episode length
1 hour

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