Harry Lauder

Harry Lauder

Overview
Sir Henry Lauder known professionally as Harry Lauder, was an international Scottish
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 entertainer, described by Sir Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

 as "Scotland's greatest ever ambassador!"

Henry Lauder was born at Portobello, Edinburgh
Portobello, Edinburgh
Portobello is a beach resort located three miles to the east of the city centre of Edinburgh, along the coast of the Firth of Forth, in Scotland. It is now a suburb of Edinburgh, with a promenade fronting on to the wide sand beach....

, in the home of his maternal grandfather, Henry McLennan. His father was John Currie Lauder, descended from the Lauders of the Bass, and his mother was Isabella Urquhart MacLeod McLennan, born in Arbroath
Arbroath
Arbroath or Aberbrothock is a former royal burgh and the largest town in the council area of Angus in Scotland, and has a population of 22,785...

 to a family from the Black Isle
Black Isle
The Black Isle is an eastern area of the Highland local government council area of Scotland, within the county of Ross and Cromarty. The name nearly always includes the article "the"....

.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Harry Lauder'
Start a new discussion about 'Harry Lauder'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
Sir Henry Lauder known professionally as Harry Lauder, was an international Scottish
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 entertainer, described by Sir Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

 as "Scotland's greatest ever ambassador!"

Early life


Henry Lauder was born at Portobello, Edinburgh
Portobello, Edinburgh
Portobello is a beach resort located three miles to the east of the city centre of Edinburgh, along the coast of the Firth of Forth, in Scotland. It is now a suburb of Edinburgh, with a promenade fronting on to the wide sand beach....

, in the home of his maternal grandfather, Henry McLennan. His father was John Currie Lauder, descended from the Lauders of the Bass, and his mother was Isabella Urquhart MacLeod McLennan, born in Arbroath
Arbroath
Arbroath or Aberbrothock is a former royal burgh and the largest town in the council area of Angus in Scotland, and has a population of 22,785...

 to a family from the Black Isle
Black Isle
The Black Isle is an eastern area of the Highland local government council area of Scotland, within the county of Ross and Cromarty. The name nearly always includes the article "the"....

. At the time, his father was also living in Portobello.

John Lauder moved to Newbold, Derbyshire
Newbold, Derbyshire
Newbold is a village north of Chesterfield, a market town in the English county of Derbyshire. In 2001 in had a population of just under 8,000....

, in 1882 to take up a job designing china
Porcelain
Porcelain is a ceramic material made by heating raw materials, generally including clay in the form of kaolin, in a kiln to temperatures between and...

. After only a short time in residence there, he died of pneumonia
Pneumonia
Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung—especially affecting the microscopic air sacs —associated with fever, chest symptoms, and a lack of air space on a chest X-ray. Pneumonia is typically caused by an infection but there are a number of other causes...

, and his widow Isabella moved to her brother's home in Arbroath with her five sons and two daughters. She was determined to continue Harry's education (it being then customary for children to find employment at the age of 11 or 12), and he worked part-time at the local flax
Flax
Flax is a member of the genus Linum in the family Linaceae. It is native to the region extending from the eastern Mediterranean to India and was probably first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent...

 mill until he was 16 in order to qualify to attend the school there. The family moved to Isabella`s brother in Lanarkshire and Lauder worked in the coal mines around Hamilton.

On 19 June, 1891, Harry married Ann Vallance, the daughter of a colliery manager at Hamilton, Lanarkshire
Hamilton, South Lanarkshire
Hamilton is a town in South Lanarkshire, in the west-central Lowlands of Scotland. It serves as the main administrative centre of the South Lanarkshire council area. It is the fifth-biggest town in Scotland after Paisley, East Kilbride, Livingston and Cumbernauld...

, attended by his brother Matthew as best man. A year later, Harry served as best man at Matthew's wedding to Ann's sister, Catherine.

Entertainer


Singing helped Lauder through the arduous work of a miner and he was encouraged by his fellow workers to sing in halls. His first professional engagement was in nearby Larkhall where he got a five shilling fee for the night. After more evenings around Hamilton he went to the weekly go-as-you please night held by Mrs Christina Baylis at her Scotia Music Hall/Metropole Theatre in Glasgow who told him to gain experience by touring halls around the country with a concert party, which he did and then turned full time professional.

Lauder provided comedy and songs of Scotland and Ireland. In 1905 his success in leading the Howard & Wyndham pantomime at the Theatre Royal
Theatre Royal
Theatre Royal is the name of many theatres, especially in the United Kingdom. The name was once an indication that the theatre was a patent theatre, with a Royal Patent without which performances of serious drama would be illegal.United Kingdom:...

 Glasgow, for which he wrote I Love A Lassie, made him a national British star, and obtained contracts with Sir Edward Moss
Edward Moss
Sir Horace Edward Commitment Moss was a British theatre impresario and the founder chairman of the Moss Empires Ltd theatre combine which he created in the 1890s after first joining forces with Richard Thornton of Newcastle and later with Oswald Stoll then operating in Wales...

 and others. By 1911 he could command a $1,000 a night on his USA tours.In 1912 he was top of the bill at Britain`s first ever Royal Command Variety performance, in front of King George V, organised by Alfred Butt
Alfred Butt
Sir Alfred Butt, 1st Baronet was a British theatre entrepreneur, Conservative politician and racehorse owner and breeder...

. He was Britain`s best known entertainer.

He toured the world extensively during his forty-year career, including 22 trips to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, for which he had his own train, the Harry Lauder Special, and several to Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, to which his brother John had emigrated. He was, at one time, the highest-paid performer in the world, making the equivalent of £12,700 a night plus expenses, and was the first British artiste to sell a million records. Lauder's appeal was to all, from workers to merchants, royalty and presidents,

His understanding of life, its pathos and joys, endeared him to all. Gigli and others commended his singing voice and clarity. Lauder usually performed in Highland regalia (Kilt
Kilt
The kilt is a knee-length garment with pleats at the rear, originating in the traditional dress of men and boys in the Scottish Highlands of the 16th century. Since the 19th century it has become associated with the wider culture of Scotland in general, or with Celtic heritage even more broadly...

, Sporran
Sporran
The Sporran is a traditional part of male Scottish Highland dress. It is a pouch that performs the same function as pockets on the pocketless Scottish kilt....

, Tam o'shanter and twisted walking stick
Walking stick
A walking stick is a device used by many people to facilitate balancing while walking.Walking sticks come in many shapes and sizes, and can be sought by collectors. Some kinds of walking stick may be used by people with disabilities as a crutch...

) and singing songs with a Scottish theme (Roamin' in the Gloamin'
Roamin' In The Gloamin'
"Roamin' In The Gloamin" is a popular love song written by Sir Harry Lauder in 1911. The song tells of a man and his sweetheart courting in the evening. The title comes from the chorus:*Lauder, Harry. "Roamin' In The Gloamin'" . New York: T.B. Harms & Francis Day & Hunter .*Szasz, Ferenc Morton....

 etc.).

When World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 broke out, Lauder was in Melbourne on one of his Australian tours. During the war, he led successful fundraising efforts for war charities, organised a tour of music hall
Music hall
Music Hall is a type of British theatrical entertainment which was popular between 1850 and 1960. The term can refer to:# A particular form of variety entertainment involving a mixture of popular song, comedy and speciality acts...

s in 1915 for recruitment purposes, and entertained the troops under enemy fire in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. By his efforts in organising concerts and appeals he raised £1,000,000 to help servicemen return to health and civilian life, for which we was knighted in 1919.

He suffered personal tragedy during the war, when his only son, John (1891–1916), a captain in the 8th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland is an infantry battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland....

, was killed in action on 28 December 1916 at Poiziers. Harry wrote the song "Keep Right on to the End of the Road" in the wake of John's death and had a monument built for his son, who was buried in France, in the little Lauder cemetery in Glenbranter.

Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

 stated that Lauder, "...by his inspiring songs and valiant life, rendered measureless service to the Scottish race and to the British Empire."

His works



Sir Harry wrote most of his own songs, favourites of which were "Roamin' in the Gloamin", "I Love a Lassie", "A Wee Deoch-an-Doris", and "Keep Right on to the End of the Road", which is used by Birmingham City Football Club
Birmingham City F.C.
Birmingham City Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Birmingham, England. Formed in 1875 as Small Heath Alliance, they became Small Heath in 1888, then Birmingham in 1905, finally becoming Birmingham City in 1943.They were relegated at the end of the...

 as their club anthem.

He starred in three British films: Huntingtower (1927
1927 in film
-Events:*January 10 - Fritz Lang's science-fiction fantasy Metropolis premieres in Germany.*April 7 - Abel Gance's Napoleon often considered his best known and greatest masterpiece, premiers at the Paris Opéra and would demonstrate techniques and equipment that would not be used for years to...

), Auld Lang Syne (1929) and The End of the Road (1936). He also appeared in a test film for the Photokinema
Photokinema
Photo-Kinema was a sound-on-disc system for motion pictures invented by Orlando Kellum.-1921 introduction:The system was first used for a small number of short films, mostly made in 1921...

 sound-on-disc process in 1921. This film is part of the UCLA Film and Television Archive
UCLA Film and Television Archive
The UCLA Film and Television Archive is an internationally renowned visual arts organization focused on the preservation, study, and appreciation of film and television, based at the University of California, Los Angeles. It holds more than 220,000 film and television titles and 27 million feet of...

 collection, however, the disc is missing.

He also wrote a number of books which ran into several editions, including Harry Lauder at Home and on Tour (1912), A Minstrel in France (1918), Between You and Me (1919),
Roamin’ in the Gloamin’ (1928 autobiography), My Best Scotch Stories (1929), Wee Drappies (1931) and
Ticklin’ Talks (circa 1932).

Later years


Sir Harry's wife died on 31 July 1927 and was buried next to her son's memorial at Glenbranter, Argyll. His niece, Margaret (Greta) Lauder, M.B.E., (1900–1966), moved in with him at his home, Laudervale
Laudervale
Laudervale was a Victorian mansion near Dunoon, Scotland most notable for being the home of Sir Harry Lauder.The house was located on the Innellan Road, a few hundred metres south of Bullwood, Dunoon. Originally named Gerhallow House, it was bought by Sir Harry Lauder and Lady Lauder from D. C....

 (outside Dunoon
Dunoon
Dunoon is a resort town situated on the Cowal Peninsula in Argyll, Scotland. It sits on the Firth of Clyde to the south of Holy Loch and to the west of Gourock.-Waterfront:...

), and became his constant companion in later years.

Sir Harry's final retirement was announced in 1935. However, he again entertained troops throughout Britain during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, despite his age, and made wireless
Wireless
Wireless telecommunications is the transfer of information between two or more points that are not physically connected. Distances can be short, such as a few meters for television remote control, or as far as thousands or even millions of kilometers for deep-space radio communications...

 broadcasts with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra is a broadcasting symphony orchestra based in Glasgow, Scotland. One of five full-time orchestras maintained by the British Broadcasting Corporation , it is the oldest full-time professional orchestra in Scotland...

. He also appeared immediately after the war to thank the crews of American food relief ships docking at Glasgow
Glasgow
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands...

. His last years were spent in his home of Lauder Ha' at Strathaven
Strathaven
Strathaven is a historic market town in South Lanarkshire, Scotland. The town was granted a Royal Charter in 1450, making the Town of Strathaven a burgh of barony. The town's principal industry was primarily weaving in the 19th and early 20th centuries, however this declined when faced by...

, where he died in February 1950, aged 79.

As might be expected, his funeral was widely reported. One of the chief mourners was Douglas Douglas-Hamilton, 14th Duke of Hamilton
Douglas Douglas-Hamilton, 14th Duke of Hamilton
Air Commodore Douglas Douglas-Hamilton, 14th Duke of Hamilton and 11th Duke of Brandon, KT, GCVO, AFC, PC, DL, FRCSE, FRGS, was a Scottish nobleman and pioneering aviator....

, who led the funeral procession and read the lesson. Sir Harry was interred with his mother and brother George at Bent Cemetery, Hamilton. 'Glenbranter' had been sold by him to the Forestry Commission, there being no son to succeed him.

After death



The family held on to Lauder Ha' until the late 1960s, when they sold it to cover death duties
Inheritance Tax (United Kingdom)
In the United Kingdom, Inheritance Tax is a transfer tax. It was introduced with effect from 18 March 1986 replacing Capital Transfer Tax.-History:...

.

Websites carry much of his material and the Harry Lauder Collection amassed by entertainer Jimmy Logan
Jimmy Logan
Jimmy Logan OBE, FRSAMD , born as James Allan Short, Dennistoun, Glasgow, was a Scottish performer, producer, impresario and director.-Family:...

 was bought for the nation and donated to the University of Glasgow
University of Glasgow
The University of Glasgow is the fourth-oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Scotland's four ancient universities. Located in Glasgow, the university was founded in 1451 and is presently one of seventeen British higher education institutions ranked amongst the top 100 of the...

.


When the A199 Portobello bypass was opened, it was named the "Sir Harry Lauder Road".

On 28 July 1987, the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, The Rt. Hon. John McKay, CBE
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

, hosted a luncheon at the Edinburgh City Chambers, to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the granting of the Freedom of the City to Sir Harry Lauder, attended by family representative Gregory Lauder-Frost, who, on 4 August 2001, formally opened the new Sir Harry Lauder Memorial Garden at Portobello Town Hall, and was the principal commentator throughout the Saltire/BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

2 TV (Scotland) documentary entitled Something About Harry screened on 30 November 2005. On 29 September 2007, Lauder-Frost as guest-of-honour rededicated for another century the Burslem Golf Course & Club at Stoke-on-Trent
Stoke-on-Trent
Stoke-on-Trent , also called The Potteries is a city in Staffordshire, England, which forms a linear conurbation almost 12 miles long, with an area of . Together with the Borough of Newcastle-under-Lyme Stoke forms The Potteries Urban Area...

, which had been formally opened on the same day in 1907 by Harry Lauder.

In the 1990s, samples of recordings of Lauder were used on two tracks recorded by the Scottish folk
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

/dance music
Electronica
Electronica includes a wide range of contemporary electronic music designed for a wide range of uses, including foreground listening, some forms of dancing, and background music for other activities; however, unlike electronic dance music, it is not specifically made for dancing...

 artist Martyn Bennett
Martyn Bennett
Martyn Bennett was a Scottish musician who was born in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada...

.

An ornamental cultivar of Common Hazel (Corylus avellana
Corylus avellana
Corylus avellana, the Common Hazel, is a species of hazel native to Europe and western Asia, from the British Isles south to Iberia, Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, north to central Scandinavia, and east to the central Ural Mountains, the Caucasus, and northwestern Iran. It is an important component of...

) has become known as Harry Lauder's Walking Stick or Corkscrew Hazel. It was noticed growing as part of a hedge in the 1800s and is now propagated by grafting. It gains this name from the fact Lauder regularly appeared with a crooked walking stick.

The song "Dearie" includes a reference to Harry Lauder.

Selected filmography

  • Huntingtower (1927)
  • Auld Lang Syne
    Auld Lang Syne (film)
    Auld Lang Syne is a 1929 British musical film directed by George Pearson and starring Harry Lauder, Dorothy Boyd and Patrick Aherne. It was originally made as a silent film, but in September 1929 sound was added.-Cast:* Harry Lauder - Sandy McTavish...

    (1929)

Further reading

  • Great Scot!: the life story of Sir Harry Lauder, legendary laird of the music hall. by Gordon Irving, London, 1968 (ISBN 0-09089-0701).
  • Harry Lauder in the Limelight by William Wallace, Lewes, Sussex, 1988, (ISBN 0-86332-312-X), which has a foreword and extensive notes by Sir Harry's great-nephew, Gregory Lauder-Frost.
  • The Sunday Times
    The Sunday Times (UK)
    The Sunday Times is a Sunday broadsheet newspaper, distributed in the United Kingdom. The Sunday Times is published by Times Newspapers Ltd, a subsidiary of News International, which is in turn owned by News Corporation. Times Newspapers also owns The Times, but the two papers were founded...

    (Scottish edition), 24 July 2005, article: "Harry Lauder, coming to a ringtone near you", by David Stenhouse.
  • The Ancestry of Sir Harry Lauder, in The Scottish Genealogist, Edinburgh, June 2006, Vol. 53, #2, ISSN-0-3003-37X .
  • A Minstrel in France, Hearst's International Book Company, London, 1918, by Harry Lauder about the death of his son.
  • Roamin' in the Gloamin (Autobiography) by Sir Harry Lauder, (London, 1928), reprinted without the photos, London, 1976, (ISBN 0-7158-1176-2)
  • "The Theatre Royal: Entertaining A Nation" by Graeme Smith, Glasgow, 2008

External links