A playbill from 1913 announcing one of Harry Lauder's last Scottish performances before he set off on his latest world tour.
Lauder (1870-1950) was born in Portobello and worked in a flax mill and a coal mine before joining his first concert party and, in the early 1900s, setting out on his own as a music hall entertainer. He appeared frequently at Glasgow's leading theatres, the Alhambra and the Empire. Lauder sang many of his famous comic songs, such as I Love a Lassie, for the first time in pantomime. Another, Roamin' in the Gloamin', celebrates the romantic consequences of a walk along the "bonnie banks" of the River Clyde!
Lauder's portrayal of the canny, couthy Scot with his knobbly walking stick and knobblier knees has been condemned by some critics as the foundation for an unfortunate national stereotype, but his act had a global appeal. Unusually for a Scots comic, he was a box office favourite in London theatres. He toured the world for forty years, visiting Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and the Far East. He was particularly popular in the USA. Lauder was knighted in 1919.
Reference: STA JLC 46/96
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