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Significant Scots
Edward McHugh


(1893-1957)

Edward McHugh/MacHugh was a Scottish gospel singer of the early 20th century who found fame in the USA. His singing career started off in 1927 at a Boston radio station and he became a major radio star across the USA. His fans referred to him as, 'The Gospel Singer'.

Edward was born on the 26th of May, 1893, at 9 Tait's Lane, Dundee, Scotland.

He emigrated, aged 18 years, with his widowed mother Sarah and his siblings, Thomas and Francis, from Glasgow on the 'SS Grampian' to arrive at Quebec Port, Canada on the 21st of May, 1912 before going onwards to Montreal.

Edward's parents, who married in Dundee on the 28th of June, 1875, were Michael McHugh (Bleachfield Labourer) born in Dundee in 1854 and Sarah McGlaughlan born in Ireland in 1855.

Edward's paternal grandparents were John McHugh (Sheeting Jute Weaver) and Mary Garrett, both born in Ireland in 1820. His maternal grandparents were Patrick McGlaughlan (Mason's Labourer) and Mary Blayne, both also born in Ireland.

Edward emigrated to the USA in 1919 and initially studied music in Manhattan, New York City.

Edward's singing ability was first noticed in 1927 when he made his debut appearance on the radio station in Boston called WEEI . He sang "The Old Rugged Cross" and the next day the station received 2300 letters. The radio station sent people signed photographic postcards of McHugh and his fame grew rapidly, even reaching back across the Atlantic to Scotland. There's a story of how his sister, listening to an American broadcast on a short wave wireless set in Glasgow, realised that the rich baritone voice singing to her over three thousand miles of ocean belonged to her beloved brother Edward McHugh whom she had not seen for so many years.

The 1930 USA Census provides a 'snapshot' of concert singer Edward MacHugh on tour in Massachusetts ... and the first appearance of 'Mac' instead of 'Mc' in his name.

However, a very informative Canada-USA cross-border certificate issued to Edward at Buffalo in 1935, indicates that he went back to Canada in 1922 and 1935, probably on holiday to see relatives on the first visit and for concert tours on the latter.

Two of his recordings are included here to allow you to appreciate his singing ...

Right Mouse Click - Open In New Window ... to Stream ....
or ..... Right Mouse Click ... Save Target As ... to download to your PC

My Ain Countrie (.wav file)

and, his version of

Burns' 'Land O' The Leal' (.wav file)

Edward McHugh
"The Lyric Muse of Robert Burns," from which the foregoing copy is taken, is contained in the
Mitchell Library, Glasgow.

I'M WEARIN' AWA, JEAN
('Land O' The Leal' = Heaven)

I'm wearin' awa, Jean,
Like snaw when it's thaw, Jean,
I'm wearin' awa, Jean,
Tae the land o' the leal.

There's nae sorrow there, Jean,
There's neither cauld nor care, Jean,
The day's ay fair, Jean,
I' the land o' the leal.

Ye've been leal and true, Jean,
Your task it's near done now, Jean,
And I'll welcome you, Jean,
Tae the land o' the leal.

Our bonie bairn's there, Jean,
She was baith gude and fair, Jean,
And we grudg'd her sair, Jean,
Tae the land o' the leal.

Dry your glist'ning e'e, Jean,
My soul langs to be free, Jean,
Angels wait on me, Jean,
Tae the land o' the leal.

Sorrow's sell wears past, Jean,
And joys are comin' fast, Jean,
Joys that's ay to last, Jean,
I' the land o' the leal.

Fare ye weel, my ain Jean,
This warld's care is a' vain, Jean,
We'll meet and ay be fain, Jean,
I' the land o' the leal.

In 1938 the Rodeheaver Publishing Company issued "Edward MacHugh's Treasury of Gospel Hymns and Poems", a collection of 100 hymns and 103 short poems, all of which were in standard English apart from "My Ain Countrie", a Scots hymn which had first appeared in Ira D Sankey's world-famous hymnbook "Gospel Hymns in 1885.

'Edward McHugh's Treasury of Gospel Hymns and Poems'
Publisher: Rodeheaver, Hall Mack Co.
Date: 1938
Place of Publication: Chicago, Illinois.

Number of Hymns: 97 only found ... but not the poems!
# Text Tune
d1 Abide with me, fast falls the eventide
d2 All that I am or hope to be
d3 Are the days of long ago far sweeter
d4 Be not dismayed whate'er betide
d5 Beautiful valley of Eden! Sweet is thy noon-tide calm
d6 Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine
d7 Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love
d8 Break thou the bread of life
d9 Bright is the light of the old rugged cross
d10 Come, ye [you] [we] that [who] love the Lord [Christ], And let your [our] joys
d11 Face to face with Christ my Savior
d12 Flee, as a bird, to your [yon] [the] mountain
d13 From dawn to evensong is but a day
d14 God be with you till we meet again
d15 God understands your sorrow
d16 God's tomorrow is a day of gladness
d17 Good night, sweet Jesus, guard us in sleep
d18 Have thine own way, Lord
d19 Have you been in the garden with Jesus
d20 He leadeth me, O blessed thought
d21 How firm a foundation, ye [you] saints of the Lord
d22 I am far fr' my hame [from my home], and I'm weary
d23 I can hear my [the] Savior calling
d24 I come to the garden alone
d25 I do not know, why [how] oft round me
d26 I grieved my Lord from day to day
d27 I love to tell the story of unseen things above
d28 If I have wounded any [a] soul today
d29 I'm pressing on the upward way
d30 In the land of fadeless day
d31 It may not be on the mountain [mountain's] height, Or over the stormy sea
d32 It was alone the Savior prayed in dark Gethsemene
d33 I've [I have] found a friend in Jesus, He's everything to me
d34 Jesus calls us, o'er the tumult
d35 Jesus loves me, this I know, For the Bible
d36 Jesus, Savior, pilot me
d37 Just a few more days to be filled with praise
d38 King of my life, I crown thee now
d39 Lead, kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom
d40 Lest I lose my way and wander
d41 Life is like a mountain railroad
d42 Living for Jesus a life that is true
d43 Lord, make my life today
d44 Mother of mine, an angel of grace
d45 My soul in sad exile was out on life's sea
d46 Nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee
d47 Not now but in the coming years it may be in the better dand
d48 O Jesus, I have promised
d49 O Lord, I am not worthy
d50 O Love that wilt [will] not let me go
d51 O Master, let me walk with thee [you]
d52 O they tell me of a home far beyond the skies
d53 On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross
d54 On the other side is a land of wonder
d55 Pass me not, O gentle Savior
d56 Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee
d57 Safe in the arms of Jesus, safe on his gentle breast
d58 Savior, like a shepherd lead us
d59 Shall we gather at [by] the river, Where bright angel feet have trod
d60 She only touched the hem of his garment
d61 Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling
d62 Some day the silver cord will break, and I
d63 Sometimes our skies are cloudy
d64 Sowing in the morning, sowing seeds of kindness
d65 Sun of my soul [our souls], thou [my] [O] Savior [Father] dear
d66 Sweet hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer
d67 The great Physician now is near
d68 The Lord's my Shepherd
d69 There are loved ones in the [up in] [now in] glory
d70 There are shadows of sorrow that darken life's way
d71 There is a place of quiet rest, near to the heart of God
d72 There were ninety and nine that [who] safely lay
d73 There'll be light in the sky, from the palace on high
d74 There's a beautiful valley of peace
d75 There's a church in the valley by the wildwood
d76 There's a garden where Jesus is waiting
d77 There's a land that is fairer [brighter] than day
d78 There's a wideness in God's mercy
d79 There's no disappointment in heaven, no weariness
d80 Under his wings I am [I'm] safely abiding
d81 Up Calvary's hill Jesus patiently trod
d82 Wandering afar from the dwellings of men
d83 We shall reach the summer land
d84 Weary soul, thou shalt rest in the morning
d85 What a friend we have in Jesus
d86 What have I done for thee this day
d87 When all my [the] labors and trials are o'er
d88 When comes to the weary a blessed release
d89 When he cometh, when he cometh to make
d90 When I, a poor, lost sinner, Before the Lord
d91 When peace, like a river, attendeth my way
d92 When your heart is aching, turn to Jesus
d93 Where is my wandering boy tonight
d94 Why should I feel discouraged
d95 Within the maddening maze of things
d96 Work, for the night is coming, work through the morning hours
d97 Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin
**************************************

By the early 1940s MacHugh was a regular on NBC radio, possibly the biggest radio network in America. But despite his fame, it is suggested that he still lived on a Dutch colonial smallholding of 8 acres in Connecticut where he raised poultry and pheasants, and referred to himself as "The Farmer" ..... whilst the public of America called him "The Gospel Singer". People would turn up at the radio station in New York just to meet him - "every day those of his listeners who happen to be visiting New York City come into the studios to be present at his broadcast. They'd shake hands with him, speak to him, and go away feeling, "Edward MacHugh is a man who is sincerely trying to bring happiness to people through his gospel songs."

In 1954, nearly 30 years after his first radio appearance, Billboard Magazine carried an article saying that MacHugh's show was named as the "2nd Best Of All Non-network Religious Series".

Edward MacHugh died on 3rd February 1957.


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