It is now 50 years since they
made their first appearance as professional entertainers at the Webster
Theatre in Arbroath, Scotland. Ross Bowie became their Manager, an
association that lasted 35 years. He introduced them to songwriter Tony
Hatch who took them to London and recording fame. They had their own TV
series for many years and appeared on the legendary 'Sunday Night at the
They have appeared in all the
top venues all over the world including the Carnegie Hall, New York and the
famous Sydney Opera House.
They were born in Cambusnethan, near Wishaw. Their father, Jimmy worked in
the local steel works and was the driving force behind the family. Their
musical talents came from Mum, Helen who sang and played the piano.
Tom started to learn the accordion at the age of 9 and in 1952 won the
Classical Open Solo at the N.A.O Championships in Glasgow. Jack started
piano studies when 11 and within 6 years had several diplomas to his name.
On leaving school the 'BOYS', as they were affectionately known, gained
valuable experience in front of live audiences by entering talent contests
al over central Scotland. They went on to win every contest they entered,
from 1950 - 1956, at which time Jack did his National Service.
In 1958 they decided to turn professional and soon developed a repertoire of
Scottish material. In 1962 came a major break. Songwriter Tony Hatch heard
them and took them down to London to record their first Album "HIGHLAND
FLING", on the PYE Label which was a massive seller. In 1964 they recorded
"NOBODY'S CHILD" as a single, it was an instant hit. The critics noted that
the "BOYS" were outselling the Beatles in Scotland!
Tom and Jack went on to record over 30 albums and countless singles for PYE
and RCA. Offers from Radio and T.V came flooding in. They co-starred with
Shirley Bassey in 1967 on the famous 'LONDON PALLADIUM SHOW' and hosted
their own show on STV which topped the ratings for many years.
Around this time they made their first trip to Canada and the States with
Andy Stewart, playing all the major venues. They have been back every year
since. Next they went to Australia and New Zealand. In Sydney they starred
in their own show at the 'SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE' with guest Jimmy Shand, an
enormous success, a highlight of an incredible career.
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