Alasdair and Pat Jack
Alastair has entertained many at Burns’ night celebrations in the area with his fine tenor voice. His son Cameron plays in several bands and granddaughter Rachel is a singer and songwriter.
Alasdair's first musical influence was his maternal grandfather, Edwin Aikman, who was the head tenor at St Cuthbert's in Edinburgh. He used to sing at the Sheep Heid Inn in Edinburgh every Saturday. Born in the 1870s he died at the age of 74. Alasdair remembers his grandfather on stage singing at Scout concerts too. He lived at Pierce Hill Terrace in Edinburgh. Alasdair's mother sang in the church choir.
He remembers Wee Willie Winkie and
Ring a Ring of Roses.
His mother could play the piano and sing.
Alasdair went to school at the Royal High School. He sang in the choir which performed in the Usher hall every year.
Their first two children, Murray and Cameron, had piano lessons. Brian Mulligan, a teacher at Stow primary school, living up Craigend Rd, started Cameron off on the guitar. Brian played at Hendersons' in Edinburgh and also with Simpson Pirie at Oxton. Cameron played in several bands over the years. Granddaughter, Naomi, went to music college in Brighton. She composes a lot of her own songs and plays in a band.
There used to be Sunday night sessions at the Springbank when Dave Purves and Hazel were there.
Alasdair used to sing all Al Jolson's songs. He also was and is much in demand for Burns night suppers to recite the address to the haggis and sing. His favourite Burns song is Ae Fond Kiss. He recalls that Hamish Hunter used to sing that song too very nicely!
Pat's grandfather was a champion of England cornet player. He used to play at the Empire Theatre, Lime Street in Liverpool. She recalls her father using animals in his acts too. One day he brought home an elephant! Her mum played the piano and was a dancer by profession. She was renowned for her Russian dancing, but could also do Dutch, Scottish and many other types of dances. Pat's aunts also played piano and danced. Aunty Ivy was an opera singer. Pat's eldest aunt's son was a sax and clarinet player and had his own orchestra which played in Blackpool tower. His brother played the violin. During the Russian revolution there was an influx of Russians who claimed they had never seen Russian dances danced so well outside of Russia.
Pat learnt the piano and enjoyed singing. Her party piece was Summertime and Ave Maria.
Pat still has some of her grandfather's programs and mother's certificates.