The teaming of ROBIN HALL and JIMMIE MacGREGOR with SHIRLEY BLAND and LEON ROSSELSON, to form THE GALLIARDS, has resulted in the creation of an extremely happy and able quartet. The four have now worked together on many occasions and each member of the team has a considerable understanding of the style and capabilities of the others. Shirley and Jimmie have been singing together for several years and married shortly after their spell with The City Ramblers; they have taken their songs to Belgium, Hungary, Germany, France and Russia. Leon, a Cambridge graduate, is an accomplished guitarist and banjo player; he is responsible for most of the arrangements used by The Galliards.
Robin Hall, who proudly claims descendancy from Rob Roy MacGregor, was bom in Edinburgh. During a lengthy convalescence following his attack of polio, Robin devoted a great deal of time to music of all kinds. He became keenly interested in folk song and when he arrived in London four years ago his repertoire assured him of a welcome in the capital's folk circle's. He found Jimmie MacGregor, who had left Glasgow a year earlier, already in demand for concert work, records and radio engagements; he had already acquired a worthy reputation as a singer and instrumentalist having given up an established career as an art teacher and pottery maker to follow his interest in folk song.
It was not until 1960 that Jimmie and Robin came together as a regular, working unit to make their first appearances in the BBC TV series Tonight. In the first year of their partnership they were featured in over 150 radio and television programmes and such was the swift spread of their popularity that they now draw capacity crowds whenever they make concert appearances. Their following amongst folk fans must have been built up largely by their club and stage work but they have also reached a much wider audience via Tonight, Easy Beat … and Decca records. In the Autumn of I960 Decca released the Hall/MacGregor recording of Football Crazy and this single received a shoal of unique "plugs" when some of the country's top soccer clubs played it over their public address systems each Saturday afternoon. More recently Jimmie and Robin have been claiming a great deal of attention with the single-play release of their comedy number The Monster of Loch Ness, coupled with a spirited interpretation of Sinner Man. Their expert handling of these items is evidence of their wide-ranging vocal ability.
TRAMPS AND HAWKERS (Jimmie & Robin) — A 19th. century song, well known to the "travelling folk of Scotland". Its popularity has been greatly increased by the traditional singers Davy Stewart and Jimmy McBeath (Guitars: Jimmie MacGregor & Robin Hall)
BROCHAN LOM, TANA LOM and BODACHAN A' MHIREIN (Jimmie & Robin) — This essential touch of the Gaelic was taught to us by singer/journalist Jimmy McPhee, late of Ballachulish. Jimmy also taught this "mouth music" to many of London's cockney kids with great success (Guitar: Jimmie MacGregor)
THE DAY WE WENT TO ROTHESAY (The Galliards) — In the summer months, the little holiday resorts along the Clyde estuary are crammed with noisy holiday crowds making the most of their annual escape from grimy Glasgow. This song describes some boozy high jinks in Rothesay, that famous Cannes of the Clyde! The rousing chorus has popularised this song all over Scotland and, by now, it is also just as well known in London. (Guitar: Jimmie MacGregor/Banjo: Leon Rosselson)
THE CRAW KILLED THE PUSSIE (Jimmie & Robin) — In this wee song, brought to light by the renowned collector Gavin Greig, only the chorus remains as it was. Jimmie wrote the verses for our version. (Guitar: Jimmie MacGregor)
THE STOUTEST MAN IN THE FORTY TWA (Jimmie & Robin) — There are many songs about the famous 42nd. Highland Regiment. This one of the best we know (Guitar: Jimmie MacGregor)
HIGHLAND FAIRY LULLABY (Shirley & Jimmie) — A charming little lullaby whose theme is based upon the old Highland legend about a baby being stolen away by the fairies. (Guitar: Jimmie MacGregor)
MY LOVE SHE'S BUT A LASSIE YET (The Galliards) — We quote (from a Victorian folk song collection): This humorous song is composed of the two leading features of man's life - love and drink; they are characteristically portrayed and the preference given to the passion of love. Unquote. (Banjo: Leon Rosselson/Guitar and Mandolin: Jimmie MacGregor)
MINGULAY BOAT SONG (The Galliards) — The Western Islands of Scotland have produced some of the most beautiful songs of this or any other country; this translation of a well known Gaelic boating song is a fine example. (Guitars: Leon Rosselson and Jimmie MacGregor)
NICKY TAMS (ROBIN) — A widely known contemporary bothy ballad by G.S. Morris of Meldrum. Farm workers tie the Nicky Tams (thongs or cords) just below the knee to keep their trousers clear of the mud. (Guitar: Jimmie MacGregor/Banjo: Leon Rosselson)
THE PIPER O' DUNDEE (The Galliards) — The second and third verses of this song are in the form of a list of tunes played by the Jacobite piper, Carnegie of Finhaven. He is also famous for running away at the Battle of Sherriffmuir. (Guitars: Jimmie MacGregor and Leon Rosselson)
THE BONNIE EARL O' MORAY (The Galliards) — The Earl of Moray met his death at the hands of the Marquis of Huntley at Donibristle, Fifeshire, in February 1592. It was suspected that the killing was ordered by James VI because of the Earl's association with the Queen, Anne of Denmark. (Guitar: Leon Rosselson)
MORMOND BRAES (Jimmie & Robin) — A much shortened version of a bothy ballad popular around Buchan (in the North East) around 1860. (Guitars: Jimmie MacGregor and Leon Rosselson)
COULTERS CANDY (The Galliards) — A lullaby from Dumfrieshire where the Coulter family once sold their famous sweet. All but one of the verses sung here are by Robin. (Guitars: Leon Rosselson and Jimmie MacGregor)
THE ROVIN' PLOUGHBOY (Jimmie & Robin) — Collected by Peter Kennedy from the composer John McDonald, who set his words to the traditional tune of The gypsy laddie. (Guitars: Jimmie MacGregor and Leon Rosselson)