Sir Harry Lauder

Born 4 August 1870. Died 26 February 1950.

Biography

Sir Henry "Harry" Lauder (4 August 1870 – 26 February 1950) was a Scottish music hall comedian and singer. He was perhaps best known for his long-standing hit "I Love a Lassie" and for his international success. He was described by Sir Winston Churchill as "Scotland's greatest ever ambassador!"

Born in Portobello, Edinburgh, Lauder began his working life in a flax mill and in coal mines before he embarked on a career as a singer and toured with an amateur concert-party. He performed his first self-composed song "I Love a Lassie" and he became a familiar world-wide figure promoting images like the kilt and the cromach to huge acclaim, especially in America. Other songs followed, including "Roamin' in the Gloamin", "A Wee Deoch-an-Doris", and "Keep Right on to the End of the Road".

By the 1900s, Lauder had become the highest-paid performer in the world, and was the first Scottish artist to sell a million records. He raised vast amounts of money for the war effort during World War I, for which he was subsequently knighted in 1919. He went into semi-retirement in the mid-1930s, but briefly emerged to entertain troops in World War II. By the late-1940s he was suffering from long periods of ill-health and died in Scotland in 1950.

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