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Traditional Music >> Performers >> Scottish Singers >> The Bonnie Scots


The Bonnie Scots

Another duo about which I know very little. They were Mike Madden and Jackie Dixon, who moved to Canada from towns "not far from Glasgow" (I've since narrowed it down to the Hamilton/Blantyre area). Jackie Dixon was a bus driver apparently. Amongst the backing band were Fergus O'Byrne and Dermot O'Reilly who were known as Sullivan's Gypsies at the time, and later Ryan's Fancy. Dermot O'Reilly wrote to me in 2000 saying that "...I know at least one of the lads are dead...". John Cameron in Newfoundland has recently confirmed this by writing:

Dermot is richt, Jackie Dixon is deid a while ago noo...
Stop Press:
I have received an email from Jackie Dixon's son in Canada:
Well I'm pleased to announce that Jackie Dixon is still alive and well. He is currently living in Huntsville Ontario Canada. Although he is still chanting Glasgow street songs, he is also the drum sergeant, and bass drummer in the Huntsville Legion Pipe Band.
So I'm very pleased to correct this error. Back to John Cameron:
The last ah heard o' Mick wis he wis runnin a pub in Vancouver...The two lads had tae be seen live tae appreciate them. Jackie wis a proddie an' Mick, obviously, wis a catholic. Their guid humoured banter wis brilliant...They were a great pair o' chancers, ah loved them, an' will be sadly missed. The tartan outfits had tae be seen tae be believed!!

In December 2002 I heard from Bill Burt, who wrote the sleevenotes of the Laugh & Cry LP when he was a Daily Mail reporter in Glasgow:

I palled around with Mick and Jackie in Toronto in late 60s early 70s, when they played the Windsor House. We had a mutual admiration for Matt McGinn (whom I knew from my Glasgow days). Back then, I used to write daft words for auld traditional songs ... i.e. The 'Rrrr' Song: "I was rrrrunning thrrru the brrracken with a claymore up my kilt ... and a little sprrrig of heatherrr down my sock ..." etc...And, yes, looking back, their tartan outfits were a wee bit unusual...
Thanks to Bill, who now lives in Palm Beach, Florida. Any further information would be gratefully received (email me).

 

Records:


Laugh and Cry (Birchmount BM 543, 1969)

Side One: This Land Is Your Land; The Drunken Man; Jeanie McCall; Northern Lights of Aberdeen; Scotland Ra Brave
Side Two: Coulter's Candy; Lonely Prison Cell; Dundee Weaver; The Billy and the Sally; Lizzie Lindsay

All songs traditional except where indicated

Mike Madden, Jackie Dixon with Fergus O'Byrne (banjo, organ), Dermot O'Reilly (guitars, mandolin), Tom Henderson (drums), Merrill Mills (bass guitar)