Harry Gordon's Page

The most famous and successful comedian ever produced by the city of Aberdeen, Harry Gordon was a prolific entertainer in the theatre, on the radio and on records. In a period from the late 1920's till the early 1950's Harry turned out records numbering well into 3 figures including several under assumed names. The records are popular but difficult to find, especially in decent condition, as indeed is most memorabilia relating to the great man.

Born in 1893, on the 11th of July, at 7 Powis Place, Aberdeen, Harry showed the qualities of an entertainer within his family from a very early age. When he left school, he had to take a job to help the family finances, but his ambitions lay in the theatre and he began to develop his stage skills around Northeast Scotland, as a singer and mimic and anything else that would make people laugh. By the age of fifteen, Gordon made had made the decision to earn his living as a full time entertainer and without hesitation "dived out the door and into the deep sea". It was a decision that he would never regret and rapidly his career grew and developed.

An early career landmark was the formation of a Pierrot Troupe in Banchory (a village that would influence his most famous creation - Inversnecky) in 1909. The performances - usually given in the open air - were a success and kept Harry in the public eye. Thereafter he traveled far and wide appearing in Northeast theatres and traveling cinemas with seaside shows in the summer. By 1915 his touring extended into southern Scotland. The path of progress was halted, or rather diverted by participation in The Great War in which, since he was not fit for active service, Harry participated as an entertainer, no doubt gathering more valuable experience and stories.

After the armistice, Harry was quickly demobilised and resumed his theatrical work, including appearances at the Beach Pavilion in Aberdeen, where he often acted as master of ceremonies. Eventually, Harry went on to lease this little theatre himself and his association with the place lasted till it closed down in 1941. He met his best known comic foil there, in the shape of Jack Holden who worked with him in many sketches and contributed several songs to the ever burgeoning Gordon Repertoire. Pantomime soon beckoned and Harry quickly established himself as one of Scotland's most popular dames, appearing in major productions not only in Aberdeen, but in Glasgow and Edinburgh too.

The career of Harry Gordon shone bright on the Scottish scene, but never quite transferred to England, although he did tour abroad and worked on cruise liners. He worked up until December 1956 when he was struck down by influenza and spent his last days in the Royal Infirmary in Glasgow where he died in January 1957. His 48 year career was a genuine success story and in Scotland, at least, he stands comfortably in the company of greats like Harry Lauder and Will Fyffe. Indeed, his work is still well remembered and in recent times some of his material has been revived in a one man show about him in Aberdeen.

For a comprehensive biography of Harry Gordon, it is worthwhile tracking down: "Harry Gordon "The Laird of Inversnecky" by Iain Watson - Published in 1993 by City of Aberdeen - ISBN 0-946-920-09-5

CDs

Harry Gordon - A Tour of Inversnecky

1 - The Inversnecky Bus 03:01
2 - The Inversnecky Billposter 03:09
3 - The Inversnecky Cobbler 03:55
4 - The Inversnecky Barber 03:12
5 - The Smith o' Inversnecky 03:00
6 - The Inversnecky Doctor 02:57
7 - The Inversnecky Fireman 02:42
8 - Inversnecky blues 02:51
9 - The Inversnecky Grocer 03:08
10 - The Inversnecky Photographer 02:51
11 - Inversnecky Lasses 03:26
12 - Inversnecky Moon 02:52
13 - A Limb o' the Law 02:43
14 - The Bells o' Inversnecky 02:51
15 - The Inversnecky Lifeboat 03:41
16 - The Inversnecky Postie 03:51
17 - The Inversnecky Anthem 03:08

Running time 53 minutes 39 seconds

mcps licence no. 14058780A


These tracks are taken direct from 78 rpm records and in order to maintain the authentic sound, have not been engineered in any way.

 £6.99 for each copy - post paid within the UK    
 

Harry Gordon
Music Hall Sketches
with Jack Holden

Throughout his career as a comic artiste, Harry must have written and performed many hundreds of sketches. Luckily a representative selection survives on the endurable 78s of his day. Although he worked with several foils, perhaps the best known was Jack Holden who features in all of the sketches on this CD. The tracks selected here represent 7 sketches, each originally appearing on two sided 78s.

1 - The Washing Day
2 - Hiking
3 - Grousing on the moors
4 - On the Saucy Arethusa
5 - The Parliamentary Candidate
6 - At the BBC
7 - Aberdeen v Queens Park 8 - Golf

Running Time: Approximately 46 minutes.

These tracks are taken direct from 78 rpm records and in order to maintain the authentic sound, have not been engineered in any way.

 

£5.99 for each copy - post paid within the UK

Please send your cheque or postal order to:

Chris Gavin, PO Box 368, Aboyne, Aberdeenshire AB34 5LZ
An additional charge may be required to send overseas, please email Chris Gavin for information.
 

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