Willie Scott was the genuine article. He spent much of his life as a shepherd in the Borders. I only met Willie on a few occasions, including a memorable drive back to Edinburgh after one Blairgowrie festival with Dolinna McLennan and her then husband George Brown. Hamish Henderson once told me that one of his finest moments was when Willie sang him "an auld song" which turned out to be Hamish's own "Gillie Mor".
The following was posted by Doc Rowe to uk.music.folk and is reproduced here with his permission.
Willie was staying with us in North London (after a previous evening of singing at 'The Cellar' club with Ray Fisher -his minder!) and I started filming around midday on the Sunday ...there were certainly gaps for cups of tea - as well as other stronger liquids - and, I suppose, there must've been gaps for the natural consequence of these ... and I vaguely remember tea-time and supper ...and ..
the rest of the household went to bed (or home) around one in the morning ..Willie and I carried on ...then around two o'clock I remember suggesting that we stop recording and go to bed (as he was singing at the Herga club later that day) SO ... he launched into a critique of Border Ballad singers and dialect ... and travellers stories ...and
Suffice, to say I finished up over the two days with over seventeen hours of Willie talking and singing on video (most of which was done in one session!) - and, as I usually add "...his choice, as well" As he himself said "I'll try anything once - save hanging!"
It is one of my most precious memories and grateful to him for it ...he's well missed by many of us - but also well remembered!
- Doc Rowe
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©Dick Gaughan February 2001. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in whole or in part in any form, material or electronic, without the written permission of the author.
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