Born at Redlands hospital for woman on the 30th December 1933. Andrew Stewart was the youngest child to Andrew Stewart and Alice (nee Thomson), the family at the time resided in Linthouse, Glasgow. At the age of five Andrew began his schooling at Drumoyne Primary School before moving to Craigie school in Perth due to his father changing teaching jobs. At the age of 12, Andrew was on the move again this time to Arbroath High School.
During the war years Andrew’s mother would run garden fetes and charity shows for the Red Cross, Andrew would be the star turn singing For Me and My Gal with his sister. Still wanting to be a veterinary surgeon he spent most of his school holidays on a farm, it was on the farm he would first hear songs known as “Bothy Ballads.” Unknown to him these songs would form the basis of his professional career.
In his 2nd year at school he had a small part in a school production of No Hawkers, a Scottish comedy. Andrew only had one line “Would ye be wantin’ only safety pins, matches or pencils the day?”. Andrew did well in at Arbroath High School passing 4 Higher grade certificates. He was also involved in the school rugby and cricket teams,
In 1950 Andrew attended the new Glasgow College of Dramatic Art. His parents weren’t keen on him going but this did not deter him and aged 17 he moved to 114 Queens Drive, Glasgow. Enrolling on a 3 year course in 1951.
Leaving Glasgow College Stewart was patriotic wearing the tartan and the use of his Scottish humour in the 1960’s echoed the style of fellow Scot Sir Harry Lauder. Stewart would record “A Scottish Soldier” in 1961 and became a number 1 hit in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, it also spent 36 weeks in the UK Chart peaking at Number 19. The song was also used as the entrance music to WWE star Rowdy Roddy Piper.
Other recordings that reached the International music charts include “Come in Come in,” “Donald where’s your troosers,” “Campbeltown Loch,” “The Muckin’ O’ Geordie’s byre,” “The road to Dundee,” “The battles O’er” (this was number 1 in Australia)", “Take me back,” “Tunes of Glory,” and “Doctor Finlay.”
Stewart would wait till 1989 nearly 30 years after the original release of “Donald where’s your troosers” for his highest entry in the UK peaking at Number 4. Written in 10 minutes while sitting trouser less in the lavatory of a recording studio. The song was also ranked 17th in a poll of the UK’s top comic songs. It was also played at the opening ceremony of the 2014 commonwealth Games.
Andy is also remembered for being the compere of “The White Heather Club” a BBC Scotland television programme that was an annual Hogmanay Party (1957-1968) and also a weekly early evening series from (1960 – 1968). At the height of the show’s popularity, the show had 10 million viewers.
Andy was awarded an MBE in 1976, He also received the Freedom of Angus in 1987.
In 1985 Andy was forced into retirement due to illness, In 1981 Andy took ill at the Eden court theatre in Inverness an hour before he was due to go on stage, in 1984 an Australian tour and an STV series had to be cancelled due to Kidney failure.
After the success of Donald where’s your troosers, Andy came out of retirement and returned to the stage he began touring once again. He also recorded two albums on the scotdisc label. It wouldn’t be long before illness caught up with him, the summer season at the Moat House Hotel in Edinburgh was cut short due to a back injury.
Shortly before he died in 1993, he gave a small concert for the pupils of Arbroath High School. Stewart died the day after a performance at a Gala Benefit concert for Childrens Hospital Appeal Scotland (CHAS) at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh.
Andrew “Andy” Stewart suffered a fatal heart attack at home on the 11th October 1993. His funeral took place at St.Andrew’s Church in Arbroath before he was cremated at Friockheim Crematorium, Friockheim, Angus on the 15th October 1993.
Andrew “Andy” Stewart, Master Mason Lodge Dramatic No.571
Initiated 13th June 1957
Passed 12th September 1957
Raised 10th October 1957
Mark Ceremonial 25th October 1957
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