Jimmy” was a keen supporter of the Lodge, held office and participated in degree work. He rose to the Office of Senior Deacon. His Masonic career was cut short in 1951 when he was offered a part in a Play in Edinburgh, following which he received numerous acting and television offers.He attended the Lodge’s 75th year celebrations in 1995 along with Edward Ashley Past Master, long- time Manager at the Kings Theatre.
James Allan Short, O.B.E aka Jimmy Logan, MM Lodge Anima No.1223
James Allan Short, O.B.E, aka Jimmy Logan
Jimmy was Initiated into Lodge Anima No.1223 on 17th October 1948,
Jimmy Logan was born in Dennistoun, Glasgow. , a member of a family of entertainers; the tradition began with his parents who were the music hall act, Short and Dalziel. His aunt, from whom he took his stage surname, was Broadway performer Ella Logan. His sister is actress and singer Annie Ross, and his brother is vocalist Buddy Logan.
Educated at Gourock High School, Inverclyde, and latterly Bellahouston Academy, Glasgow, Logan began work as a child, selling programmes at his parents' shows. He left school at 14 and became assistant manager of Paisley's Victory Theatre. By the mid-1940s he was featuring in his parents' show, Ma and Pa Logan, at Glasgow's Metropole, and at 19 was principal comedian at the Metropole. He tried his hand at business by buying the Metropole, but it was not a success. The theatre closed and Logan lost a lot of money.
As a young man he modelled himself on the Scottish matinee idol and song and dance star of the 1930s and 40s Jack Buchanan, who had made a good living playing languid Englishmen. Logan devised a series of sophisticated reviews, Five Past Eight, that drew Scotland-wide audiences to Glasgow's Alhambra Theatre. He also did around 150 radio shows with his friend Stanley Baxter. Famous Phrases heard from the duo were "Sausages is the boys" and "If you want me thingummy, ring me"
Logan's stage act included character-based sketches, and these transferred well to the British television of the 1950s. He starred in Saturday Showtime, written by Eric Sykes, for ITV in 1956, and from 1957 to 1961 in BBC TV's Jimmy Logan Show - much of it written by himself.
In Scotland, and occasionally elsewhere in Britain, Jimmy Logan appeared in 35 pantomimes, usually as the dame, and when variety went into decline he switched with ease to straight acting. He appeared in Scotland and England in Harvey, The Entertainer, Death of a Salesman, Comedians, Uncle Vanya and many other stage plays.
In the 1986, at the behest of Frank Dunlop, he took his one-man show about Sir Harry Lauder to the Edinburgh Festival, playing, not inappropriately, at the town hall in nearby Portobello, where the tang of the sea wafted in on the performance. He toured the show extensively, dancing and working his way through 36 Lauder songs. In 1993 came a follow-up at the festival. The Fabulous Fifties was a nostalgic evocation of Scottish variety's last gasp. Logan, also regularly presented the Royal Scottish Variety Performance, was president of the Scottish Music Hall Society and of the Sir Harry Lauder Appreciation Society. In 1976 he wrote and performed a theatrical tribute to Lauder (perhaps best remembered for Roamin' in the Gloamin') which met with such success that he subsequently toured the show for more than 20 years.
In 1990 his services to Scottish entertainment, and to charity, led to Logan being awarded an OBE. One of his last major dramatic roles was something of a tribute from an old admirer, appearing alongside Billy Connolly in Anthony Neilson's The Debt Collector (1998). His memoir, It's a Funny Life, was published in 1998.
Jimmy Logan (James Short), entertainer, died April 13 2001, his funeral service being at Glasgow Cathedral and then cremation at Clydebank Crematorium.
Compiled by Alan Duthie