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ALISTAIR McHARG

Alistair%20McHarg

BIOGRAPHICAL DETAILS

Description: Vocalist, Pianist, Actor, Scotland

Known For: Known for his entertainment on “Adelaide Tonight” – Australia

Instruments: Voice, Piano, Bass Baritone

Music Styles: Traditional, Popular

Location: United Kingdom

Date Born: 1925

CONTACT DETAILS
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BIOGRAPHICAL PROFILE

Alistair McHarg

Former star of stage and television, singer and musician.

Alistair was a pianist with a magnificent bass baritone voice that won him an engagement at his native town’s famous Gaiety Theatre for a December week in 1944 on a variety bill.

His singing career continued entertaining troops with rich singing voice was the American film director Wesley Ruggles who later cast him in “London Town”, Britain’s first big Technicolor movie, made in 1948.

Alistair was born in Ayr the youngest of a family of eight sons. Their father Sam was assistant harbourmaster at Ayr and also the local Salvation Army bandmaster

McHarg pursued a highly successful career on the variety stage and in pantomime and also making gramophone records.

1964 Version

Described as a “musical quiz”, it was hosted by Scottish singer Alistair McHarg, who had moved to Australia. Not much is known about the series, and it is not known if any of the episodes still exist, given the wiping of the era.

Trips to Australia led eventually to a domicile there and for years he was a popular TV personality.

He also worked as a cruise director and tour organiser before retiring.

He lived in Adelaide and appeared on “Adelaide Tonight” on the Nine Network. As I remember Alistair was always their to give his time to an up and coming artist.

He helped John Farnham in his early days with songs with one occasion for Carols by candelight in Adelaide.

I also remeber Alistair taking my youngest to the shop around the corner and buying her sweets.

At the time he lived in the same appartments as my family in a suburb of Adelaide in the late sixties. His last years were spent in contentment in a retirement complex.

Alistair died at the age 0f 79 years.

Alistair McHarg 1925 – 2005

Former star of stage and television, singer and musician Alistair McHarg died peacefully on Sunday 17 April 2005 in Adelaide in Australia. He was 79.

He was born in Ayr the youngest of a family of eight sons. Their father Sam was assistant harbourmaster at Ayr and also the local Salvation Army bandmaster, and as a result of the latter connection all of the boys learned to play musical instruments. Alistair’s was the piano but it was his magnificent bass-baritone voice that won him an engagement at his native town’s famous Gaiety Theatre for a December week in 1944 on a variety bill with Duncan’s Collies, the Tom Katz Sax Six, Jean Kennedy, the Five Acromites and Baby Beams, pickpocket magician Vic Perry, Fred Retter, and Billy Merric.

This proved to be so successful for the young singer that he was booked for the fabulous Victory Gaiety Whirl summer show of 1945 which had legendary comedian Dave Willis, then in his prime, lead a cast of twenty-three. However, McHarg’s sojourn was brief: the show opened on 21 May and Alistair was called up for military service on 9 June.

His singing career continued nonetheless entertaining troops and among those enraptured by the rich singing voice was the American film director Wesley Ruggles who later cast him in London Town, Britain’s first big Technicolor movie, made in 1948, which starred the great comedian Sid Field and boasted such other stars as Tessie O’Shea, Claude Hulbert, Greta Gynt, and Sonnie Hale, and other names such as the then tyros Kay Kendall and Petula Clark. McHarg had six songs, several in duet with Beryl Davis, but most were cut in the final version. The film, unfortunately, was not a success.

However, McHarg pursued a highly successful career on the variety stage and in pantomime with the likes of Scottish comedy star Alec Finlay, and he made gramophone records. His theatre work included solo appearances at many of the top venues in the land and was not confined to Scotland but included the likes of seasons with the Crazy Gang at the Victoria Palace, London. On television he became kenspeckle with his act of songs at the piano. He toured Korea in the early 1950s entertaining troops during the war in that country.

Popular alike with the public and fellow professionals he survived the sweeping changes that were engulfing the world of light entertainment. Trips to Australia led eventually to a domicile there and for years he was a popular TV personality.

He also worked as a cruise director and tour organiser before retiring. His last years were spent in contentment in a retirement complex.

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