Hoots Mon! It’s Harry Robinson!

harry-robinson

Hoots Mon

“…I was a pop arranger that just happened to be in the right place at the right time” Harry Robinson speaking about his role as composer for some of the Hammer films: interview by John Mansell 1994

“It was a film that got me interested in music, I went to see DANGEROUS MOONLIGHT as a kid [1941-2]. The film I don’t think I can remember but I did take notice of the music which was THE WARSAW CONCERTO by Richard Addinsell. The melody kept going around in my head; even after a few days I still kept hearing it. It virtually haunted me and I felt that I had to do something about it. I became determined that I would have piano lessons and learn how to play this music but I set myself a time limit of just 12 months. I don’t think I realised just how difficult that would be but I was young and I suppose a little bit naive. I pestered the life out of my Mother and finally she gave in and agreed to let me have piano lessons; I think because I was so enthusiastic I learnt very quickly and soon managed to play the Richard Addinsell piece. I even performed it in front of an audience and won a competition for my rendition of the music. I would have been contented with that but as time went on I began to discover other types of music and wanted to learn more. I pestered my Mother again, who found a music teacher who was English, but was living close to my home town of Elgin in the Highlands of Scotland. He was recovering from the illness tuberculosis and had been told that the air in Scotland would help his path back to fitness. He was actually a composer but had begun to teach to pay his way. I had instruction in composition, harmony and counterpoint from him. After finishing my lessons with him I became bored with music; probably one of the many phases that I went through and I decided that I would become an archaeologist.” http://www.runmovies.eu/harry-robinson/  Note: Harry didn’t speculate how he contracted tuberculosis but usually a person has to be close to someone with tuberculosis for a long period to become infected. TB was still rampant into the 1950s in the UK though people were beginning to be treated with antibiotics for a variety of illnesses including “consumption”. There was a clinic near Henry’s home in Elgin where patients were isolated pending a cure.

Harry Robinson (AKA Henry Robertson) was the son of Henry Robertson of Elgin, Morayshire in Scotland.  Though learning basic piano at an early age,  he wanted to become an archaeologist, studying the subject at university “before giving up his academic studies because of his poor health, and becoming a music teacher in London.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Robertson_(musician)

Examples of Harry’s early tunes include Lord Rockingham Meets The Monster [Harry Robinson] with his band [1958]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6z9JdPJ1IA  and Tommy Steele with Harry Robinson [circa 1960] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCKIGmGxxmQ

Tommy [Hicks] Steele who first worked with Harry on the Six Five Special [1957] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6BLsRmqB08, hired Mr. Robinson to be his advisor and band leader when he toured Australia in 1960.  Tommy Steele was also the first of the London-based artists who came to be known singing at the 2 ‘I’s Coffee Bar and where promoters and agents congregated and where the earliest pop music show, Six Five Special, was first broadcast. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/tommy-steele-mn0000515856 In 1958  Jack Good,  who broke with BBC over create differences with the Six Five Special, signed on with ITV to present Oh Boy! and Harry continued his duties as music director.  He also served as band director/composer for Lord Rockingham’s XI and wrote several tunes including their big hit, Hoots Mon.

“Before confirming his line-up of musicians, Robinson took himself off to a seaside caravan and locked himself in with a pile of American hit records in an effort to understand fully how their sound was achieved so he could replicate it.” Oh Boy! also gave Harry an opportunity to arrange music “I didn’t have a clue basically. I’d had no training and I learned a lot from copying other people’s scores [and] how they went about things.  Mostly you learn as you’re going along as such.” Harry Robinson [quotes: Please Please Me: Sixties British Pop, Inside Out [Gordon Thompson] and Cliff: An Intimate Portrait of a Living Legend [Stafford Hildred, Tim Ewbank]

In the ’50s when Harry [known as Henry Robertson] began composing musicals, friend Albert Bonici invited him to play piano and perform musical numbers at the Park Cafe in Elgin. The cafe was expanded to include a stage and though limited capacity, it was a venue for him to hone his skills as musician and composer. He also used larger rooms like the High Church on South Street using local people in the productions. Below is opening credits of a musical comedy that a young Henry Robertson composed and directed:

Magic in the Glen - Henry Robertson 1951

Magic in the Glen – Henry Robertson 1951

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cast of Magic in the Glen. Henry Robertson is wearing a dark suit [front row]

cast of Magic in the Glen. Henry Robertson [front row] is wearing a dark suit and shaking hands with Donald MacDonald

Nineteen year old Henry Robertson was attending college in Aberdeen when he wrote, directed, and produced Magic in the Glen with Donald MacDonald though he wasn’t formerly trained in music. His college career was cut short when he had his first bout with TB and returned to live with his mother in Elgin after staying in a nearby TB clinic in Scotland. In a conversation with Albert Bonici’s sister Rosanna, I learned that Harry attended the University of Aberdeen in the early 1950’s though left do to health problems. He hadn’t considered a career in music at the time but he took up piano besides a brief profession as a journalist for a local Elgin newspaper, The Courier.

Ms Bakewell representing the University of Aberdeen answered my query about Henry Robertson’s education: “[Harry] was indeed a University of Aberdeen student in 1951-52. He was enrolled on the M.A. degree and took Latin, English Literature and Psychology. It then states on his student record that he had been admitted to hospital and that his fees were to be held over. The University never heard from him again.”

cocktail capers 1cocktail capers 2cocktail capers 3

Musical producer Henry Robertson [aka Harry Robinson] worked with Elgin Dramatic Society and publicity was through "The Park Cafe" a branch of the PC Holding Company. The cafe was where Henry had opportunities to perform his plays and compositions in the '50s before going to London.

Musical producer Henry Robertson [aka Harry Robinson] worked with Elgin Dramatic Society and publicity was through “The Park Cafe” a branch of the PC Holding Company. Cocktail Capers was performed at the High Church hall on South Street, Elgin. Besides various venues, Henry had opportunities to perform his plays and compositions at the Park Cafe in the mid ’50s before going to London to develop his career.

Though he struggled with reoccurring health issues, Henry “Harry” moved to London where he made a name for himself with his many talents. “Don’t You Rock Me, Daddio” with string orchestra arrangement of Van Morrison’s skiffle hit was Harry Robinson’s first claim to fame before the UK number 1 “Hoots Mon! with Lord Rockingham’s 11. “I was stoney broke. They paid cash for the performers, but a check for the composer, and it was made out for Harry Robinson [instead of Henry Robertson]. So I rushed down to the bank and said, “There’s been a terrible mistake… I completely forgot to check with the Decca record company what they were doing. They put the record out and there was my name emblazoned as “Harry Robinson” [with singers Morris & Mitch – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EK5OqX9AisA%5D . It became a hit record and I was then known, so I stuck with it.’ [Henry Roberson on how he became known as “Harry Robinson” in 1957] From Hammer Film Scores and the Musical Avant-Garde.  Note: Harry went on to arrange dozens of songs and compose film scores besides his work as music director, band leader, and producer as listed at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0731862/

Henry Robertson

Lord-Rockinghams-XI-008http://www.theguardian.com/music/2012/may/31/lord-rockinghams-xi-hoots-mon [charted in 1958] Hoots Mon!

Linton Addie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIxQu6kpgP4

  • This was originally a single that Harry Robinson made with Jackie Dennis called “Linton Addie.” He then turned to the traditional Scottish folk song “100 Pipers”, and turned the tune into this chart-topping instrumental, punctuated by stereotypical Scottish phrases. Robinson recalled in 1000 UK #1 Hits by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh: “You couldn’t have a rock n roll instrumental without someone saying something in it. We wanted a voice to recite a couple of silly couplets. I did it because I’m Scottish, but I overdid the accent, which resulted in Scotland thinking it must be a Sassenach. When we heard the playback, we fell about laughing and couldn’t play anything for 15 minutes. The engineer couldn’t get the bass right when the sound was transferred to disc, and he wanted us to re-do it. A lot of record-buyers complained because if you used a lightweight needle, it jumped off the disc because of the tremendous bass parts. It was banned in certain factories because of its pounding sound: it made the workers want to smash the tools up.”
  • Harry Robinson, who died in 1996 later performed on Millie’s “My Boy Lollipop” and provided the arrangements for a host of people, including The Seekers, Serge Gainsbourg, Nick Drake (including “River Man”) and Sandy Denny. Among many other projects, Robinson also composed a national anthem for Zambia. http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=14825

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Photo above is Henry Robertson with wife “Ziki” [circa 1958]. In 1960, the couple left for Australia and “Harry” formed a band for Tommy [aka Hick] Steele’s tour. Though he had a couple of hit songs under his belt besides his time as music director in early British television music shows, Harry cited his work for Tommy Steele in 1960 as a turning point in his career. Tommy had originally been in Jack Fallon’s band in ’52 around the time Jack founded Cana Variety in London. Early British music tv show, Six Five Special, was first broadcast from the 2 i’s Coffee Bar in Soho. The infamous coffee bar was where Albert Bonici met with his London connections and inspiration for redesigning Elgin’s Park Cafe with a small stage before building the Two Red Shoes Ballroom .

“Tommy Steele:”remained popular with younger listeners, and was voted among the Top Five British male singers of 1959. He did two more movies that year, Tommy the Toreador and Light Up the Sky, the latter a World War II comedy that also featured comedian Benny Hill. His single “You Were Mine” (a cover of the Fireflies hit) failed to chart, but in 1960 he scored another Top Ten single with “Little White Bull,” a soft children’s song (Steele contributed all of the royalties to the Children’s Cancer Research fund) from Tommy the Toreador. An Australian tour followed, which reunited him with the Steelmen and also featured a 15-piece backing band led by Harry Robinson aka Lord Rockingham.” http://www.allmusic.com/artist/tommy-steele-mn0000515856

“In the early 1960s, Harry Robinson worked as an arranger and conductor on stage shows (‘Fings ain’t wot they used t’be’ and ‘Maggie May’) as well as in the recording business for labels EMI and Decca, helping artists such as Nick Drake, Sandy Denny, and Craig Douglas. He made TV shows with the likes of Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli and the Beatles [Musical Associate for Jack Good’s Beatles Around The World – April 1964].

From 1966 onwards, Robinson worked as a film composer for Hammer Film Productions. He specialized in the horror genre, writing the score of movie pictures such as ‘Twins of evil’ (1972) and ‘There goes the bride’ (1980). He also co-write some movie scripts, including ‘Hawk the Slayer’ (1980) and ‘Prisoners of the lost universe’ (1982). Moreover, he co-composed the music to the musical on the life of Elvis Presley which premiered on West End in 1977 and penned the tunes to many a promotion campaign. Harry Robinson was the conductor of the UK entry to the 1961 Eurovision Song Contest in Cannes, ‘Are you sure’, which was performed by The Allisons and finished second. Robinson never returned to the international contest, but conducted two more songs in the UK pre-selection: ‘The girl next door’ for Craig Douglas (1961) and ‘My kingdom for a girl’ for Doug Sheldon (1962). The latter song was co-composed by Robinson.” http://www.andtheconductoris.eu/index.htm?http://www.eurovisionartists.nl/conductor/dir020.asp?ID=269

 

mr b

Henry Robertson related how he gained the professional name “Harry Robinson” after his employer misspelled his name on a pay check. From then on Harry had a colourful career working with entertainers from Julie Andrews to the Beatles.  HR Interview: http://www.runmovies.eu/?p=6356

“Harry Robinson aka Lord Rockingham. When rock’n’roll first invaded British television with 6.5 Special the resident band was Lord Rockingham’s Eleven. Harry had also been on the board of Island Records in the early years but had sold his shares years before. As a composer he had scored all those Hammer horror movies starring vampires-in-chief Christopher Lee and Barbara Steele. After telling us these colourful but irrelevant facts, John came to the point: as an orchestrator, Harry was a master mimic. You want Sibelius? He could give you Sibelius. Since Nick wanted ‘River Man’ to sound like Delius, Harry, said John, was our man.

Nick and I went to visit Robinson at his house hidden in the middle of Barnes Common, just below the tree that was to kill Marc Bolan ten years later. Having heard a tape, Harry was already intrigued when we arrived. Nick played the song through, then strummed chords as the tape played, showing Harry the textures he wanted for the string parts. I had never heard him so articulate or so demanding. Harry made notes and nodded. The result was a track which – next to the Volkswagen ad’s ‘Pink Moon’ – is the most often played and discussed of all Nick’s songs. Whenever I saw Harry in later years, he would talk about the day we recorded it, with Nick surrounded by the orchestra, playing and singing while Harry conducted – just like Nelson Riddle and Frank Sinatra.” White Bicycles – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s By Joe Boyd
Twins Of Evil [Harry Robinson soundtrack 1971] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhEB66VuqSU Lust For A Vampire ost. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsfrmboZW0Q The Vampire Lovers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e15vpBmikXQ

“Journey to the Unknown” (1968) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLWQHDLsAMM

Film credits: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0731862/ Interview: https://jonman492000.wordpress.com/2013/05/27/harry-robinson/ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0731862/ Television programs: Music director for several Jack Good productions including “Around The Beatles” [1964]: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xobcv8_around-the-beatles_shortfilms  Shindig!: https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/shindig/ Oh Boy!: https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/early-music-television-uk/

Harry Robinson [aka Robertson] appeared in several episodes of Oh Boy! with his band besides one of the first modern sword-and-sorcery films, Hawk The Slayer [1980] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZwc2hAcLBw&index=7&list=PL972C0AB443015ED5.  Meanwhile, during frequent visits to his hometown of Elgin, Scotland, “Harry” was the unpretentious Henry Robertson who never forgot where he came from though very successful in London. The Bonici families including Albert, Guila, and Rosanna and spouses entertained Henry when he would journey back to Elgin on occasion from a busy career in London. He also continued to visit his mother, Margaret Millar Anderson, who resided in Elgin until her death in 1988. Note: Henry had a brother Alexander who died in India at age 21 and a sister, Lillan Robertson  who died in Australia [1937-2012]. Like his siblings, Henry was born in Elgin, Scotland to Henry and Margaret Robertson.

Albert’s nephew John Ruggeri remembers Henry coming to his wedding and various occasions spending time with Henry. Albert’s sister Rosanna and husband Stanley had Henry staying with them several times and remember him fondly… Going back to the early days of promoting, Albert Bonici shared a recollection of Henry, with whom he remained friends with until Albert’s death.

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Harry Robinison [aka Henry M Robertson] standing on curb of the Park Cafe where he played and performed skits on weekends. Note: Elgin Museum in the background. Like many musicians and people in the music biz around London hung out at the 2i’s Coffee Bar in Soho http://2iscoffeebar5670.blogspot.co.uk/ which the Park Cafe was fashioned after in ’56. Albert Bonici who enjoyed the 2i’s on his trips to London, built a small stage for Harry, Alex Sutherland, and other musicians to perform before the Two Red Shoes was built. https://musicstorytellers.wordpress.com/the-history-of-the-2i%E2%80%99s-coffee-bar/

 

c.Planet News Ltd. London

c.Planet News Ltd. London  Henry M Robertson with bride Myrtle Arbuthnot in 1958

ALBERT BONICI: ‘I used to pay 2s 6d a week to a Murphy’s pools agent, who filled out the coupon. One week, I won a few hundred pounds which was quite a lot of money – and it made me feel uneasy. I decided to cancel the coupon and a young journalist named Henry Robertson who worked on the Elgin Courant got to hear of this. He was a good musician who had been to university but had developed TB and was writing newspaper articles while he recuperated in Elgin [after visiting a TB clinic in Port Soy]. We became good friends and to help him raise money to stage the music shows which he put on in local church halls, I organised a Valentine’s Day dance. It made a fair bit of money. My wife and I were keen dancers, but we had to travel to the Northern Meeting Rooms in Inverness to see the big bands, because they only did the major centres. The circuit was something like: Monday, Edinburgh Palais; Tuesday, Dundee Palais; Wednesday, Beach Ballroom, Aberdeen; Thursday, NMR Inverness; and Friday and Saturday, Green’s Playhouse in Glasgow. No one wanted to know about Elgin. My brother-in-law [Ugo Ruggeri] had a connection with Tito Burns, the London agent who handled the Ray Ellington Quartet, and Burns said Ellington would come up if three venues could be found. There was still a great demand for dancing at this time so it was not a terrible great risk. The big bands toured once a month so I put the Ellington Quartet in between visits. They did the Beach Ballroom on a Wednesday, the Assembly Rooms Elgin on a Thursday, and Forres on a Friday. It was a big success…’ https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/albert-bonici/

Before Henry had his first big break as music director for BBC’s first pop-music program The Six-Five Special [1957] he played piano at Elgin’s Park Café on a Saturday night and sometimes put on sketches and musicals on a Sunday afternoon to a full house in the popular café facing the Cooper Park. A small stage was set up [near the bathrooms] but was enough to create a pleasant mood on a weekend night out in Morayshire.

The Park Cafe

After the war, the local council were building new flats and as residents moved from the small college housing, Albert was having them demolished and expanded the café. Besides a staff on hand to serve up food and non alcoholic drinks, Albert used the space to showcase local talent like Henry [Robertson] and Alex. Sutherland to add to the ambiance of the family run establishment. A few years later, he had the Two Red Shoes Ballroom built and opened with the Alex. Sutherland house band in the summer of 1960. Henry who had by then established himself in London as a composer, writer, band leader, and music director, remained dear friends with the Bonici family though lived in the London area for the remainder of his life.

‘Towards the beginning of his career, he created a string orchestra arrangement of Van Morrison’s skiffle hit ‘Don’t You Rock Me Daddio”. Decca put the record out crediting Henry as “Harry Robinson” plus a check with “Robinson” instead of Robertson. “It became a hit record, and I was then known, so I stuck with it.”‘ Quote from Henry Robertson from  the book, “Hammer Film Scores and the Musical Avant-Garde”.

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=NSQQx-D2EO0C&pg=PA88&lpg=PA88&dq=produced+by+Harry+Robinson&source=bl&ots=oyp314r1Yn&sig=Hgju3aJ0h-X3FMKOfoPIcpdK7wU&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CFAQ6AEwCGoVChMIl_2f5fvQyAIVyKsaCh00mgfm#v=onepage&q=produced%20by%20Harry%20Robinson&f=false

Henry married Myrtle Olive Felix Arbuthnot on 17 Nov 1958.  Myrtle, a Baroness through her mother’s lineage, passed away in 2000, a few years after Harry. They had four children together…

Earlier in 1958, Jack Good produced, “Oh Boy!” for BBC rival station ITV, and again employed “Harry” as musical director. The format of the program was to be strictly a music show which was new to British television. Among various duties, Harry Robinson also served as band leader and composed music for the newly formed Lord Rockingham’s XI. His tune, “Hoots Mon! [there’s a moose loose aboot the hoose] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jeu72y0f4Kc  became a his first chart hit at number one. Of course, fame never turned Henry’s head though he enjoyed an enduring career in music. Hoot Mon! Fried Onions https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1O6p84lYw7s Hoots Mon! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIekZvhyrsk

Other SCOTBEAT related articles:  https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/shindig/  https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/early-music-television-uk/

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Harry Robertson (19 November 1932 / Elgin, Morayshire [Scotland] – 17 January 1996 Wandsworth, London) was a musician, bandleader, music director and composer. Born Henry Macleod Robertson, he was often credited under the name Harry Robinson. He worked as a musical director on British television shows in the 1950s and 1960s, and also arranged for theatre shows and films, notably those of the Hammer production company. He was the son of Henry Robertson of Elgin, Morayshire, Scotland. He learned piano, but then determined to become an archaeologist, studying the subject at university before giving up his academic studies because of his poor health, and becoming a music teacher in London. Harry Robertson died in London in 1996.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Robertson_(musician)

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b. Henry MacLeod Robertson, 19 November 1932, Elgin, Moray, Scotland, d. 17 January 1996, Wandsworth, London, England. Among names Robertson used in his credits are Robertson H. McLeod, his real name, and, extensively, Harry Robinson. On television in the late 50s he was musical director of the pop shows 6.5 Special (1957) and Oh Boy! (1958), also appearing on the latter with his band, Lord Rockingham’s XI. From 1960 onwards he was mainly working in films, first as arranger and occasional songwriter.

Meanwhile, from 1963, Robertson composed dozens of film soundtrack scores, usually under the name of Harry Robinson, and he also worked often in television. As arranger, songwriter, but mainly as composer, his credits include Light Up The Sky! (1960), Don’t Bother To Knock (1961), Live Now, Pay Later (1962), It’s Trad, Dad! (1962, US title: Ring-A-Ding Rhythm), the Crane series (1963), the Shindig! series (1964), Operation Third Form (1966), Headline Hunters (1967), Journey To Midnight (1968), Journey To The Unknown (1968), The Oblong Box (1969), Arthur! Arthur! (1969), Can Hieronymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe And Find True Happiness? (1969), The Vampire Lovers (1970), Fright (1971), Dr. Jekyll And Sister Hyde (1971), The Best Pair Of Legs In The Business (1972), The House In Nightmare Park (1973), The Boy With Two Heads (1974), Hijack (1975), The Ghoul (1975), Legend Of The Werewolf (1975), Sky Pirates (1977), Glitterball (1977), A Hitch In Time (1978), Why Not Stay For Breakfast? (1979), There Goes The Bride (1980), Hawk The Slayer (1980), Breakout (1983), Prisoners Of The Lost Universe (1983), Specials (1991), and Virtual Murder (1992).http://www.allmusic.com/artist/harry-robinson-mn0000665116/biography

Hammer Film Scores and the Musical Avant-Garde: ‘ “… After seeing Twins of Evil for the first time, Robinson realized that this was his opportunity to write what he had always wanted to write: a cowboy score.” The film, with its horse-riding Puritan witch-hunters, is indeed a form of Gothic cowboys and Indians story, and the music certainly echos the classic “Western” style of Jerome Morross, as well as the classic “Spaghetti” Western idiom of Ennio Morricone…” ‘

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In the early 1950s, Albert Bonici began promoting dances though it had been an ambition since his teenage years. When he and Henry Robertson co-organized a string of jazz dances in the north Scotland, they could not have predicted the enormous success of the venture. Albert Bonici became one of the most respected promoters in the UK having arranged a high volumn of music venues throughout the north of Scotland which delighted music lovers during the height of the jazz and beat music era. Whilst known for booking the Beatles at the beginning of their 1963 tours, Albert Bonici brought most of the top British acts to north-east Scotland besides working with Scottish musicians to boost their careers. SCOTBEAT was created to share a bit of history about the BEAT years in Scotland and also a tribute to a man with a vision who, with the help of his family and staff, created a happening that is still fondly remembered by those who attended dances and concerts. Albert A Bonici hosted many up and coming bands who went on to gain international acclaim for their contributions. Besides other local resources and interviews, SCOTBEAT presents exclusive photos, adverts, and documents from the A Bonici Archives [circa 1960s]. Unless otherwise agreed, materials are not to be used for financial gain and ask that you respect the terms below. Materials presented are not to be used for financial gain without consent. © 2014-2019 SCOTBEAT.wordpress.com. All rights reserved. No part of this web site may be copied, redistributed, broadcast or published in any form without crediting this blog and/or copyright websites mentioned. All correspondence, flyers, programs, and photos from the Bonici Archives are not to appear in print other than through the propietor of SCOTBEAT. Use of the site signifies your agreement to all of these terms without condition. Please reference https://scotbeat.wordpress.com when sharing materials found here as the site is continuously updated to present the subject matter accurately and as a historical resource. Thank you.

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Posted in 1960's pop music
2 comments on “Hoots Mon! It’s Harry Robinson!
  1. Gordon says:

    Just discovered your blog – fascinating stuff! I went on your Facebook page and saw you were asking about the photo of the 5 piece band. They were the Phantoms from Buckie. I used to watch them practice in the shed next door to Emil’s snooker hall in the early 60s. I believe Emil took them on tour to Poland one year.

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