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Harry Lauder
- Favourite Briton.

Born in Edinburgh, Edinburgh and the Lothians
Born on 4th of August 1870
Died in Strathaven, Lanarkshire
Died on 26th of February 1950

The great music hall entertainer, singer and songwriter Sir Harry Lauder was born on August 4, 1870 in Portobello, Edinburgh. With the death of his father in 1882 the family moved to Arbroath where Harry worked part time in a mill to allow him to continue his education, and later as a miner to help support his family. He had begun singing engagements and, encouraged by his success, decided to turn professional.

Harry Lauderís breakthrough came when he began performing Scottish songs on the London stage in 1900. Soon he was the biggest star in music hall, then the most popular form of entertainment. At one time he was the highest paid performer in the world, selling more than one million records and attracting a loyal following which included King Edward VII. An international performer Lauder toured the world and made many trips to America.

With the outbreak of the 1914-18 war Lauder became a tireless fund raiser through his concerts, even performing under fire in France. Tragically Lauderís own son John was killed in action and he wrote one of his best loved songs Keep Right on to the End of the Road following his death. For his wartime services Harry Lauder was knighted in January 1919.

Sir Harry Lauder wrote most of his own songs including the favourites Roamin in the Gloamin, and I love a Lassie. He also starred in at least three films, though sadly his portrayal of John Buchanís comic adventurer Dickson McCunn in one of them is long lost, and wrote several books. Sir Harry Lauder retired in 1935 but returned to performing during WWII to boost morale. He died aged 79 on February 26 1950 at Strathaven in Lanarkshire.

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Most people perform well in a crisis - when the spotlight is on them; it's on the Sunday afternoons of this life, when no-one is looking, that the spirit falters. - Alan Bennett
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On this day:
Launch of BBC2 - 1964, Enoch Powells Rivers of Blood Speech - 1968, Sinclair ZX Spectrum Launched - 1982
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