Eddie Rose - Scotland's Son of Fun
A comic who’s has not been afraid to follow in the proud old Scottish tradition and is winning more fans at his every appearance.
As a young lad growing up in Strathspey, he thought he would follow in the footsteps of his father who worked in the whiskey industry. When he left school at 15, he was still too young for a job at the Balmenach distillery, so he took a job in forestry on the Seafield estates for three years until he was eighteen.
Already, there was another strand to his life. When he was only 14, he joined the Clachan Players, an amateur dramatic group run by a couple in nearby Grantown-on-Spey. This gave him his first taste of the stage.
He can almost pinpoint the moment he became stage-struck. “One evening in 1959, my mother switched on the television and there on the screen was Andy Stewart and the White Heather Club.” Andy became his idol, and Eddie bought his records and played them over and over. He began to sing the songs as well. The first one he ever performed in public was “M’Ginty’s Meal An’ Ale”. He joined the Grantown Gaelic Society Choir and used to do a cornkister spot on their programmes.
The fame of the young teenage protégé spread and he received invitations to entertain the guests in Grantown hotels. It was in one of these that he began to drop in the odd gag between songs. The response from the audience surprised him, and so he began to make humour part of his act.
In the early 1960s he spent holidays in Aberdeen and remembers seeing such music hall greats as Kenneth McKellar, Clark and Murray, and Robert Wilson. The star-struck youngster returned to Cromdale fired with ambition.
In 1965 he left Speyside and moved south to Pitlochry. It was a good move as Pitlochry has long had a flourishing entertainment scene and it was not long before he was one of its leading lights. Bert Cameron, who ran “Highland Nights” in the town hall, got him involved. At fist Eddie concentrated mostly on singing but, encouraged by Bert he performed his first character studies, the “Old Maid in the Garret” and “The Waitress”.
Inspiration for these came from watching the veteran comic Alec Findlay. Almost without noticing it, Eddie Rose, singer, changed to Eddie Rose, Scots comic.
In 1973 and 1974, he appeared regularly in Ronnie Coburn’s shows in Arbroath and Montrose. Another great experience was touring Canada and the United States with the Tartan Lads in one of Ronnie Coburn’s celebrated “Breath of Scotland” shows.
The director of Pitlochry distillery heard about the activities of his showbiz employee, and Eddie found himself performing five nights a week before specially invited audiences from all over Britain. When Eddie retired from his post as Warehouse Manager in 2000 he became overnight, a full time entertainer. He is a regular broadcaster, putting out two shows a week on Heartland Radio, the little station that serves Highland Perthshire from its Pitlochry studio.
Eddie’s continuing success proves that there is still a strong demand for his distinctive style of Scots comedy and music.