Box and Fiddle
Year 32 No 02
44 Page Magazine
12 month subscription £27.50 + p&p £9.90 (UK)
Editor – Karin Ingram, Hawick
B&F Treasurer – Charlie Todd, Thankerton
The main features in the above issue were as follows (this is not a comprehensive detail of all it contained. The Club reports, in particular, are too time-consuming at this stage to retype).
Congratulations to The Alexander Brothers for clocking up an amazing 50 years in show-business! Join us in a trip down memory lane with the boys, courtesy of not one but two excellent articles by Norman Christie and Bill Brown.
Thank you for your kind comments about the new magazine layout – please keep those articles and photographs coming, we need to fill the pages.
Thanks once again to everyone who has contributed to the magazine.
The Alexander Brothers – 50 Golden Years
by Norman Christie & Bill Brown
The Golden Anniversary of such great entertainers as The Alexander Brothers could not possibly go unrecognized by the B&F. We received two articles, one from our own Bill Brown and another from Norman Christie. We have taken the unprecedented step of printing them both. All the black and white photographs are courtesy of Bill Brown, copyright unknown, and the colour ones are from both Bill and Norman.
Norman Christie looks back on The Alexander Brothers’ half century in show-business.
When The Alexander Brothers appeared at Arbroath’s Webster Theatre on 29th July this year, it was 50 years, almost to the day, since they began their professional career at the same venue. In the intervening half century, brothers Tom and Jack have taken their act to most points on the globe. To learn more about their years in show-business, I visited the home of accordionist Tom. In his studio there’s a range of memorabilia, including a photograph of the wedding of Arthur Spink with a young Tom as best man. On the walls, gold, silver and platinum discs vie with numerous awards – one commemorating his appearance in a special ‘Night of Stars’ in the presence of HRH The Princess Margaret at Jimmy Logan’s Metropole Theatre on 14th February 1966.
These mean a lot to him, but right now he’s keen to demonstrate the recording equipment he has used to produce two compilation CDs dedicated purely to his accordion music – a mixture of Scottish and Continental numbers. “Prior to learning Scottish strathspeys, reels and jigs I was drawn to Continental music,” he reveals. “I was influenced by the legendary Toralf Tollefsen, the great Norwegian 5-row player, long before I became interested in Will Starr.” Then he surprised me by saying he considers himself better at playing Continental or classical pieces than he does playing Scottish music. “Gordon Pattullo and John Carmichael, for example, are better than me at the Scots stuff,” he says candidly.
Brother Jack does not feature on these albums. I tease him by asking if this is the beginning of The Alexander Brother – singular, but he is emphatic, “No. These solo albums are something I did for my own entertainment and to allow me to use different instrumewnts.”
“When I accompany Jack on stage, I use a 96 bass Vignoni because it’s less bulky and it’s lighter and that makes a difference when you’re standing for about 2 hours in total. But on these CDs, I used my 120 bass Hohner Gola, which I enjoy. Jack relaxes by playing golf. For me, making these albums was relaxing.”
The boys, as they are affectionately known in showbiz circles, were brought up in Cambusnethan Street in Wishaw, where their dad worked in the local steelworks. “Our family never had much money, but my mother coaxed my dad to pay for lessons for Jack, myself and our sister Betty. Betty’s lessons were for dancing; Jack’s were for piano and I concentrated on the box and in 1952 I entered the medal competition in the Scottish Open Accordion Championship. At the time of examination, I had an old Hohner but my teacher (Bill Brown) suggested I use his Frattelli Crosio, which I did, and won the silver medal. I still remember the piece I had to play; it was Bats at Sunset, written by the American composer Pietro Frosini.”
“After that, and with my dad’s encouragement, we formed The Alexander Trio in which Betty danced to classical music played by Jack and me and we performed together at church concerts and dancing displays.”
After a while, sister Betty left and the boys continued as a duo, taking the name The Alexander Brothers. They performed at weekends in talent competitions in which their dad had entered them. “These were similar to the X-Factor, run over a number of heats, with winners going forward to a grand final. First prize in the heats was £3, plus half-a-crown for expenses, and in one of the competitions we progressed to the final at Dumfries. Glasgow comedian Dave Willis was the judge and he awarded us first prize, which came with £75 cash. This was at the time when my dad’s wages at the steelworks were a fiver a week!” says Tom adding, “As you can imagine, that gave us a taste for the business.”
At that time their repertoire was mostly classical; Tom playing the likes of Carnival of Venice and Jack performing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto on the piano. Then gradually Jack introduced popular ballads such as I’m Walking Behind You and Eternally.
Both of them became painters and decorators when they left school, but continued to play in concerts in the evenings and at weekends. Then, in the summer holidays of 1956, during the Trades’ Holidays, they traveled to Stonehaven, Leven and Dunbar performing in a series of summer shows at beach pavilions entertaining holiday audiences. These shows whet their appetite for more and, just as they were becoming established, Jack was called up for National Service. He joined the Cameron Highlanders and played in the military band. “Of course, you can’t march with a piano,” adds Tom, “so Jack’s marching was done with the tuba and on occasion, a trombone.” Tom, who had a mastoid ear since birth, was graded out the army and, in Jack’s absence, formed a band playing at weddings and social functions, continuing till Jack came out. I wondered if he ever sang in the band. “No. I never sang. It was always just the box for me.”
In 1958, with National Service completed, they were booked for their first professional engagement – a ten week summer season at Arbroath’s Webster Theatre. “We were so naïve that we didn’t know what we were letting ourselves in for. First of all, we didn’t know there were two shows a night with a complete change of programme twice a week. Nor did we know that the Arbroath audiences liked all thing Scottish. And here we were with bouffant hair, wearing full drape jackets, tight drainpipe trousers, string ties and Jack playing his piano concertos and me playing the likes of The Poet and Peasant Overture. They must have wondered what was going on.”
“Then one day a member of the audience came backstage and suggested that we do reels and jigs. This was at the time when Andy Stewart and Joe Gordon and his Folk Four were big, so we decided to try The Muckin’ o’ Geordie’s Byre and The Road and the Miles to Dundee. The transformation was unbelievable. Before that, when I was in the middle of The Carnival of Venice, or something like that, there was a fellow in the audience who kept shouting out ‘Gie us the High Level Hornpipe’ and I used to glare doon at him thinking, ‘I wish that bugger would shut up’. But you know, he was right, because after we switched to Scottish material and later swapped our draped suits for tartan, we never looked back.”
From the Webster, they went straight into a review at The Queens Hall in Dunoon and when that finished, they sailed to Ireland. They had been told there was plenty of work across the Irish Sea but their time in Dublin was spent going from agent to agent. Then their agent, Ross Bowie, invited them to play the winter season at the Tivoli Theatre in Aberdeen if they could get back to Scotland immediately. By this time, they had spent most of their earnings but had enough money for the boat fare home. “But once on the ship, we realised we couldn’t even afford a beer. So sitting in the ship’s lounge, Jack suggested that if I got the box out and played somebody might offer us a drink. I was so embarrassed, I played facing into a corner with my back to the crowd, then Jack got up and began singing. Sure enough, after a couple of numbers, the waiter came over and told us that folks at a table wanted to buy us some drinks and soon we ended up with three or four pints each. We’d also run oot o’ cigarettes. So the next time the waiter asked what we’d like, I said ‘Listen, can we have a packet o’ fags?’ I laugh at it now, but that was my most embarrassing moment!”
“In 1960 we recorded our first album, Highland Fling, on Pye’s Golden Guinea label. It sold for a guinea at the time when records by the big Scottish stars such as Kenneth MacKellar, Moira Anderson and Jimmy Shand were selling for about a fiver and here was us, singing popular party songs, at a budget price. It just took off.”
Following their success in theatres, records and on television, they joined Andy Stewart on one of his North American tours, which initially traveled under the banner of ‘The White Heather Club’. “Andy was good for us,” adds Tom. “He allowed us to close the first half in venues such as Massey Hall in Toronto and in New York’s Carnegie Hall and that led to us taking our own shows overseas.”
“We went all over Canada, the USA, Hong Kong and Australia, taking supporting artistes like Ronnie Dale and Bobby Harvey and his band and in 1974 Jack Milroy and Mary Lee were in the show we took to Australia and New Zealand. Jack was some fellow, I never laughed so much in all my life,” says Tom, laughing at some distant memory. “But for a boxplayer, my highlight was Jimmy Shand agreeing to come out of retirement to join us in what was to be his farewell tour of Australia. Every venue we went to was packed, with many people coming purely to see the Laird of Auchtermuchty. To hear the great man playing every night was just incredible,” says Tom reflecting. “On the final night at The Sydney Opera House, we all went out for a meal, and my old pal Arthur Spink, who now lives in the Campbeltown district of Sydney, joined us. Afterwards, when I returned to the hotel, my accordion was gone – stolen! I never saw it again. It was an Excelsior Concert Grand and I dinnae carry a spare, so it was just as well that this was the last night of the tour.”
The Alexander Brothers continue touring overseas. In October, they’ll be in Canada for a month, playing in Coburg, Ottawa, Thunder Bay and Edmonton, then on to Vancouver and Victoria Island. And that’s after Scottish appearances at Ayr’s Gaiety Theatre and numerous private functions. Much of their time is also spent in cabaret aboard luxury cruise liners. “The onboard theatres are very glitzy and audiences are mostly North Americans who are great fans of our Scot’s music wit the piano and accordion and, of course, they just love tartan.”
Then, after a reflective pause, “…A far cry from what we were doing when we started off all those years ago in The Webster.”
The Alexander Brothers
A Look Back at the Extraordinary Career of Scotland’s International Entertainers
by Bill Brown
On Friday 27th June 1958 a young Tom and Jack Alexander made their first professional stage appearance at the Webster Memorial Hall in the idyllic Scottish fishing town of Arbroath. On that summer’s evening in 1958 not even Tom and Jack Alexander in their wildest dreams could possibly have foreseen the tremendous success and longevity they would go on to achieve throughout their musical career, not only in their native Scotland, but also around the world. Now 55 years later, the Alexander Brothers who have sadly retired, have quite rightly achieved legendary status in the Scottish show business hall of fame and in the process have deservedly won a treasured place in the hearts and minds of Scottish people both at home and abroad.
The long hard road to musical fame and fortune began for Tom and Jack Alexander in the family home in Cambusnethan near Wishaw in the industrial heartland of Lanarkshire. The boys were two of a family of three and enjoyed a very normal childhood growing up in the family home with their sister Betty. It was apparent early on that Tom and his younger brother Jack had inherited a great love for music and at nights the family would often sit around the piano singing and playing the popular songs of the day. Those impromptu music sessions were invariably led by their mother Helen, who was a gifted pianist and singer in her own right. At the age of nine Tom acquired his first accordion and started having lessons with a succession of local teachers. After reaching a level of proficiency on the instrument Tom was invited by Bill Brown to have lessons at the Brown School of Accordionists, which he did for around fourteen months. In 1952 Tom was entered for the classical section of the NAO Championships at the Christian Institute in Glasgow and won the title playing the test pieces Bats at Sunset by Frosini and Spanish Holiday by Eugene Ettore. Meanwhile, Jack had developed a love for the piano and was also making great progress with his chosen instrument after taking piano lessons twice a week from a local music teacher. Jack also discovered that he had developed a strong and powerful tenor voice of an outstanding and distinctive quality.
During those very early formative years Tom and Jack received great help, support and encouragement from both their parents in pursuit of their musical ambitions. Their father Jimmy Alexander, who was a steel worker with Clyde Alloy in Motherwell, was very much the driving force behind the family and was insistent, as most parents would, that Tom and Jack learned a trade they could fall back on should their musical ambitions not work out. So it was that the boys on leaving school embarked upon learning the trade of painting and decorating by day with Torrance the Painters in Motherwell, while still entertaining as amateur performers by night.
By this time The Alexander Brothers were entering talent contests and “Go as you Please” competitions, which in those days, were held in Miners Welfare Clubs throughout Scotland. Tom changed from his Hohner accordion to a Galanti Super Dominator box for those talent contests as the Galanti was better suited to the classical material he was playing, pieces such as The Poet, Peasant Overture and the Carnival of Venice etc. This was definitely not the era of the fast track television talent shows of the like we see today, but a generation where musical success only came through hard work, dedication and a talent which the young brothers had in abundance. Often Tom and Jack would return home from talent contests having secured First Prize and the associated monies which went with it, which initially was £3, £2 or £1, much to the joy and delight of their mother Helen.
Gradually the prize money improved and increased to the extent that the family could afford to buy their first car, a 1939 Flying Standard, which enabled the boys and their father Jimmy to travel longer distances entering much larger talent contests. By their early twenties, the boys were well aware of their unique talent and potential, but if they were to reach their ultimate goal, it would still demand continued hard work and sacrifice. This was not a time for back tracking on their dream and no doubt their father Jimmy kept them highly motivated, focussed and grounded. Having won numerous amateur talent contests, the Alexander Brothers were beginning to be talked about, especially throughout their home county of Lanarkshire. However, their inevitable progression to the professional stage had to take a back seat when Jack was called up to do his National Service with the Queen’s own Cameron Highlanders. Due to medical reasons, Tom missed out on National Service and continued learning the painting and decorating trade while Jack was away serving his country. During his National Service Jack served in Aden, joined the regimental band and learned to play bass and trombone in addition to using his obvious singing talents.
On his return from National Service the boys picked up where they had left off and once again the talent and charisma of The Alexander Brothers were rapidly becoming a force to be reckoned with throughout Scotland. Having by this stage won most of the talent contests they entered and having spent a period of time perfecting and polishing their act, the boys decided in 1958 to take the plunge and turn professional. They contacted their friend, George Clarkson Senior, who at the time was a highly respected Producer. George was eager to help his young friends and subsequently arranged an audition with George Bowie Senior, who was the father of Ross Bowie, who ultimately became their sole agent and personal manager until his retirement some 35 years later. As part of the audition process, George Bowie Senior was keen to see the boys perform in front of a live audience, so he arranged a special show for the inmates at Barlinnie Prison! This unusual show was arguably the most important of Tom and Jack’s career as in many ways all the hard work and sacrifice they had put in during the previous few years was now being put to the test. In the end the boys did not have to worry as their performance went down really well with the ready made audience, which resulted in them being booked to make their first professional stage appearance in George Bowie’s summer production at the Webster Memorial Hall in Arbroath.
The show was billed as “The Arbroath Entertainers of 1958” and opened for the summer season on Friday 27th June. The show was produced by George Clarkson and was held twice nightly at 6.45pm and 8.45pm. The top of the bill was Pete Martin, who was supported by Tom and Jack, Myra Crichton, John McIver, George Clarkson, Alice Davidson, George Rex, Kathleen Stanley, Lilian Collins, The Debutantes, Dave Moffat and Margaret May. There was a complete change of programme on Monday and Thursday and the admission price was three shillings, two shillings and one shilling. Tom and Jack’s act, as we came to know it, was very different when they opened in Arbroath 55 years ago. Like most performers they wore the latest fashion of the day, which was long Teddy boy style jackets, drainpipe trousers, string ties and crepe soled shoes. Tom at the time was playing accordion pieces such as The Carnival of Venice while Jack was playing classical piano and singing the standards of the day.
After some friendly advice from the comedian and entertainer Roland Smith they rapidly altered their repertoire and started performing Scottish material. Jack singing songs such as The Road and the Miles to Dundee and The Muckin’ O’ Geordie’s Byre and Tom playing tunes such as The High Level Hornpipe. They also changed their style of dress, moving firstly to tartan tuxedo jackets before making the obvious transition to kilts. The Alexander Brothers, as we have come to know and love them, were now well and truly born and on the way to something much greater than they had previously. The transformation and public reaction from this point on was absolutely staggering and soon the whole of Scotland was talking about the most exciting new act to emerge in Scottish show business for some time.
The boys were now well on the way to continuing the great tradition of producing Scottish acts in the mould of Sir Harry Lauder, Andy Stewart, Sir Jimmy Shand, Will Fyfe, Will Starr and Robert Wilson to name but a few, while at the same time, laying the foundations of what was to become their own Scottish show business dynasty. Such was the popularity and impact of The Alexander Brothers on the Scottish show business scene that requests for their services flooded in. In the winter of 1958 they spent a season at the old Metropole Theatre in Glasgow and in the spring of 1959 they toured the Scottish Highlands with the late and very much missed Calum Kennedy.
By now the brightest new act to come out of Scotland for many years was continuing to grow in stature and popularity which resulted in Tom and Jack being invited to appear at the now defunct Metropolitan Theatre in London during the winter season of 1959. It was during this spell in London that one of their first big breaks was to occur, when the boys were introduced to Louis Benjamin, who was the then owner of Pye Records. Louis Benjamin was so impressed with the sound, excitement and energy of the new Scottish kids on the block that he instantly offered them a five year recording contract with Pye Records, who had up and coming names such as Lonnie Donegan, Petula Clark and The Searchers on their books.
By this stage the boys were so busy with theatre work that fitting recording sessions into their increasingly hectic schedule was proving extremely problematic and, as a result, it was some nine months before Tom and Jack found the time to record their first album.
A young Tony Hatch was appointed as their Recording Manager to oversee the project and there began an association that was to become a highly successful and fruitful relationship for all concerned. Tony Hatch at this early stage in his career was of course very much into recording the latest pop hits of the day so an act such as The Alexander Brothers was a major deviation from his usual production work. Keen to learn as much as he could about his new recording protégées the young and enthusiastic Tony Hatch took himself of to Scotland to see the boys perform. Some 55 years later, Tony Hatch looks back on his first experience of seeing The Alexander Brothers perform live with great affection and remembers how spellbound he was by their tremendous appeal, musical ability and talent. Tom and Jack’s very first vinyl LP recording, Highland Fling, was released in September 1961 on the Pye Golden Guinea label, catalogue number GGL 0093. Even at this early stage in their career The Alexander Brothers were already extremely popular in Scotland, ensuring that the boy’s first release became one of the top selling LPs in Scotland that year.
Throughout the sixties, Tom and Jack released a new album every year to the great delight of their rapidly increasing fan base. Highland Fling was followed by Haste Ye Back (GGL 0124) in 1962, Bonnie Scotland (GGL 0215) in 1963, Let’s Have a Ceilidh (GGL 0271) in 1964, Two Highland Lads (GGL 0329) in 1965, Nobody’s Child (GGL 0359) in 1966, These Are My Mountains (GGL 0375) in 1966, Sing Country Hits (GGL 0386) in 1967, Live at the Opera House Blackpool (GGL 0402) in 1967, Tom and Jack’s Sing-In (GSGL 10411) in 1968 and so the list goes on and on. During their time with Pye Records, Tom and Jack were to record over thirty successful albums and countless singles for the label, who were quick to recognise the international appeal of The Alexander Brothers. Despite the many fine albums and singles that Tom and Jack recorded down through the years, the one song that will live with them forever and is now an inherent part of their DNA is the song Nobody’s Child. The boys first heard it being sung in the early sixties by a lady called Peggy Smith while attending a ceilidh in an Arbroath hotel on a rare night off while appearing in Perth.
Tom and Jack liked the song so much they were convinced it could be a defining number for them and started to include it in their act. Such was the audience response to the song they decided they had to record it, much against the advice of their Recording Manager Tony Hatch. However, the boys were equally determined and insistent so the song was duly recorded and released as a single in 1964 along with Why Did You Make Me Care? As the B side (Pye Number 7N 15738). The song became an instant hit, catapulting The Alexander Brothers to even greater public attention and fame.
Tom and Jack were now selling out theatres wherever they played, including Perth City Hall and the massive Caird Hall in Dundee, which at the time, had only previously been filled to capacity by Danny Kaye and The Beatles.
Even the recording exploits of John, Paul, George and Ringo were no match for The Alexander Brothers as the boys records were well outselling The Beatles in Scotland. Jack, when walking down the street in Dundee city centre, noticed newspaper billboards that read “Alexander Brothers do Beatles business” which moved him to coin the immortal phrase “Nae bad for two painters fae Wishae”. This was indeed adoration time for Cambusnethan’s favourite sons who were selling out venues, sometimes twice nightly, everywhere they played. They were even in great demand on Sundays, travelling south to appear in places such as Blackpool and Scarborough alongside such big names as Sandie Shaw, Dickie Henderson and The Bachelors.
The fledging television industry was also now beginning to attract the public’s interest and imagination and Scotland’s brightest new act was also attracting the attention of programme executives running this exciting new medium. Around this time the boys started receiving many requests to do television and radio work, but due to their many commitments, they were unable to take on as much of this as they would have liked. They did however make a few random appearances on Scottish Television, which resulted in the adoring Scottish public writing to STV by the sack load demanding to see more of the boys on Channel 10 which was the frequency STV transmitted on during those early romantic pioneering days of black and white television. Due to the huge public demand, the boys were signed up for a series of four programmes called Theatre Royal. The series was an overnight success with thousands of admiring viewers calling the STV switchboard demanding to see more of their musical heroes. This huge public reaction resulted in Tom and Jack being given their own television series simply titled The Alexander Brothers Show which consisted initially of five episodes and was transmitted as part of Scottish Television’s winter schedule in December 1965. The public reaction to this series was unprecedented with the show reaching the number one spot in Central Scotland for four consecutive weeks.
Francis Essex, the then Director of Programmes at Scottish Television, was so impressed with the boys performance that he persuaded Tom and Jack to sign an exclusive twelve month contract with STV and also commissioned a further series, this time for thirteen episodes rather than the previous five. Well aware of the outstanding talent they had in their midst, Scottish Television deployed their best production talent to work on the series under the artistic and skilful direction of up and coming Programme Director Clarke Tait, who had directed the earlier programmes. Bruce McClure, Scotland’s top chorographer, was hired to arrange the dance routines. Clarke Tait was very much the inspiration behind the concept of filming the boys performing on location in front of some well known Scottish beauty spots which added greatly to the production value of the show and also very cleverly gave the series international sales value.
There was no finer example of this than the first colour Alexander Brothers Show which was shot on film on the beautiful Island of Arran in 1968. No expense was spared for this production, which featured The Kay Gordon Singers and The George Keenan Orchestra. Peter Knight was brought in as the Musical Arranger with the chorography once again masterminded by the extremely talented Bruce McClure. The late Clarke Tait, who creatively was well ahead of his time, again directed this one of special.
The new thirteen part weekly series, which was studio based with the addition of the odd insert recorded on location, was shot in the summer of 1966 and started transmission in October 1966. During the summer of that year the boys were co-starring with Jack Milroy in the Five Past Eight Show at the King’s Theatre in Edinburgh, which allowed them to record their new television series in Glasgow during the day before dashing through to Edinburgh for the evening performance. Such was the appeal of The Alexander Brothers and their ability to deliver good viewing figures, Scottish Television scheduled the new thirteen part series in their peak time schedule following the high-rating Peyton Place which provided a springboard for such famous names as Ryan O’Neal and Mia Farrow. The programmes were in a thirty minute slot and featured dancers and star guest names each week such as Dave Allen and Roger Whittaker.
The Alexander Brothers were to achieve their next big UK television break while on the other side of the Atlantic. Tom and Jack were booked to appear at the world famous Carnegie Hall, New York in November 1965. It was during this trip that their talent and infectious stage performance came to the attention of a show business agent who was in the States looking for potential acts to book for Val Parnell’s famous Sunday Night at the London Palladium show. Such was the impact the boys made that night in the Carnegie Hall, ironically in a venue named after another very famous Scotsman, that they were booked to appear on Sunday Night at the London Palladium. The Palladium show featuring The Alexander Brothers was hosted by Jimmy Tarbuck and transmitted on the ITV Network on 2nd January 1966 with Shirley Bassey starring as top of the bill. Tom and Jack’s television appearances brought them even more into the public’s consciousness. As a result they were increasingly recognised wherever they went which helped ticket sales in the theatres and venues they played the length and breadth of the country.
Throughout their career, which spanned a staggering fifty-four years, The Alexander Brothers clocked up many appearances on television. As well as hosting their own highly successful television series they have been star guests many times down through the years on Scottish Television productions such as Studio A Star Time, Thingummyjig, Shindig and Northern Lights as well as welcoming in many a New Year as star guests on countless Hogmanay shows. Such was the long association that Tom and Jack had with Scottish Television that they were invited to appear as special guests on Scottish Television’s 21st Anniversary Show, which was screened from the Theatre Royal, Glasgow in 1978.
During the early nineties, Scottish Television turned their back on traditional Scottish variety shows which resulted in Tom and Jack’s television appearances becoming fewer and fewer, although they did continue to appear on televised Hogmanay shows. After all, Hogmanay would not be Hogmanay without The Alexander Brothers! I’m sure many readers will recall Hogmanay nights when you could catch Andy Stewart on the BBC before switching over to STV to catch Tom and Jack, or the great days of Scottish variety theatre when Andy Stewart would be playing to a capacity audience at the King’s Theatre in Glasgow while Tom and Jack were playing to full houses just up the road at the Pavilion?
You can’t keep a great act of our screens for too long and Tom and Jack did once again rise to the ascendancy on television in 1998 when Scottish Television decided to make the boys the subject of an Artery Special to mark their 40th Anniversary in professional show business. This programme was given the subtitle So You All Thought We We’re Deid and was scheduled at tea-time, up against the extremely popular Australian soap Neighbours, which at the time, was cleaning up on BBC One. It came as no surprise that the special on Tom and Jack won hands down, achieving much better ratings in Central Scotland than the high rating Australian soap. From that experience, Scottish Television realised that The Alexander Brothers could still pull in good viewing figures which resulted in Tom and Jack appearing more on our screens than during the last decade on shows such as The Alexander Brothers & Friends, Northern Nights, and of course, yet more Hogmanay shows, if only on location from an invariably very cold and windswept Edinburgh!
Tom and Jack waggled their kilts with great success, respect and professionalism for over fifty years throughout the length and breadth of Scotland and painted a wonderful picture of the musical heritage of their native homeland countless times throughout their long and illustrious career in places as diverse as England, Toronto, Montreal, Nova Scotia, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Calgary, Vancouver Island, Boston, New York, Baltimore, Australia and New Zealand. They also experienced many highlights in a glorious and glittering career such as continually selling out theatre dates throughout Scotland, hosted their own highly successful television series, appearing on the prestigious and highly rating Sunday Night at the London Palladium television show, welcomed in many a New Year on countless television Hogmanay shows, toured Australia and New Zealand with Sir Jimmy Shand and recorded countless award winning singles, vinyl LPs, CDs and DVDs with Pye Records, RCA, Lismor and Scotdisc.
However, the ultimate accolade and more formal recognition of Tom and Jack’s outstanding musical career came in 2005 when they were both awarded a much welcomed and long overdue MBE by Her Majesty the Queen in the 2005 New Year’s Honours List. Tom and Jack received their well deserved MBE’s for Services to the Entertainment Industry at an investiture held at Holyrood House, Edinburgh in July 2005.
Tom and Jack’s easy listening brand of Scottish music charmed and delighted audiences the world over for a wonderful 54 years, but unfortunately nothing lasts forever and so it was that Tom and Jack very reluctantly and sadly announced on the 30th May 2012 to a surprised and shocked Scotland that they had taken the decision to retire from show business with immediate effect.
The extensive television and media coverage they received on making the announcement demonstrated and validated their outstanding contribution to Scottish show business and reinstated how much they were still loved by Scotland and their adoring supporters and admirers, if ever that confirmation was ever really needed!
Tom and Jack Alexander have now entered the Scottish show business Hall of Fame and rightly take their place amongst the great names of Scottish variety such as Sir Harry Lauder, Will Fyfe, Robert Wilson, Andy Stewart, Jimmy Logan, Sir Jimmy Shand, Will Starr, Jack Milroy, Ricki Fulton and of course their old friend of many years standing Johnny Beattie.
I’m sure readers of this magazine will raise a glass and wish Tom and Jack a very happy and healthy retirement and join me in thanking the boys for entertaining us so consistently and professionally for 54 fabulous years and for leaving us with so many heartfelt musical memories!
Isle of Skye A&F Festival
by John Grundy
Sun, fun and fantastic music………
From Plockton to Castelfidardo
by Roya MacLean
When I applied to be a pupil at………
Lochgoilhead Fiddle Workshop
LFW has scooped another …………….
Jim Johnstone 1937 – 2008
It was back in 1992 that Jim Johnstone, a figure universally known in our music circles, was unanimously elected as the NAAFC’s first Vice chairman at the AGM in The Station Hotel, Perth. He went on to serve as chairman when Jimmy Blue retired in 1995 and in turn handed on to our present Chairman, Nicol McLaren, in June 2000. Jim was able to bring a wealth of experience as a player, bandleader, adjudicator, composer and radio and TV broadcaster to bear on the affairs of the Association. He was a Guest of Honour in 2001.
The Jim Johnstone story started in the East Lothian town of Tranent. Jim’s earliest recollections are of being surrounded by accordion music. Dad, George, and uncles John, Alex and Bob all played 5 row Continental accordions with George and John broadcasting regularly together before the war. In 1939 John was called up while dad continued his daytime job as a mechanic but “did his bit” by giving up playing to become a part time fireman. After demob it was John, Alex and Bob who got together and formed a band. After an audition, regular broadcasts were to follow with a three accordion front line.
It was at the age of 9 that Jim started lessons with Tranent 5 row accordionist Bobby Anderson, a former pupil of Peter Leatham. The idea was to learn to read music, which dad didn’t do, but since the only 5 row boxes available were big, clumsy pre-war models Jim started instead on a piano keyed box, the idea being that he would change over at a later date.
After a year of steady progress Bobby suggested that Jim himself move to Peter for lessons. An approach was made but Peter had a better idea. Daughter, Chrissie, was giving up playing the accordion professionally and was about to start classes in Tranent so Jim enrolled as one of her first pupils. Thus began a lifelong association because long after formal lessons stopped Chrissie’s door was always open when Jim came up against a musical problem and she always knew the solution.
Initially tuition of the ‘accordion classics’ by Frosini etc while at home Jim supplemented this with traditional music as played by the family or by listening to 78s on the old gramophone. This changed when Jim, now 13, was persuaded by his dad to reply to a radio advert looking for young musicians to broadcast. Having passed the audition his broadcast got under way on ‘Children’s Hour’ in May 1950 with ‘Dundee City Police Pipe Band’, McDonald’s Awa’ Tae the War’ and ‘The Black Mask Waltz’ with variations by Tolafson. Chrissie knew nothing of this until it was over but from then on tuition broadened out to include Scottish and modern music.
Two years later and another ‘weel kent face’ entered the scene – friend and fellow Scout Bobby Colgan. Bobby bought a drum kit from a relative and together they started taking on wee dances and weddings. Soon another local accordionist and neighbour, Willie Donaldson, joined to play second box, a fairly recent innovation at the time, but a must for the young trio after hearing Hugh Malarkie’s contribution to the Bobby McLeod Band who had appeared at a local dance.
Dad offered great encouragement and passed on jobs he was unable to do himself, always enquiring later how the lads had got on. “We got on that weel you’re no’ getting’ back again” would be Jim’s tongue-in-cheek response. Gradually, as the band were offered bigger and better jobs, additional players were added. On piano was Archie Horn from Port Seton formerly of the Tim Wright band and an expert at arranging modern ballroom dancing. On fiddle, and a first timer on the band scene, was Peter Innes, also from Tranent, a great fiddler and music reader. “We were knee deep in music at a dance” Jim recalls.
Jim had served his time as a motor mechanic in the garage where dad was foreman so it was natural that Jim did his National Service in the R.E.M.E. Even there however word of his playing ability preceded him and much of his two year stint was spent playing for the local RSCDS groups with whom the officers were connected.
Back in civvy street Jim was initially invited to join the ‘family band’ led by uncle John, which for a short time therefore had a four accordion front line. John retired from the band shortly afterwards, however, and the revised line-up lasted until 1962 when Jim received a phone call one Monday evening from Andrew Rankine asking if he was available to do a “broadcast on Wednesday”. What followed were two of the most traumatic days of Jim’s life but the broadcast went well and he was asked to join the band shortly afterwards. The line-up at that time was Andrew, Ron Gonella and Jim with Billy Thom, Tom McTague and Bill Hendry (Falkirk) in the back line. “What a swing the band had” Jim recalls “but what else would you expect with a jazz rhythm section like that”.
In 1963 Andrew announced that he was emigrating to Australia so Jim left to form his own band with Alan Johnstone on fiddle, Robin Brock on bass, Davy Flockhart on piano and Bobby Colgan on drums. After a successful audition they did their first broadcast in August 1963.
Around 1965 this band split up and Jim joined Jimmy Shand full time after giving up his job at the garage and was shortly afterwards joined by Bobby Colgan on drums. In 1967 he started an 18 month spell with Jimmy Blue’s band after the departure of Mickie Ainsworth. “Jimmy was a tremendously accurate player – his concentration was absolute” Jim remembers.
In 1968 Iain McFadyen approached Jim and asked him to form a band to carry on the White Heather Club in theatres and on TV. Initially he could only offer 10 weeks work but by the time they started that had risen to a year. This was the band of the ‘Measure of Scotch’ era with Pam Brough, Billy Craib, Billy Thom and Tommy Lees, originally from Kirkcaldy, on second box. Work rolled in during this time with the band frequently playing six nights a week.
After the demise of the White Heather Club other TV work followed. First the now almost forgotten ‘Take the High Road’ then the long running and highly successful ‘Songs of Scotland’.
The remainder is more recent history leading up to the band’s most recent venture, the summer show at the King James Hotel in Edinburgh. Inevitably the band line up has changed over these last few years with the emphasis being perhaps more on bringing in young players. Neil Barron, Neil Caul, Ian Hutson and of course “the baby of the band” as the show’s host Bill Torrance calls her, Marie Fielding.
Jim is very much one of the link men in Scottish dance music bridging the closing years of the original bands and the formative years of the young and exciting bands such as Craig McCallum, Alan Gardiner and others. Throughout his playing career he has continually set standards which most others would be happy to attain never mind surpass but he is the first to admit that it’s young players who continually regenerate his enthusiasm for dance music. The world has changed a lot in the last few years and opportunities for accordion-led dance bands to appear in theatres and on TV are now almost non-existent but there is no doubt we will not see his like again in our lifetimes.
See Hear! with Bill Brown
Up the Berwick Road – Borderbox – QB0801
Perfect Day – Conundrum Showband – CDPM004
Under the Counter – Bogeda – Greentrax CDTRAX325
Take the Floor – Saturday Evenings 19.05 – 20.30 with Robbie Shepherd
4th Oct 08 – Colin Dewar SDB
11th Oct 08 – Burns Brothers Ceilidh Band (Feature on David Vernon)
18th Oct 08 – Neil Barron SDB (Feature on Marie Fielding)
25th Oct 08 – Steven Carcary SDB (OB from Arbroath with guests Billy Anderson & Albany)
Aberdeen (Old Machar RBL) –
Alnwick (The Farrier’s Arms – Shilbottle)
Annan (St Andrew’s Social Club) - 12th Oct 08 – Garioch Blend
Arbroath (Viewfield Hotel) - 5th Oct 08 – George Meikle SDB
Armadale (Masonic Hall) – 2nd Oct 08 – Susan MacFadyen Trio
Balloch (St. Kessog’s Church Hall) – 19th Oct 08 – Susan MacFadyen SDB
Banchory (Burnett Arms Hotel) – 27th Oct 08 – Pendland Ceilidh Band
Banff & District (Banff Springs Hotel) – 22nd Oct 08 – Bill Black SDB
Beith & District (Anderson Hotel) – 20th Oct 08 - tbc
Biggar (Municipal Hall) –
Blairgowrie (Moorfield Hotel) -
Britannia (Arden House Hotel) - 22nd Oct 08 – Ceilidh with Jock Borthwick
Bromley (Trinity United Reform Church) -
Button Key (Windygates Institute) – 9th Oct 08 – Walter Perrie
Campsie (Glazert Country House Hotel) - 7th Oct 08 – Lomond Ceilidh Band
Carlisle (St Margaret Mary Social Club) - 2nd Oct 08 – Nicky McMichan Trio
Castle Douglas (Urr Valley Country House Hotel) – 21st Oct 08 – Johnny Duncan Duo
Coalburn (Miners’ Welfare) - 16th Oct 08 – John Douglas SDB
Crieff & District (Crieff Hotel) 2nd Oct 08 – Wayne Robertson
Cults (Culter Sports & Social Club) 8th Oct 08 – Andy’s Ceilidh Group
Dingwall (National Hotel) – 1st Oct 08 – Iain Anderson & Gemma Donald
Dunblane (Victoria Hall) – 15th Oct 08 – Cameron Kellow SDB
Dunfermline (Headwell Bowling Club) – 14th Oct 08 – Rosely Ceilidh Band
Dunoon & Cowal (McColl’s Hotel)
Duns (Royal British Legion Club, Langtongate) 20th Oct 08 – Ewan Galloway SDB
Ellon (Station Hotel) – 21st Oct 08 – Julie McRitchie Trio
Fintry (Fintry Sports Centre) –
Forfar (The Royal Hotel) - 4th Oct 08 – Stovie Dance with Steven Carcary Duo 26th Oct – Lomond Ceilidh Band
Forres (Victoria Hotel) – 8th Oct 08 – Gary Sutherland SDB
Galashiels (Abbotsford Arms Hotel) – 2nd Oct 08 – Glencraig SDB
Glendale (The Glendale Hall) - 23rd Oct 08 – Davie Stewart Trio
Glenfarg (Lomond Hotel) - 1st Oct 08 – Robert Whitehead SDB 18th Oct – 20th Anniversary Dinner Dance to Graeme Mitchell SDB
Glenrothes (Victoria Hall, Coaltown of Balgownie) - 28th Oct 08 – David Bowen Trio
Gretna (Athlitic & Social Club) - 5th Oct 08 – Ian Holmes Trio
Haddington (Railway Inn) - 26th Oct 08 – Burns Brothers
Highland (Waterside Hotel) – 20th Oct 08 – Colin Dewar Duo
Inveraray (Argyll Hotel) - 8th Oct 08 – Fraser McGlynn Duo
Isle of Skye – (The Royal Hotel, Portree) - 2nd Oct 08 – Iain Anderson Trio
Islesteps (The Embassy Hotel) – 7th Oct 08 – Jimmy Cassidy
Kelso (Cross Keys Hotel) – 29th Oct 08 – David Oswald SDB
Kintore (Torryburn Arms Hotel) – 1st Oct 08 – George Balfour Trio
Ladybank (Ladybank Tavern) - 16th Oct 08 – Osprey Ceilidh Band
Lanark (Ravenstruther Hall) - 27th Oct 08 – Dave Bowen Trio
Langholm (Eskdale Hotel) – 8th Oct 08 – George Meikle
Lewis & Harris (Stornoway Legion) -
Livingston (Hilcroft Hotel, Whitburn) 21st Oct 08 – Bill black Trio
Lockerbie (Queen’s Hotel) - 28th Oct 08 – Colin Dewar Trio
Mauchline (Harry Lyle Suite) - 21st Oct 08 – Dick Black SDB
Montrose (Park Hotel) – 1st Oct 08 – Ian Cruickshanks SDB
Newburgh (The Ship Hotel) - 30th Oct 08 – Jimmy Cassidy
Newmill-on-Teviot / Teviotdale (Thorterdykes Roadhouse) 15th Oct 08 – Ian Holmes Trio
Newtongrange (Dean Tavern) – 27th Oct 08 – Steven Carcary
North East (Royal British Legion, Keith) – 7th Oct 08 – Wayne Robertson
Oban (The Argyllshire Gathering) – 2nd Oct 08 – Bill Black Trio
Orkney (Ayre Hotel, Kirkwall) –
Peebles (Rugby Social Club) – 30th Oct 08 – Wayne Robertson
Perth (Salutation Hotel) – 21st Oct 08 – Bruce Peebles SDB
Premier NI (Chimney Corner Hotel) -
Reading Scottish Fiddlers (Willowbank Infant School, Woodley) -
Renfrew (Masonic Hall, Broadloan) –
Rothbury (Queen’s Head Hotel) - 2nd Oct 08 – Jimmy & Alexander Lindsay
Scottish Accordion Music (Banchory) - 12th Oct 08 – All Players Welcome
Selkirk (Angus O’Malley’s) - 9th Oct 08 – James Paterson Trio
Shetland (Shetland Hotel, Lerwick) -
Stonehouse (Stonehouse Violet Football Social Club) - 1st Oct 08 – Nicol McLaren SDB
Sutherland (Rogart Hall) -
Thornhill (Bowling Club Hall) - 14th Oct 08 – Andrew Gibb Trio
Thurso (Pentland Hotel) – 6th Oct 08 – Matthew MacLennan SDB
Turriff (Commercial Hotel, Cuminestown) – 2nd Oct 08 – John Bone, Robert Lovie & Craig Paton
Tynedale (Hexham Ex Service Club) – 16th Oct 08 – Tommy Newcomen
Uist & Benbecula (C of S Hall, Griminish) - 11th Oct 08 – Local Players 25th Oct – Local Players
West Barnes (West Barnes Inn) 9th Oct 08 – Willie Simpson & Peter Bruce
Wick (MacKay’s Hotel) – 21st Oct 08 – Colin Dewar Duo
THERE WERE CLUB REPORTS FROM :-
15. Lewis & Harris
18. North East
CLUB DIRECTORY AS AT OCT 2007
(Clubs didn’t necessarily notify the Assoc when they closed so the following may not be entirely correct. Only the clubs submitting the reports or in the Club Diary above were definitely open.)
1. Aberdeen A&F Club (1975 – present)
2. Alnwick A&F Club (Aug 1975 – present)
3. Annan A&F Club (joined Assoc in 1996 but started 1985 – present)
4. Arbroath A&F Club (1991? – present)
5. Armadale A&F Club (Oct 1978? or 80) originally called Bathgate Club (for 2 months) Closed early 08-09
6. Balloch A&F Club (Sept 1972 – per January 1978 issue – present)
7. Banchory A&F Club (1978 – present)
8. Banff & District A&F Club (Oct 1973 – present)
9. Beith & District A&F Club (Sept 1972 – per first edition – present)
10. Belford A&F Club (joined Sept 1982)
11. Biggar A&F Club (Oct 1974 – present)
12. Blairgowrie A&F Club (
13. Britannia B&F Club ( joined 07-08 but much older
14. Bromley A&F Club (joined 95-96 – closed early 08-09)
15. Button Key A&F Club (
16. Campsie A&F Club (Nov 95 – present)
17. Carlisle A&F Club (joined Sept 1993 -
18. Castle Douglas A&F Club (c Sept 1980 – present)
19. Coalburn A&F Club (
20. Crathes (aka Scottish Accordion Music – Crathes) (Nov 1997 -
21. Crieff A&F Club (cSept 1981)
22. Cults A & F Club (
23. Dalriada A&F Club (Feb 1981)
24. Dingwall & District A&F Club (May 1979 – per first report)
25. Dunblane & District A&F Club (1971 – present)
26. Dunfermline & District A&F Club (1974 – per first edition)
27. Dunoon & Cowal A&F Club (
28. Duns A&F Club (formed 20th Sept 04 – present)
29. East Kilbride A&F Club (Sept 1980 – Closed 04/05)
30. Ellon A&F Club (
31. Fintry A&F Club (Dec 1972 – reformed Jan 1980 – present)
32. Forfar A&F Club (
33. Forres A&F Club (Jan 1978)
34. Galashiels A&F Club (joined Sept 1982 - present)
35. Galston A&F Club (Oct 1969 – per first edition – closed March 2006)
36. Glendale Accordion Club (Jan 1973)
37. Glenfarg A&F Club (formed 1988 joined Assoc Mar 95 -
38. Glenrothes A&F Club (Mar 93?
39. Gretna A&F Club (1991) Known as North Cumbria A&F Club previously (originally called Gretna when started in June 1966 but later had to move to venues in the North of England and changed name. No breaks in the continuity of the Club)
40. Haddington A&F Club (formed Feb 2005 - )
41. Highland A&F Club (Inverness) (Nov 1973 – present)
42. Inveraray A&F Club (Feb 1991 - present)
43. Islesteps A&F Club (Jan 1981 – present – n.b. evolved from the original Dumfries Club)
44. Isle of Skye A&F Club (June 1983 – present)
45. Kelso A&F Club (May 1976 – present)
46. Kintore A&F Club (
47. Ladybank A&F Club (joined Apr 98 but formed earlier
48. Lanark A&F Club (joined Sept 96 – closed March 2015)
49. Langholm A&F Club (Oct 1967 - present)
50. Lewis & Harris A&F Club (Aug 1994 -
51. Livingston A&F Club (Sept 1973 – present)
52. Lockerbie A&F Club (Nov 1973 - present)
53. Maine Valley A&F Club (
54. Mauchline A&F Club (Sept 1983 - present)
55. Montrose A&F Club (joined Sept 1982 - present)
56. Newburgh A&F Club (joined 2002 but founded
57. Newmill-on-Teviot (Hawick) (Formed late 1988 joined Assoc 1999
58. Newtongrange A&F Club (joined Sept 1977 - present)
59. North East A&F Club aka Keith A&FC (Sept 1971 - present)
60. Oban A&F Club (Nov 1975 - present)
61. Orkney A&F Club (Mar 1978 - present)
62. Peebles A&F Club (26 Nov 1981 - present)
63. Perth & District A&F Club (Aug 1970 - present)
64. Premier A&F Club NI (April 1980)
65. Phoenix A&F Club, Ardrishaig (Dec 2004 -
66. Renfrew A&F Club (1984 -
67. Rothbury Accordion Club (7th Feb 1974) orig called Coquetdale
68. Selkirk A&F Club (
69. Shetland A&F Club (Sept 1978 - present)
70. Stonehouse A&F Club (first report June 05 -
71. Sutherland A&F Club (Nov 1982 -
72. Thornhill A&F Club (joined Oct 1983 – see Nov 83 edition – closed April 2014)
73. Thurso A&F Club (Oct 1981 - present)
74. Turriff A&F Club (March 1982 - present)
75. Tynedale A&F Club (Nov 1980 - present)
76. Uist & Benbecula A&F Club (Dec 2007 but formed 1994 -
77. West Barnes ( - present)
78. Wick A&F Club (Oct 1975 - present)
Not on official list at the start of the season (closed, did not renew membership or omitted in error?)
79. Acharacle & District A&F Club (cMay 1988)
80. Ayr A&F Club (Nov 1983 – per Nov 83 edition) Closed
81. Bonchester Accordion Club (Closed?)
82. Bridge of Allan (Walmer) A&F Club (Walmer Hotel, Bridge of Allan) (c March 1982)
83. Brigmill A&F Club (Oct 1990) Closed
84. Buchan A&F Club
85 Callander A&F Club (
86 Campbeltown & District A&F Club (c Dec 1980)
87 Cleland (cNov 1981 – March 1985) originally called Drumpellier A&F Club (for 2 months)
88 Club Accord
89 Coquetdale A&F Club (Feb 1974 or c1976/77 – 1981/2? – became Rothbury?)
90. Coupar Angus A&F Club (cSept 1978 - ?)
91. Cumnock A&F Club (October 1976 - forced to close cDec 1982 - see Jan 83 Editorial)
92. Denny & Dunipace A&F Club (Feb 1981)
93. Derwentside A&F Club
94. Dornoch A&F Club (first mention in directory 1986)
95. Dumfries Accordion Club (Oughtons) (April 1965 at the Hole in the Wa’)
96. Dunbar Cement Works A&F Club (Closed?)
97. Dundee & District A&F Club (1970? – 1995?)
98. Edinburgh A&F Club (Apr 1981) prev called Chrissie Leatham A&F Club (Oct 1980)
99. Falkirk A&F Club (Sept 1978 - )
100. Fort William A&F Club (21st Oct 1980 – per Dec 1980 B&F)
101. Gorebridge (cNov 1981) originally called Arniston A&F Club (for 2 months)
102. Greenhead Accordion Club (on the A69 between Brampton and Haltwistle)
103. Islay A&F Club (23 Apr 93 -
104. Kirriemuir A&F Club (cSept 1981)
105. Lesmahagow A&F Club (Nov 1979 – closed May 2005)
106. M.A.F.I.A. (1966 – 1993?)
107. Monklands A&F Club (Nov 1978 – closed cApril 1983)
108. Morecambe A&F Club (joined Sept 1982)
109. Muirhead A&F Club (Dec 1994 -
110. Mull A&F Club
111. Newcastleton Accordion Club
112. New Cumnock A&F Club (cMarch 1979)
113. Newton St Boswells Accordion Club (17th Oct 1972 see Apr 1984 obituary for Angus Park)
114. Ormiston Miners’ Welfare Society A&F Club (closed April 1992 – per Sept Editorial)
115. Reading Scottish Fiddlers (cMarch 1997
116. Renfrew A&F Club (original club 1974/5 lapsed after a few years then again in 1984)
117. Stirling A&F Club (Oct 1991 – closed 20000/01?)
118. Straiton Accordion Club (c1968 – closed March 1979)
119. Stranraer & District Accordion Club (1974 – per first edition)
120. Torthorwald A&F Club (near Dumfries)
121. Tranent A&F Club
123. Walmer (Bridge of Allan) A&F Club
124. Wellbank A&F Club
125. Yarrow (prev known as Etterick & Yarrow) (Jan 1989 – closed 2001/02)
Back Page (colour) - £300
Full Page (colour) - £220
Full Page (b&w) - £140
Half Page (colour) - £110
Half Page (b&w) - £70
Quarter Page (colour) - £55
Quarter Page (b&w) - £35
Eighth Page - £18
Small Boxed £12