The Family Connection
  Sir Harry arriving at a garden party at Buckingham Palace, about 1935.
As long as I can remember there's been talk of Harry Lauder in our family.

By 1910 he was one of the biggest stars in the entertainment world. He was knighted by King George in 1919.  But by the middle of the century Harry Lauder's broad style of slapstick humour was no longer in vogue. Most, or all, of the Vaudeville theatres had been converted to cinemas, and Harry's "act" had not transferred successfully from the stage to the silver screen. Although still fabulously wealthy, by 1945 Harry's health began to decline.  He passed away in February 1950. 

Ten years later he was forgotten.

It was my paternal grandparents who first introduced me to Harry Lauder's music when I was 8 or 10 years of age, by way of a 33-RPM vinyl transcription of some of Harry's best known recordings.  I've been a fan ever since, and there's no doubt that this "one degree of separation" from such a prominent singer-songwriter influenced my decision to pursue a career in music.

As a young man in the late 1800's Harry Lauder worked for my great-great-grandfather Jamie Vallance, who was manager of Pit number 7 at the Quarter coal mine near Hamilton, Scotland. Harry eventually married Jamie's oldest daughter, Annie Vallance.  A few years later Harry's brother Matt married another of Jamie's daughters,

When my grandfather was stationed in England during the Second War he visited his Uncle Harry at Lauder Ha' in Strathaven.  

As Harry Lauder's career blossomed in the early 1900's, my great-grandfather's brother, Tom Vallance, became his manager ... and Tom's younger brother Harry became the Lauder's chauffeur.

Annie's younger sister Effie (Euphemia) acted opposite Harry in an unreleased 1920 silent film titled "All For The Sake of Mary".   Annie's brother Harry also had a minor roll in the film, playing the part of a shepherd.

Annie Lauder and her parents, Jamie and Mary Vallance, are buried near the former Lauder estate, Glenbranter.  Sadly -- and likely against his wishes -- Harry is not buried next to his beloved wife, but is instead interred at Bent cemetery, Hamilton near his brother, George.