Friday, 15 July 2011


Here's a couple of Dundee big shots who were responsible for organising much of the entertainment in town during the retro decades.
Top one is Murdie Wallace, who, in the 60's when this photo was taken, owned the JM Ballroom, which later in the 70's became the Barracuda and then the Coconut Grove into the 80's.
Meanwhile back in the mid 70's, the Wallace family took over the Palais transforming it into Samanthas disco before it then changed into Bloomers.
So although we rarely saw the man himself, lots of us did spend quite a bit of dosh in Wallace owned nightclubs.
The other photo was taken in the 80's and is John McGuire, manager of the Caird Hall. So again, he would have been working away behind the scenes out of the publics gaze, booking all the acts who we all queued up to see perform live on stage.
He also managed a few local bands, Colossus being one I can recall, and I guess this must be the same John McGuire who showed up as one of the judges in a local talent contest that became known as the "Tiffany's Farce", which I've already mentioned on Retro in April 2009.
Incidentally, that's a photo of Doris Collins on Big J's notice board, and her act back then was "contacting the other side".
I can think of one or two bands who have died on stage!!
MW photo by DC Thomson.
JMcG photo by The Bear.


  1. edward g robinson lookalike in murdie, and virtuoso banjo and mandolin player john

  2. Murdie looks like he is describing the "one that got Away" on his last fishing trip.M.

  3. .
    My Pal Pete, who was house sparkie in the 'Big Fish', says it was actually Murdie's son who bought the Palais and ran the The Barracuda and Samanthas.

  4. correct to brian wilsons comment. "Old" Murdie was my grandfather who passed away in 1969 and his son, my uncle, was involved etc with nightclubs.

  5. I have good memories of John....he actually wanted to but quite rightly didn't manage The Junkies....I believe him and Al would have squelched the deal