Saturday, 17 September 2011


In March 2009, I put a record up on Retro Dundee by Andy Lothian. This was a traditional Scottish tune that featured his violin skills.
Andy, however, was equally known for his big band sound, his orchestra being the resident band at the Palais for over 3 decades. In fact, he ended up owning the venue!
We are talking ballroom dancing music styles here, the orchestra supplying the tempo for the dancefloor with a mixture of latin, jazz and pop.
In 1946, his band was heard all around the UK when his orchestra was broadcast live from the Palais on BBC radio a few times.
Andy kept the big band going in the Palais up to around 1970, then bowed out to make way for the start of the disco era.
Below is a rare recording live at the Palais itself, from the mid 60's and showcasing the full orchestra sound - no lead violin.
The line-up includes - J. Couper - D. Gold - J. Croft - R. Bronson - G. Cully - B. Cooper - C. Fotheringham and C. Coats.
So go grab your partner and swirl around the room to this track below - Duke's classic..."The A Train".
Many thanks to Carolyn.


  1. ... dad ends the A train instrumental with the wortds 'impeccable performance!' These same words can apply to both you, Gordon, in posting this, and to carolyn, in honouring the memory of her papa ... thank you both ...

    Andi Lothian (Andy's son)

  2. Hi Andi.
    Your Dad was the first person to actually pay me for playing music! During Wichita's break at 11 o' clock, for half an hour or so. That was between 1972 and '74.
    The memory I have of him is standing on the short flight of steps beside the bandstand, wearing a sandy coloured 3-piece suit and, I think, a stetson(?), smiling at everybody.
    Probably the last of the "hands-on" showmen in this area.
    I did see him (I assume) and the orchestra a couple of times in the year or so prior to Wichita taking up the residency; can't remember much of the evenings though, due to prior partaking of cocktails...

  3. Does anyone recall or have a photo of Bill (William) Hooks who played in the band (along with his father Duncan) in the 50s and 60s? Bill played piano. Many thanks. Sarah