Brian Jones is well known to many of the members of the Fellowship for his wonderful digital re-mastering of old recordings of past artist’s and Brian once again treated the Fellowship to a wonderful programme of songs by Scotland’s underestimated tenor, the late Kenneth McKellar, accompanied as always by his excellent commentary on the life of the individual artist.
Kenneth was born in Paisley and as a young boy he was a chorister in Paisley Abbey where his singing talents were quickly recognised and as he grew older and his voice matured it was realised by those in the know in the musical world what he real talent he was. Eventually he was contracted to an opera company and although he sang with such a notable opera singer as Joan Sutherland, opera was not his favourite and he eventually resigned. He was a favourite on TV in the 1960s and he regularly appeared in a TV show ‘The White Heather Club’. He was a master at folk songs and in particular Hebredian songs were among his favourites.
Kenneth had a masterful voice, with a purity of tone at all registers, yet by the age of 70 he decided that he would sing no more in public and one of his last recordings is of the beautiful and enigmatic ‘The Sacred Songs’ which he recorded back where it all started in Paisley Abbey. Kenneth retired to live in California with his daughter and died aged 83 in 2010.
The membership of Wigan Fellowship owes a big thank you to Brian Jones for allowing them to listen to one of the finest tenors these islands have produced.
The Fellowship meets on the second Tuesday of the months of September through to June at Pemberton Masonic Hall at 2pm. If you are a retired Mason or the widow of a Mason please come along, and enjoy a varied programme and the fellowship of good company, and by the way it’s only 50p for tea or coffee.