GEORGE SCOTT-WOOD: (27 May 1903, Glasgow – 28 October 1978)
George Scott-Wood was a virtuoso pianist, arranger, conductor and was also regarded as one of the country's leading piano-accordion exponents. He was the author of the first ever accordion tutor, published in 1930. Scott-Wood's Six Swingers became very popular and he's been described as 'the pioneer of swing music in this country'.
He studied the piano from the age of five and at the age of 16 he was winning awards at Glasgow and Edinburgh Music Festivals.
1925: With his brothers, he won the Marchant Cup for Chamber Music. He toured the USA, making many concert appearances
1926-28: Toured and recorded with the Glasgow university band “The Five Omega Collegians”. They only produced two records but it's easy to see the influence of Scott-Wood who also wrote one of the sides.
1928-1930: He joined Jay Whidden's Band as pianist and arranger
1930-1939: He became Director of Light Music for Parlophone and subsequently for HMV, Regal-Zonophone and Columbia
During this time, “apparently, he made more records than anyone else in Britain, either directing one of his own combinations or accompanying famous artists, often under pseudonyms or anonymously. He conducted accompaniments for an impressive list of performers which included Richard Tauber, Sir Harry Lauder, Beatrice Lillie, Larry Adler, Gracie Fields, Vic Oliver, Stanley Holloway, Max Miller, Evelyn Laye and Ivor Novello, to mention but a few of the 80 or so artists he backed! He recorded about 20 sides with the New Mayfair Dance Orchestra in 1935 after Ray Noble left for America.”
1934: he formed “Scott-Wood's Six Swingers”. In 1938 the Six Swingers were voted top radio entertainment. At the same time he became managing director of the London Accordion Band, a Regal-Zonophone house band
1943-1947. Scott-Wood topped theatre bills as a solo pianist; touring the country. During the war he played theatres, hospitals, factories, remote camps and action stations
After the war, George Scott-Wood and his Accordion Band broadcasted regularly and were featured in 'Accordion Club', 'Bright and Early' and 'Music While You Work', contributing hundreds of programmes
1950: He reformed his Six Swingers
1958- 1967: He formed a “light music” outfit; George Scott-Wood and his Music. They were three accordions, piano, guitar, bass and percussion. He also continued broadcasting on 'Music While You Work'
1970-1971: He made a brief come-back on the Sam Costa Show
1978: George Scott-Wood died on 28th October 1978 at the age of 75
The Bowlly connection:
On the 3rd of April 1933, the Scott-Wood Accordion Quartet recorded five sides with vocals and guitar by Al Bowlly. They were released on the Parlophone label. If anyone has any of these 78's for sale, please contact me.