Billy Connolly inducted into Scottish music 'hall of fame'
Legendary entertainer Sir Billy Connolly is to be inducted into a Scottish music "hall of fame" in his home city next month.
The Glasgow-born star, who shot to fame in the traditional music scene in the 1960s playing in the Humblebums with Gerry Rafferty, will be honoured at a gala dinner.
Connolly, who famously told jokes on stage with the Humblebums, will join the likes of Jimmy Shand, Michael Marra, Barbara Dickson, Callum Kennedy, Dick Gaughan and Aly Bain in the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame, which was launched in 2005.
Connolly will be honoured alongside the late Scottish tenor Kenneth McKellar and singer-songwriter Rab Noakes at the dinner in Oran Mor in Glasgow on 27 October.
The official tribute to Connolly on the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame website states: "Billy Connolly bought his first banjo in Glasgow’s famous Barrowland market his ambition was to become a folk singer.
"He achieved that ambition within a relatively short time and couldn’t have predicted that it would lead to him achieving world-wide fame as a comedian, going on to star in films such as Mrs Brown with Dame Judi Dench, having three giant murals commissioned in his honour by his home town and winning honours including a knighthood and a BAFTA Lifetime Achievement award.
"Connolly’s comic talent was nurtured by the Scottish folk scene. Having been turned onto the banjo through hearing Flatt & Scruggs’ theme song to the Beverley Hillbillies and having warmed to Pete Seeger’s banjo accompanied singing of Bob Dylan’s A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall, Connolly determined that he was going to follow suit.
"In 1964 he fell in with singer, guitarist and wit Danny Kyle, who introduced Connolly to folk pubs including the Scotia Bar in Glasgow and the Glasgow Folk Club in Montrose Street, and the following year, Connolly and singer-guitarist Tam Harvey formed the Humblebums.
"Connolly and Rafferty were polar opposites. Their concerts alternated between Rafferty’s sensitive, beautifully written songs and Connolly’s anarchic humour and a third Humblebums album, Open up the Door, foretold Rafferty’s future as a hugely successful singer-songwriter much more than it indicated where Connolly might be heading.
"They went their separate ways in 1971, with Connolly hitting the folk club circuit and releasing Billy Connolly Live on Transatlantic the following year.
Hall of Fame founder Simon Thoumire said: Each year we honour a uniquely inspiring group of people and this year’s list shows there’s a never-ending pool of talent in Scotland.
"It’s an honour and privilege to see so many fantastic names involved in the Scottish traditional music industry, and observe the impact they’re continuing to make.
"We are looking forward to hosting these inspirational people and their families."