Cowal Games 1929

March 15, 2015 on 7:07 pm by Michael Grey | In Photographs, Pipe Bands, Solo Piping, Stories, Tips, Video | No Comments

Say what you like, but I’ve always liked Cowal Games. Of those I recall, my memories are nothing but the happiest – or – at least – really good. OK. Not always, “really good”, but memorable. Yes. Memorable. Well, mostly memorable, but usually fun. Cowal, as much, if not more, than other contests, has given me some stuff to remember. I’ve socked it all away and stand today with a good few stories to regale the unsuspecting at the drop of a hat. Cowal Games: you rock.
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Glasgow 1901

February 26, 2015 on 8:43 pm by Michael Grey | In Photographs, Stories, Video | 2 Comments

A sort of random posting here: a really interesting video clip filmed in April of 1901 of Jamaica Street, Glasgow. An old street name, even for Glasgow, the thoroughfare, or, at least, the street named Jamaica, opened in the late 18th century and was apparently named for the then raging rum and sugar trade.
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Rare Photo and Video: G S McLennan

October 29, 2014 on 6:02 pm by Michael Grey | In Delightful Data of the Day, Music, News, Photographs, Solo Piping, Stories, Video | 1 Comment

Back in June I wrote a little about the recently posted Pathé film footage of the great Highland dancer, Mary Aitken. Among many other good things, she was the namesake for a fine bagpipe tune, the jig “Mary Aitken”.
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Mary Aitken

June 16, 2014 on 6:21 pm by Michael Grey | In News, Random Thoughts, Video | Comments Off on Mary Aitken

One of my favourite two-parted jigs is that named, “Mary Aitken”. It’s a tricky little finger challenge first published in 1936 in John Wilson’s outstanding first book of music. Written by Malcolm R MacPherson (son of “Mrs MacPherson of Inveran” and Angus), a piper more famous for his playing than his composing, the tune is named for a champion Highland dancer of the day: Mary Aitken of Aberdeen.
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Chris Hadfield: Space Oddity

May 13, 2013 on 5:31 pm by Michael Grey | In Music, Random Thoughts, Video | Comments Off on Chris Hadfield: Space Oddity

I really like this. At first, I thought cheesy. Then I gave my head a shake.
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Australia’s Funniest Home Videos

April 15, 2012 on 7:06 pm by Michael Grey | In News, Random Thoughts, Video | Comments Off on Australia’s Funniest Home Videos

After Saturday’s Toronto Indoor Games and a late night on the D-town I was out and about at the crack of dawn today helping a film-maker friend shoot the famous Paris to Ancaster bike race [N.B. must say, I’m quite proud of myself for having tip-toed out of the house without stirring couch-surfing band members].
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Log Driver’s Waltz

January 31, 2012 on 7:37 pm by Michael Grey | In News, Random Thoughts, Video | Comments Off on Log Driver’s Waltz

Here’s a nice sample of Canadian folk music – or a kind of a Canadian folk music: Wade Hemsworth’s bouncy, cheerful “Log Driver’s Waltz”. Produced by the National Film Board of Canada in 1979 this little “vignette” as the NFB calls it, has become an iconic bit of Canada’s cultural flotsam and jetsam.
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Japanese Cinema and Pipe Bands

February 17, 2011 on 6:46 pm by Michael Grey | In Humour, Music, Pipe Bands, Random Thoughts, Video | 3 Comments

Now there’s a subject line you probably never imagined.

I always thought those old cheesy Japanese movies from the 1950s might benefit from a little kick, a little something to give them a boost. I’m not talking Seven Samurai or Rashomon here, I’m talking about movies like those from the Godzillaand Mothra franchises (did they call ever call old movie serials “franchises”?).

Anyway, I thought how great it would be for one to snag a pipe band soundtrack, music to go along with the badly dubbed English.
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So You Want to Compete at the Big Games

March 28, 2010 on 6:14 pm by Michael Grey | In Music, Solo Piping, Video | 4 Comments

Thanks to the recent purchase of a video-to-digital box I’ve been able to post some ancient video. This particular sample presents as a fine demo of what it’s really like to compete at a big outdoor contest – in this case, The Argyllshire Gathering, Oban, Scotland. While this comes from 1991 (gulp) things haven’t changed and what you see is what you get.
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The Megantic Outlaw

March 14, 2010 on 12:45 pm by Michael Grey | In Pipe Bands, Video | 1 Comment

Here’s some vintage footage: The Megantic Outlaw medley from the 78th Fraser Highlanders’ 1992 “Live in Canada” concert.
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